Mondo Bizarro Take On Disappearing Land of Louisiana

Louisiana is disappearing. It is breaking apart into the sea. The Gulf of Mexico, aided by sinking land and rising seas, has been swallowing this region at a horrifying rate. To highlight how people in New Orleans are affected by this changing landscape, Mondo Bizarro have put together a traveling, out door performance that is a must see. We interviewed them after they performed Cry You One at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven.

To read more about Mondo Bizarro’s performance project, click here.

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere Premiere “Memory of a Time Twice Lived” at the ICA in Philadelphia

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, "Memory of a Time Twice Lived," production still, 2015

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, “Memory of a Time Twice Lived,” production still, 2015

The first U.S. survey of the work of Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere (2009 Emerging Fields) opens this week at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania, with an opening reception on February 3 from 6:30-9:00pm. The exhibition, organized by Associate Curator Kate Kraczon, includes the premiere of their Creative Capital-supported project, Memory of a Time Twice Lived (2015), along with seven other projects and installations.

Memory of Time Twice Lived is a journey through musical tempo, cinematic time and the excavation of an image. The film builds a field of relations tying together 20th-century mythic heroes, the collection of the Wagner Free Institute of Science, the Mexican luchador El Santo and the accordion as a nomadic instrument. Shot on location in Philadelphia and Mexico, the film references Chris Marker’s science fiction piece La Jetée (1962), features a concert arranged for film, and an accordionist performing throughout Philadelphia. The roots of the film go back to Nevarez and Tevere’s years-long research on the history of the accordion, an instrument they see as a poetic representation of how music and people move through space.

I connected with Angel and Valerie to learn more about the new film and the exhibition in Philadelphia.

Jenny Gill: In this project, you use the accordion as a metaphor or focal point to look at cultural and musical migration. When did you first become interested in the accordion and begin to view it in that way?

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere: The accordion, an instrument associated with numerous immigrant histories and musical forms, was also part of each of our own individual family histories. Having the shared yet varied experience between us provoked further discussions and interest in critically engaging the accordion’s history in relation to industrialization, labor movements, periods of nationalism, folklore, and its current production within post-Fordist globalizing trends. Continue reading

A Page From Our Handbook: Determining Your Artist Fee

From Jim Findlay's Botanica, 2012

From Jim Findlay’s Botanica, 2012. Photo by Joshua Higgason

Every few weeks we post tips straight from the Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook, a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendees, written by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. The book covers everything from writing to budgeting, websites to fundraising, elevator pitches to work samples. Similarly, each post is packed with practical ideas to make your life run more smoothly, leaving you even more time for your creative practice. Learn more about all of our PDP workshops and webinars here. For more strategies on building a strong foundation for your business as an artist, check out Art Business Management on February 18.

Turning in a budget with no artist fee can lead a reader to think you are not accounting for your own time. A benefit to adding an artist fee to your budget is that you can track the investment you make in your work; this can lead to better pricing strategies, a revised timeline for projects and better long-term financial stability. Continue reading

Sundance Festival Runs Amok With Creative Capital Artists

sundance-film-festivalWhether you’re heading to Sundance or not this year, you’ll want to know about the amazing films our Creative Capital artists are screening there. From an artist actually lighting themselves on fire, to a true story about a man who used goat testicles to allegedly cure impotence, these are sure to be unmissable, powerful films. Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan 21-31. Read about all the Creative Capital artist films and VR experiences you’ll be able to see there below.

Also, be sure to follow us on Instagram, as we’ll have some of the attending artists (*cough* Penny Lane) guest posting for us!


“NUTS!” by Penny Lane

The subject of Penny Lane’s Creative Capital project, NUTS!, lied for a living, so it’s difficult to tell fact from fiction. But Dr. John Brinkley really did claim to have cured impotence in his patients by implanting goat testicles in them. Penny brings a new flair to the story, as each chapter of the film is illustrated by a different artist. The Sundance screening is a world premiere for the film–check out an interview with Penny about it here.

