Artists break into groups to practice speaking as experts
Artists break into groups to practice speaking as experts
Artist Leader Kirby Tepper guides participants through the principles of effective verbal communication
Artists worked in breakout sessions to perfect their elevator pitches
Artists worked in partners to practice effective negotiating techniques
Dancer and Educator Sydnie Mosley
Multidisciplinary artists Katie Caicedo and Jeanette Delgollado
DanceMotion USA Artists
CCSI 2016 Participants, Leaders and Staff
This past weekend, artists from around the world and across the disciplines of visual, performing and literary arts gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Fisher building for the first ever Creative Capital Summer Institute (CCSI).
CCSI is a free, four-day professional development workshop and a unique opportunity for artists from New York to Lusaka Zambia to collaborate, share best practices and learn from prominent leaders working and living as artists today.
The Creative Capital is a huge production: with over 300 people attending and 80 artist presentations over the course of a weekend, we need some extra help. So, in the months leading up to the Retreat, we hire three Artist Services paid internship positions to assist with the event. One of them, Erin Carr, a student at NYU’s Arts Administration graduation program, wrote about her experience at the Retreat.
This summer, I spent my time as a Creative Capital Artist Services intern almost exclusively focused on preparing for the 2016 Artist Retreat at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, NY. My experience at the Retreat was rewarding and thought-provoking, and I am still sitting with the presentations, thinking over what I learned from an intensive week there. The Retreat brought together artists, arts administrators, curators, programmers, writers and other arts professionals around nearly 80 five-to-seven minute presentations by 2013, 2015, and 2016 Creative Capital awardees. Outside of the presentations, the Retreat allowed people from different disciplines and positions in the art world to make connections. For this weekend the event helped to dissolve the separation between administrators and artists.
From “On Larry Lee’s ‘The (Un)Timely Death of Multiculturalism,” by Eunsong Kim
In May, we spoke to a few arts bloggers who had won Arts Writers grants to maintain their blogs. One blog, contemptoraryby writers Gelare Khoshgozaran and Eunsong Kim, was just beginning at the time. As of August, 2016, however, their project is well underway with articles on artists and arts exhibitions, like MOCA Los Angeles’s “What is Contemporary?” Their stated focus this year on women of color and indigenous on and overall hope to reframe marginalized voices in art history and criticism struck us as particularly important, so we reached out to the writers for further comment.
Alex Teplitzky: Your blog will profile women of color and indigenous women queering the art world. Can you go more into specifics about who you hope to profile or hear from? What convinced you to start this blog?
Gelare Khoshgozaran & Eunsong Kim: We introduce contemptorary as a “cyberspace project covering: women of color and indigenous women queering the art world; queers disrupting white hegemony: immigrants and those displaced due to war, occupation and colonialism who breach all terrains.”
We wanted to create a unique space dedicated to those who have been historically marginalized (or inevitably auto-marginalized), tokenized and alienated. We wanted to assert our taste and bring into light the works of those whom we deeply value and have been inspired by, (re)introduce their works in a new context and see how their different voices resonate together cacophonously.
We started contemptorary because we didn’t see anything that was like it. We also made this decision because we have been students and practitioners of the arts and our previous education, our assigned reading guidelines have not been enough. They were curricula that consistently left us needing to: unlearn and to research and build on our own. So we’re carving out a cyberspace that holds what we want to learn about, what we want to read about, what we want to see and share.
From left to right: Brian Tate, and Creative Capital artists Okwui Okpokwasili, James Scruggs, Ahamefule J. Oluo, Heather Hart and Jina Valentine
A lot goes into making impactful artworks. After Creative Capital announces a new round of artist projects, we bring the artists together to work on and discuss what they need to make the project actually happen. This all happens at our Artist Retreat, and we’re in the middle of one right now!
The artists spend nearly a week meeting each other, taking an intensive suite of business courses on everything from tax planning to working with arts institutions, and having one-on-one consultations with art world professionals. The crux of our Retreat, though, is presentations: each artist has 7 minutes to present their work. This year, we’ll hear from nearly 80 artists over the course of three days. Follow our Twitter account and the hashtag #CCRetreat to hear about them in real time.
Before that though, here are five takeaways we’ve already come up with since we got started on Tuesday.
Uninterrupted time for art making is a must for good art-making. A residency can reinvigorate an idling practice or provide essential time to finish a big project. The list below has something for artists of all disciplines with opportunities in international metropolises and remote villages.
This past week marked the anniversaries of the deaths of Eric Garner and Sandra Bland, along with the third anniversary of the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement. In the wake of the recent shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, along with other senseless acts of violence, these anniversaries are especially tragic. We at Creative Capital offer our support to artists, colleagues and staff who are struggling to process the continued systemic and largely unpunished violence against Black people in America. Creative Capital stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and those who feel this brutality is unjust.
