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.