Outdoor Performance “Cry You One” Celebrates Land, People, Culture and Sustainable Living

Cry You One cast photo. Photo by Melisa Cardona.

Cry You One cast photo. Photo by Melisa Cardona.

This week, New Orleans-based performance companies Mondo Bizarro and Art Spot Productions (2013 Performing Arts) launch the national tour of their site-responsive performance, Cry You One, at the Clear Creek Festival Grounds in Rockcastle County, KY. Cry You One is an outdoor performance and online platform inspired by the disappearing wetlands of Southeast Louisiana. Part song, part story, part procession for our lost land, Cry You One utilizes the unique music and stories of Louisiana to inspire connections between people working to steward the natural world wherever they live.

I spoke with Mondo Bizarro’s Nick Slie, one of the leading artists on the project, about the story behind Cry You One, adapting the work for the Kentucky presentation, and the national tour of the work.

Jenny Gill: Cry You One was originally developed to celebrate and mourn the disappearing wetlands of your native Southern Louisiana. Now, you’re touring it to other regions. What has your process been for adapting Cry You One to the Appalachian setting outside of Berea, KY? Was it a challenge to create characters for the performance that hold the same relevance for you personally as the original characters for the Louisiana iteration?

Nick Slie: The best way I can explain this is to take you back a couple of years. In 2009, I attended my first Clear Creek Festival. The festival is an annual, multi-disciplinary event, now in its 12th year, that brings several hundred Kentuckians from rural and urban communities together with artist-activists and other great people from throughout the south and across the country. The intention of the Festival is sharing good music and art, building community, and inspiring all of us to live more sustainably—in harmony with nature and with one another. Started by the renowned singer Mitch Barrett over ten years ago, the festival features nationally recognized music and theater acts next to edible food walks and rocket fuel workshops. Continue reading

Yaelle Amir Curates Art Exhibition on Our Prison Systems

Untitled (from Lockdown)

Dread Scott – Untitled (from Lockdown), 2000-04

What would a prisoner’s dream home look like? Which news publications would an inmate subscribe to? To Shoot a Kite, an exhibition at the CUE Art Foundation on view through August 2, begins with questions like these and proceeds to open a world previously unknown to anyone who has never experienced the prison system. The show, organized by curator Yaelle Amir, examines several projects—including two by Creative Capital artists, Dread Scott (2001 Visual Arts) and Laurie Jo Reynolds (2013 Emerging Fields)—that expose the “abject state of the incarcerated.” As an increasingly significant portion of the American population lives behind bars, an exhibition like this takes on obvious importance. We spoke to Amir to get a better sense of her inspiration.

Alex Teplitzky: The essay you wrote for the show starts off with the character, Alex, from Sesame Street, whose father is incarcerated. Was it this character or something else that gave you the idea for an art show about prison inmates?  

Yaelle Amir: I have been studying the issue of mass incarceration in the U.S. for a long while and had the idea of developing an exhibition about it a couple of years ago, after I became increasingly aware of the existence of many creative initiatives to raise awareness and provide services to prisoners, such as Jackie Sumell and Herman Wallace’s collaboration, Temporary Services, and Laurie Jo Reynolds’ various efforts through Tamms Year Ten to connect with incarcerated men and women. My knowledge of Alex from Sesame Street came later, through initial research for the exhibition. Discovering this character really brought this issue home for me, making it evermore clear that mass incarceration affects a broad segment of the American population.

Continue reading

Artist to Artist: Documentary Filmmakers Marshall Curry & Penny Lane

Penny Lane and Marshall Curry

Penny Lane and Marshall Curry

As part of our “Artist to Artist” interview series, Marshall Curry (2008 Film/Video) and Penny Lane (2012 Film/Video) connected over the phone to talk about their past and current documentary film projects. The following is an edited excerpt from their conversation. You can listen online to the full podcast, or subscribe through iTunes.

Penny: Hello! Where are you calling from, Marshall?

Marshall: My office in Park Slope.

Penny: Oh, you’re in Brooklyn. Neat!

Marshall: Where are you?

Penny: I’m in Waterville, NY, which is about five hours north and west of where you are right now. I moved to central New York this past summer for a teaching job. Continue reading

Photo Gallery: ArtServe Michigan Presents PDP Workshops in Ann Arbor and Detroit

Aaron Landsman of Creative Capital listening in on a question on artist community engagement. Photo Credit: Sarah Nesbitt, ArtServe Michigan

Creative Capital workshop leader Aaron Landsman taking questions about artist-community engagement at the workshop in Ann Arbor.