We are grateful for the artists all across America who are directly addressing our broken criminal justice system, systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and other forms of bigotry. Artists have the power to push our societal conversation forward–asking difficult questions, taking personal risks. We are proud to support their work, protect their freedom of expression and help amplify their voices. We have highlighted some relevant artist projects below, and members of our staff have contributed their own personal statements and resources as well. We invite artists and other members of our community to share more resources and responses on our Facebook page or below in the comments. We welcome feedback about what more we can do during this difficult time.
I’ve been editing books for almost twenty years, and I can’t count the number of writers I’ve worked with who simply would not have gotten published without a well-timed grant or a much-needed residency at an artist’s colony. Being able to teach one less class, or having the time to clear your head and get down to work among other artists can provide the opportunity for a breakthrough that will allow you to finish a manuscript.
I’ve served as a judge on panels for many awards and residencies over the years, and I’ve often seen bad applications sink the chances of otherwise qualified writers. It’s important to realize that writing a strong application is a learned skill, and in my Creative Capital webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers, I try to explain what it is that prize committees and residency panels are looking for, and I offer tips that will help you put your best foot forward. Continue reading →
Participants take notes at our Blended Learning wrap up session in Newark, NJ.
An artists takes note of the Seek & Share chart at Blended Learning.
Leader Dread Scott speaks to an artist during a break session.
Our Blended Learning leaders and staff, Sharnita Johnson from the Dodge Foundation, and the staff of Gallery Aferro in Newark.
The whole group!
On July 10th we celebrated the final convening of our New Jersey Blended Learning Program. Blended Learning is a multi-format course in financial and business management that helps artists establish a secure base upon which to create and grow their work. The four-month program combines a one-day Strategic Planning & Fundraising in-person workshop, three live webinars, a series of online courses, artist working groups and small group phone consultations.
This spring and summer, we presented Blended Learning to artists in two communities in New Jersey—Trenton and Newark. Artists from both communities gathered at Gallery Aferro in Newark for one last in-person workshop with our fantastic group of leaders: Colleen Keegan, Dread Scott, and Aaron Landsman. Continue reading →
One day Juan William Chávez was contemplating the failures of the Pruitt-Igoe complex to house a community, when he realized it could still welcome one community: bees. His Creative Capital project,Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary was born. Over the years, Juan has developed the project into a multilayered community outreach program offering public studio space, food demos and gardening classes for local children, and paid positions for young adults in the neighborhood. Currently, Juan is using a residency at Artpace in San Antonio to develop the project so it can become mobile. Before he premieres the project at an exhibition there, opening July 14, we spoke to him to find out more about it.
Alex Teplitzky: You were first inspired to begin this project after taking photos of what remains of the Pruitt-Igoe lot, a notable failure in urban planning history. I’m interested in how you’re beginning almost literally from the ashes of this failure and propelling toward a new project of community building. Are you inspired by the old failures that took place on the site that your own project is named after? Or perhaps by the intentions of the Pruitt-Igoe developers?
Juan William Chávez: There has been a lot of art and research base on the failures of Pruitt-Igoe. My project aims to continue the conversation about Pruitt-Igoe and how its history still affects the city of Saint Louis. It addresses urban planning strategies that enforce a racial and economic divide in the city.
It also aims to confront these strategies through community building by activating vacant lots with programming that embraces the urban ecosystem, education, the arts, job training and providing a space for dialogue among community members.
The urban forest of Pruitt-Igoe is what inspired me to go beyond a traditional community garden and view green vacant lots as part of the urban ecosystem of people, animals and plants that can foster space and opportunity for conversation, a sense of belonging, a space for self-realization and transformation. It aims to be a public studio space that offers creative strategies for developing and activating vacant lots that can slowly grow into new possibilities. Planting seeds and ideas, letting them grow with a goal not to fix but to evolve with people and time.
Mitchell Rose describes himself as a choreographer and performance artist turned filmmaker. His experience in both disciplines is easily seen in his recent work Exquisite Corps, which made the rounds on Facebook recently (or watch above). The video reads like a who’s who in American choreography with 42 choreographers dancing around the country as if together. It included tons of artists Creative Capital has supported over the past 17 years—including Meredith Monk, Faye Driscoll, Kyle Abraham and Ann Carlson—so we loved watching it. I touched base with Mitchell to find out more about the process of making the work and how dance can translate on social media.
Alex Teplitzky: Can you describe the process of making the video? How long did it take to make, and how did it all come together? Were there any difficulties in making it all come together?
Mitchell Rose: Exquisite Corps was a two-year process. It would have taken even longer, given how technical it is, but I had already done two years of R&D on a previous film, Globe Trot, which was applicable to this project. (You can see the Globe Trot manual here which will explain some of that.)
Each participant was told to watch the entire accumulated edit and then decide where they felt the trajectory of the choreography should go. They had to start by perfectly repeating the previous person’s final movement so there would be a motional continuity. They should dance for 2–10 seconds. (Most people did 10–15 seconds so I would have to find a suitable place to edit.) And they should do a number of takes to give me editing options. (Each participant was responsible for finding a helper to shoot it for them.)