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Announcing the 2016 Creative Capital Awardees

Clockwise from top left: Marisa Morán Jahn, Video Slink Uganda. Eileen Myles. Robin Frohardt, Dumpster Monster. Ahamefule J. Oluo. Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Suite. desert ArtLAB, Desertification Cookbook. Jeff Becker, Sea of Common Catastrophe. Irvin Morazan, Performance in the Center of the World, Times Square, NY. Eva & Franco Mattes, Fukushima Texture Pack.

Creative Capital has announced its 2016 awardees, funding 46 projects selected from a nationwide pool of 2,500 proposals. The artistic disciplines being funded this year are: Literature, Performing Arts and Emerging Fields. Drawing on venture-capital principles, Creative Capital seeks out artists’ projects that are bold, innovative and genre-stretching, then surrounds those artists with the tools they need to realize their visions and build sustainable careers.

The 2016 Creative Capital awardees are an incredible group of creative thinkers, representing 63 artists at all stages of their careers with an age range of 28 to 65 years old. More than half are women; and more than half identify as people of color. Each funded project will receive up to $50,000 in direct funding and additional resources and advisory services—such as financial consulting and communications support—valued at $45,000, making the organization’s total 2016 investment more than $4,370,000. Continue reading

The 2016 Creative Capital Awards – Meet our Program Consultants

Dumpster Monster 2

Robin Frohardt – Dumpster Monster, from “The Plastic Bag Store,” photo by Jeff Fitzgerald

We couldn’t be happier about the 46 projects in Emerging Fields, Literature and Performing Arts that were recommended for funding this year. Three Program Consultants, Kim Whitener (HERE Arts Center), Ethan Nosowsky (Graywolf Press) and Regine Basha (Basha Projects), worked with more than 100 colleagues in each field during the ten-month process, reviewing submissions at every stage. I’ve asked Kim, Ethan and Regine a few questions about what it was like to work with Creative Capital on the process.

Lisa Dent: Each of you has been working with us for over a year, can you believe it? Ethan, this is even your fourth time as our Literature Consultant! When I contacted you about the award round, what did you think it would be like? What surprised you?

Kim Whitener: I was really honored and honestly excited about spending time with all of you at Creative Capital, with my fellow consultants and panelists, and most importantly, through their applications, with the many hundreds of artists all over the country who are bursting with amazing ideas. The accrual of knowledge about the field and how artists are thinking and experimenting was enormous for me—even as long as I’ve been in the performing arts field, the sheer depth and scope of the proposed projects surprised me and brought me to new places and understandings. My other lead consultants and I were particularly struck by how much artists are taking on the role of being the voice of social activism in our culture—taking historical moments and reinterpreting them, and grappling with every societal issue with tremendous bravery.

Ethan Noswosky: Yes, I’ve been consulting for Creative Capital since the literature program was added ten years ago. At the time, neither I nor anyone from my neck of the literary woods really knew of anything quite like the mix of grant making and artist services that has become the hallmark of Creative Capital. In every grant year, the great pleasure for me is discovering the richness and depth of the field. It’s a blast seeing writers whose work you’re familiar with propose something new and thrillingly urgent, but what’s even better is becoming acquainted with writers you’ve only heard of, or getting introduced to writers you’ve never heard of at all. I wasn’t so much surprised at anything in particular, but I was confirmed in my sense that this is a very good moment for the literary arts, with a range of writers drawing on a range of traditions to produce really exciting work. 

Regine Basha: I expected it to be quite challenging of course given the number of proposals, but I think that ample time was given to us to go over all the proposals in a fairly comfortable manner each time! In terms of the nature of the proposals, I think I expected way more ‘social practice’ types of proposals, but there were less than I had expected and more proposals from science-oriented projects.

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Strengthen Your Career with Our Brand New NYC Workshop Series

Partipants at Artists Summer Institute in a Breakout Group During a Workshop

Partipants at Artists Summer Institute in a Breakout Group During a Workshop

Creative Capital is excited to announce a brand new six-part workshop series covering essential topics to develop your art career sustainably.

