Paul Beatty Talks Poetry, Psychology and His New Novel, “The Sellout”

"The Sellout" (left); author Paul Beatty
Paul Beatty‘s Creative Capital project, The Sellout, is being released today by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The novel is a biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court; it challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. We recently caught up with Paul to ask about his background in poetry, his study of psychology and his writing process.

Jenny Gill: You were a Poetry Slam champ and published two books of poetry before you published your first novel, White Boy Shuffle, in 1996. How did that background inform your approach to language when you started writing novels? Do you still write poetry?

Paul Beatty: Poetry has had a huge impact on how I approach literature. Slamming not so much. Poetry is the backbone to how I think about structure and the page. And I’ve yet to break myself of the notion that every word is vitally important—though I’m trying.
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Snapshot: An Artist to Artist Panel at the College Art Association Conference

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This past Valentine’s Day, several Creative Capital artists shared the love with a roomful of colleagues, as they discussed some of the skills that have enhanced their careers. I was privileged to moderate the panel, which featured Creative Capital grantees Chris Doyle, Barbara Hammer and Beverly McIver. It was held at New York City’s Midtown Hilton hotel, and entitled “Artist to Artist: Sharing Tools for a Sustainable Practice.” Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Authentic Branding at Creative Capital

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On Wednesday, February 4th, Professional Development Program leader Maxine Lapiduss visited the Creative Capital office from Los Angeles to lead her first, evening-length “Authentic Branding” workshop. The session, typically offered as a webinar or a day long session, was PDP’s first three-hour version. Artist participant Gwyneth Leech reacted to the evening’s activity: “A high-energy, information-packed presentation that left the group breathless and ready to do hard work on their own. Empowering! And kickass!”

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Snapshot: PDP’s West Coast Workshop Weekend

Southern ExposureArtist participants enjoy the Bay Area weather on their lunch break during the Strategic Planning & Funding Your Work workshop at Southern Exposure.

Workshop leaders from Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program spent the last weekend of January in the west coast sun, meeting with artists in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Both workshops were generously underwritten by Tequila Herradura. On Saturday, we worked with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) to host 46 artists for a day of Financial Literacy & Funding Your Work. Sarah Russin, LACE’s Executive Director, told us: “I am concerned sometimes about what I call the “broccoli factor” – I know it’s good for me, but I don’t always want to eat it. The shared camaraderie of the all-day environment illustrates to sometimes isolated artists that they are not alone in these concerns. The quality of the instructors and the group sharing helps make the healthy food taste better.”
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Miriam Simun’s Ceremony For New York’s Only Endangered Flower

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New York’s only endangered flower, Agalinis Acuta, is the only flower in the state to be federally protected. Creative Capital artist Miriam Simun has worked with chemists, botanists and perfumers to capture its scent for the first time ever. Her multidisciplinary art project “Agalinis Dreams,” commemorates this flower that blooms only once a year: it is an attempt to grapple with what many scientists call a “mass extinction” that we have been experiencing in recent decades.

You can also see objects from “Agalinis Dreams” as an installation as part of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts’ “Wave & Particle,” a group exhibition of over 20 Creative Capital artists.

A Page From Our Handbook: What Goes Into a Project or Annual Budget?

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Creating a budget for your next project (or your next year) can be tricky, especially when you plan on providing that information to a funder, in the hopes of securing a grant. How much is too much? How do you plan for the unexpected? And just where do you fit into the picture? Below is a helpful guide for budgeting, that you can use as a template. Are you a writer who wants to learn more about how budgeting plays into requests for funding? Register for editor Ethan Nosowsky’s upcoming webinar, “Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers”. And check out other helpful online learning opportunities (including Real Life Budgeting Webinar) on our calendar!

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Straight Talk About Doing Good: Five Questions For Stephanie Bleyer

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Stephanie Bleyer speaks to the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture in Cleveland.

Stephanie Bleyer is a project manager and founder of Six Foot Chipmunk, a boutique consultancy providing a variety of services to media-makers, artists and entrepreneurs. Stephanie’s expertise, which she shares with her clients, includes creating business plans, producing live events, managing projects and campaigns, raising funds, and overseeing communications. Stephanie leads a regular Creative Capital webinar called “Producing & Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign“, a session designed to highlight effective practices for community outreach and engagement for work that includes social justice content. 