This week, more than 40 artists participate in two Professional Development Program (PDP) workshops in Ann Arbor and Detroit, MI, hosted by ArtServe Michigan. The first workshop, presented in partnership with the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, takes place on July 17 and is a one-day intensive focusing on Strategic Planning and Community Engagement. The second is a Core Skills Weekend Workshop for the 2014 Kresge Fellows, taking place from July 18-20 in Detroit. Continue reading

Quintan Ana Wikswo and Arturo Vidich on Degenerate Art Ensemble’s Blog

"The Daedalus Effect and other dilemmas," New York Live Arts off-site at The Invisible Dog Art Center, 2013 (photo: Ian Douglas)

“The Daedalus Effect and other dilemmas,” New York Live Arts off-site at The Invisible Dog Art Center, 2013 (photo: Ian Douglas)

Degenerate Art Ensemble (2013 Performing Arts) recently invited Quintan Ana Wikswo (2013 Emerging Fields) to write for their blog every day for 14 days. In the fifth post of this series, Quintan sat down with fellow Creative Capital Artist Arturo Vidich (2013 Performing Arts) to discuss their “underworlds, undergrounds, and innerworlds to communicate with what’s been erased, banished, exiled, excluded, hidden, contained.” You can read the original essay on Degenerate Art Stream. Continue reading

Jake Yuzna on Curating “NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial”

MAD Interview

FROM LEFT: “Ghost Food” by Miriam Simun; Elaine Tin Nyo; Faye Driscoll; and Meredith Monk

This summer the Museum of Arts and Design in New York is hosting an ambitious biennial featuring New York City’s makers, craftspeople and artisans. The exhibition, NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial, includes a vast range of artists and designers from the visual to the culinary arts, and often straddles boundaries of multiple disciplines. Included in the show are Creative Capital Awardees Elaine Tin Nyo (2013 Emerging Fields), Faye Driscoll (2013 Performing Arts), Meredith Monk (2000 Performing Arts), Miriam Simun (2013 Emerging Fields) and Natalie Jeremijenko (2013 Emerging Fields), and the exhibition’s head Curator is another Awardee, filmmaker Jake Yuzna (2012 Film/Video). Among other things, Yuzna spoke to us about how he was able to curate the show and simultaneously achieve the main goal of the exhibition: to give the community a voice.

Alex Teplitzky: What about DIY/Maker culture—and specifically New York maker culture—interests you? Why is it important to do this show now? What makes this city so appealing and special to generate and foster a network of makers?

Jake Yuzna: NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial approaches the term “maker” in a very broad way. Although “maker” is often associated with “maker faire” and DIY engineering/technology culture, MAD seeks to expand this to include any cultural producer who directly creates their own work. NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial is much closer to a survey of cultural production in NYC than just looking at alternative technology or engineering. With the Biennial, the goal was to present all of cultural production, from the more “blue chip” forms that are associated with fine arts alongside those disciplines that are often unrecognized, like craftspeople or tradespeople. To me it’s a fascinating grand experiment, this kind of approach. It really puts all of culture together on a level continuum in order to recognize it in all its many forms. It moves past questions like “is it art?” “is it design?”, etc, etc, and towards a sweeping and inclusive approach to culture. 

Continue reading

Video: Emily Johnson at the 2013 Creative Capital Retreat

Emily Johnson (2013 Performing Arts) presented her project Shore at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat last summer. Shore is a multi-day performance/installation of dance, volunteerism, feasting and storytelling. The project develops in each venue over an extended period of time, requiring conversation and collaboration amongst organizations. Shore begins with a feast, followed by a night of curated storytelling. You can watch more artist presentations from the Retreat on our Vimeo channel.

PDP Spanish-Language Workshop in Philadelphia: A “taller” at Taller

Photo from a Taller Puertorriqueño event

Photo courtesy of Taller Puertorriqueño

Taller means workshop in Spanish, so it was apropos that Creative Capital hold a Taller profesional de desarollo para artistas at Taller Puertorriqueño (or Taller for short) in April in Philadelphia. Known as “The Cultural Heart of Latino Philadelphia,” Taller is a community-based multidisciplinary arts organization whose work bridges European, African, Caribbean and Latino societies and cultures. They offer programs for youth and adults, operate art galleries featuring Latino/a artists, run the region’s only bilingual bookstore, sponsor musical and theater events and organize a range of engaging cultural art education programs. Currently on exhibition (through July 24) is The Iconography of Meaning which explores contemporary cultural imagery used to convey ideas and thoughts about cultural identity, politics and the immigrant experience.  Continue reading

Creative Capital Featured in Los Angeles Confidential Magazine

Creative Capital Artists

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Daniel Roumain and Dread Scott at the 2013 Creative Capital benefit and auction; still from Miwa Matreyek’s “This World Made Itself;” Creative Capital board member and gallerist Ronald Feldman with a stereoscopic viewer made by artist Eve Sussman; “Edge of Twilight 5,” 2010, by Connie Samaras; still from Kristina Wong’s “Going Green the Wong Way;” “Heizer Detroit City Complex,” 2014, by Edgar Arceneaux

Creative Capital was the subject of a feature article by Michael Ventre in the Summer 2014 issue of Los Angeles Confidential Magazine. See below for a short excerpt and click here to read the full article online.

… Creative Capital supports artists by using venture-capital principles. Each year it sorts through applications from creative types in a wide variety of art disciplines and hands out grants of up to $50,000 in direct funding. But it doesn’t cut ties as soon as the check clears. Instead, Creative Capital provides development services and support, working with artists over a period of months—even years—to ensure that they can attain their visions. Continue reading

Put Your Name On Our New Office!

This spring we moved to a new office in NYC, thanks to the continued generosity of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. It is truly a dream come true, bringing all of our programs together under one roof, with room for events, presentations of artists’ work, co-working space for awardees, and a New York home for our Professional Development Program workshops. 

We see this as a community space, and we want you to put your name all over it! Literally. Throughout July, we are asking you to name everything in the office, from the staplers to the conference rooms to our fax machine from 1999, with opportunities starting at just $15! Continue reading