Our experienced workshop leaders, most of whom are practicing artists themselves, share the tools, strategies and resources that have led them to long-term success. The series is structured so that each workshop builds upon the previous, and is open to artists of all disciplines who are ready to take their career to the next level. The classes will take place every other Monday evening from February 8 to April 18 in Creative Capital’s NYC office space.

  1. February 8: Strategic Planning, with Colleen Keegan
    Learn the key tools of strategic planning and how to create a business plan to increase satisfaction in your life and career.
  2. February 22: Funding Your Work, with Aaron Landsman
    Learn how to calculate what your time is really worth, plus guidance on grant and proposal writing, fundraising from individuals, and varying your revenue streams.
  3. March 7: Financial Literacy, with Amy Smith
    Takeaways include tips and tools for tracking deductible expenses, getting out of debt so you can start saving, segregating your personal and artistic finances, budgeting for your life and your artistic projects. You will also learn how to tell “the story” of your project in a compelling way to funders.
  4. March 21: Verbal Communications, with Ela Troyano
    Improve your interpersonal communications, negotiations and public speaking skills so that you can more comfortably and successfully pitch your work and ask for financial support from presenting venues and funders.
  5. April 4: Promoting Your Work, with Jackie Battenfield
    Learn how to build a promotional campaign that expresses the quality and character of your work, as well as essential skills to jump start your promotional efforts.
  6. April 18: Web Best Practices and Review, with Matthew Deleget
    Learn how online resources can be used to expand your audience size and stay connected to your community. This workshop includes “best practices” for optimizing your website, streamlining email communications, and increasing social media presence.

In addition to the six workshops, participants will receive:
Our Strategic Planning workbook, our Artists’ Tools Handbook, one free webinar to dive deeper into the specific topics and skills most important to you, and an optional follow-up session at Creative Capital allowing participants to check in with a workshop leader about their progress and challenges.
Cost: $250 for the entire series.

Register Now

Finding Time & Money in the New Year: Opportunities for Artists

Kooshk Artist Residency Award Participants 2015

2015 Resident Artists at Kooshk Arts Center Working

We all know that the beginning of a new year is a popular time for setting lofty goals and dreaming big. Resolutions are a great starting point, but making time to put your goals to paper and developing a plan will help you climb out of the impending resolution rut. Start with researching what financial and material resources you need for your next project, potential partners and residencies in locales that will complement your practice. Below you’ll find national and international artists residencies to get you started, as well as listings where you can find more more residencies, fellowships and funding opportunities. The Creative Capital blog is also a great knowledge base of resources from our staff, awardees and professional development leaders. Check out Tips and Tools for quick guides to writing letters of interest, preparing proposals, social media, promoting your work and more. Continue reading

Creative Capital’s Year in Review


From the 2015 Artists Retreat at RPI on the EMPAC campus

Without a doubt, 2015 was a busy but great year for Creative Capital. In addition to throwing an amazing Homecoming Dance Benefit, a successful Artist Retreat, and announce 46 new artists in Moving Image and Visual Arts, we helped 13 artists premiere their projects around the world. Let’s take a look at them!

"The Sellout" (left); author Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty‘s satirical novel, The Sellout, was published in March by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. In the New York Times, Dwight Garner said that the “first 100 pages of [Beatty’s] new novel, The Sellout, are the most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I’ve read in at least a decade.” This month, the book is popping up in a ton of best of year end lists, and hopefully more than a few holiday wish lists.

Degenerate Art Ensemble, led by co-founders Joshua Kohl and Haruko Nishimura, premiered their project, Predator’s Songstress, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and at On The Boards in Seattle. In SF Weekly, Silke Tudor called it “menacingly beautiful.”

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Binge Watch Presentation Videos from Our 2015 Retreat

Presentators at the Creative Capital 2015 Retreat

This past summer we took 86 artists up to Troy, NY, for a four-day retreat at EMPAC on the RPI campus. Throughout the weekend, they gave presentations to some of the country’s top curators and arts organizers about the projects they are developing with the help of Creative Capital.

We’ve uploaded the presentations to our YouTube page. If you have some down time during the holidays, it’s a perfect moment to binge watch these amazing videos! 

Click here to view our playlist on YouTube, and read on below for some featured videos.

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