We asked Stephanie a few questions about her own trajectory, and got her thoughts about how to raise awareness for socially engaged work in an increasingly competitive field: 

Hannah Fenlon: Your background is insanely diverse. How does the variety of work you’ve done and places you’ve been inform your work with artists? Continue reading

Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Presents “Wave & Particle”

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Wave & Particle: A group exhibition celebrating Creative Capital’s 15th anniversary
February 14 – March 21, 2015
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts
31 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10013
Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am-6pm; Monday by appointment
Reception: Saturday, February 14, 6-8pm

 

Featuring Creative Capital Awardees: Janine Antoni, Edgar Arceneaux, Heather Cassils, Patty Chang, Julia Christensen, Chris Doyle, Eric Dyer, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ken Gonzales-Day, Brent Green, Kelly Heaton, Shih Chieh Huang, Jennie C. Jones, Brian Knep, Simone Leigh (featuring Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts), Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Matthew Moore with Braden King, Carlos Motta, Jeanine Oleson and Laurie Jo Reynolds and Jean Casella, Karyn Olivier, Jason Salavon, Gregory Sale, Miriam Simun, Jesse Sugarmann, SuttonBeresCuller, Sam Van Aken, Quintan Ana Wikswo (list in formation)  

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The Barbara Hammer Gif Retrospective

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In celebration of a major exhibition of Barbara Hammer’s work at KOW Berlin, we have put together our own modest gif retrospective looking at some of this Creative Capital Artist’s most influential films. A pioneering lesbian avant-garde filmmaker, Barbara has been extremely prolific since she picked up a camera for the first time in her early thirties. She had a huge variety of issues to tackle that had never been dealt with in film, much less politics, literature or any other venue: feminine sexuality, homosexuality, gender roles, as well as coping with aging and death. Creative Capital supported her film “Resisting Paradise” in 2000—our very first award year.

Here are just a few of Barbara Hammer’s pioneering works, with gif excerpts.

Dyketactics! (1974)Dyketactics

Barbara is widely regarded as the first—and for a while, the only—lesbian avant-garde filmmaker. Her film Dyketactics! is full of imagery we have come to expect in feminist cinema, and have made works like A.K. Burn‘s “Community Action Center” possible, but at the time no one had seen anything like it.

“I was lucky when I made Dyketactics!,” Barbara said in a BOMB Magazine interview. “I didn’t realize that it was the first lesbian film made by a lesbian. I would have been so afraid and intimidated. Instead, I just burst out and let my energy carry me through my work… At the end of Dyketactics!, I showed a vagina on the screen and this man screamed, ‘AAAAAAAHHHH!’ All the women said, ‘Haven’t you seen that before?'”

In the above excerpt, you can see visual reference to Marcel Duchamp’s iconic Étant Donné. Continue reading

Two Weeks, Ten Events, One Mission: A Professional Development Program Recap

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Artist Todd Berman, who participated in our Strategic Planning & Funding workshop in San Francisco, drew this fantastic image of some of his fellow participants. Check out the rest of Todd’s “notes” here, as well as his website: TheArtDontStop.com

The Professional Development Program (PDP) has been busy the last few weeks. Between January 28th and February 4th, we held our first-ever workshop in Utah for documentary fellows of Sundance Institute, two west coast workshops with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and Southern Exposure in San Francisco (both sponsored by Tequila Herradura), and an Authentic Branding workshop with Maxine Lapiduss here in our New York City office. Kristin Feeley, Labs and Artist Support Director in the Documentary Film Program at Sundance Institute, encapsulated her observation of the workshop in Utah when she told us: “I’m a skeptic by nature but…damn. The fellows are rapt and this is great.”

PDP also hosted a group of artists at Creative Capital for a “Wine & Webinar” event featuring our “Kickstarter School” webinar, led by Kickstarter’s Director of Community Education Stephanie Pereira who was on hand for a live post-webinar Q&A. Finally, we conducted a Real Cost Budgeting webinar for Joan Mitchell Foundation artists.

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