Artists Raising Kids: Thoughts On How to Have it All

Andrew Simonet & Family

Choreographer Andrew Simonet, his wife Elizabeth, and their sons Nico Wolf & Jesse Tiger. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Simonet)

On September 29th, choreographer (and parent) Andrew Simonet will present “Artists Raising Kids,” a webinar dedicated to helping current and future parents navigate this exciting journey. 

This summer, Creative Capital conducted a survey entitled “Artists-As-Parents” to find out more about how working artists sustain their practice while also being busy parents (or prepare themselves to do so as parents-to-be). We received nearly 600 responses, giving us a good idea of the profile of artist-parents in our network, the challenges they face, and the strategies they use to maximize their time and productivity. Some responses that stood out:

“I was repeatedly told by curators and other artists as I raised my kids that ‘we don’t have time for people who aren’t serious’ and ‘well, obviously you chose a family over a career’… Artists like to think of themselves as politically sensitive and aware. In reality, when it comes to age, kids, or class they reveal significant prejudices.” (Anonymous)

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Creative Capital Edition: Connie Samaras, “Edge of Twilight”

Connie Samaras, "Edge of  Twilight (1)," 2011-14 . Creative Capital 2014 Edition (edition of 150). 10" x 12.5" digital print on 11" x 17" paper. Price: $500.

Connie Samaras, “Edge of Twilight (1),” 2011-14 . Creative Capital 2014 Edition (edition of 150). 10″ x 12.5″ digital print on 11″ x 17″ paper. Price: $500.

Every year, we partner with a Creative Capital Artist to create a special project or edition for our Benefit & Auction. This year, for our 15th Anniversary Benefit, which takes place in New York on October 21, we are thrilled to offer a stunning photo by Connie Samaras (2012 Visual Arts) to everyone who purchases a Premium Benefit Ticket ($500). The image is from Edge of Twilight, a series of photos and videos shot at an all woman, predominantly lesbian, RV retirement community located in the U.S. Southwestern desert. Samaras shot close-ups of the RV homes on film late at night under the park’s safety lights, capturing eerie, somewhat unearthly light and colors.

Samaras, who is based in Los Angeles, recently had a major survey of her work dealing with the future imaginaries of global capital, Tales of Tomorrow, at the Armory in Pasadena. The exhibition was accompanied by a beautiful catalogue funded by the Warhol foundation and available through DAP/artbook. I connected with Connie to learn more about her Creative Capital edition and the Edge of Twilight series.

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Creative Capital Artists Are Everywhere this Fall!

Dohee Lee (Performing Arts 2013), whose Creative Capital Project "The Mago Project" premieres this November in San Francisco

Dohee Lee (2013 Performing Arts), whose Creative Capital Project “The Mago Project” premieres this November in San Francisco

We’re so proud of how busy our artists are in this, our 15th Anniversary Year! As you’ll see below, they’re truly taking over the film, art and performing arts worlds throughout the rest of the year, across the United States and as far abroad as the Netherlands and South Korea. For full listings, check out our online calendar, where you can browse by state and discipline, and follow us on Twitter at @creativecap for even more Creative Capital Artist events and news.

—September 17 – October 19: Stephen Vitiello presents a solo exhibition at American Contemporary in New York
—September 18 – 20: Jesse Sugarmann presents We Build Excitement in the TBA Festival at The Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) in Portland, OR
—September 18 – 21: Faye Driscoll, Janie Geiser and Miwa Matreyek participate in The On Edge Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara
—September 19 – 25: Sam Cullman’s Art & Craft premieres at the Angelika and other venues in New York
—September 20 – January 1: Simone Leigh, Xenobia Bailey and Otabenga Jones & Associates participate in Creative Time’s Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn at various venues in Brooklyn Continue reading

Social Media: Small Tips for Big Impact

Eve Mosher, HighWaterLine

Eve Mosher at work on her “HighWaterLine” project in New York City. To raise awareness about climate change, Mosher painted chalk lines showing where sea levels are predicted to rise to in neighborhoods throughout New York.

On Monday, September 22nd at 7:00 pm EST, Eve Mosher will present her Creative Capital webinar Social Media—How to Be Everywhere All the Time.

Many people have mixed feelings about social media, but the bottom line is that it can be a useful tool for artists. Like any other tool we use to share, show or promote our work, social media has the ability to connect more people to the work we are creating as well as to provide greater support for our work. I myself reluctantly came to social media about 7 or 8 years ago. I quickly learned that it was, in fact, a pretty interesting and amazing tool, and since then I’ve learned a few things from trial and error and I’ve learned from others as I share my experience through Professional Development workshops and webinars. Here are a few tips for thinking about social media:

Do’s:

Be yourself. Let your personality come through in your posts, images and comments. Our culture has changed and the lines between professional and personal are blurred. People want to know more about the person behind the creative work produced. Let your life seep in. Continue reading

Grants & Residencies for Writers: Giving Your Work Some Space

Participants in a Creative Capital workshop in IowaOn Thursday, September 18th at 7:00 pm EST, Ethan Nosowsky will present his Creative Capital webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers.

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

“Born to Fly” Filmmaker Catherine Gund Interviews Elizabeth Streb

Elizabeth Steb vs. Gravity

STREB Extreme performing FORCES

As part of our “Artist to Artist” interview series, filmmaker Catherine Gund spoke with choreographer Elizabeth Streb (2000 Performing Arts) about their new film “Born to Fly,” the human condition and making every breath count. The following is an edited excerpt from their conversation. You can listen online to the full podcast, or subscribe through iTunes.

Catherine Gund: So, I’m Catherine Gund. I just made a movie called Born To Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity, which premieres at Film Forum in New York on September 10. I’m here with the one and only Elizabeth Streb, and the two of us are going to have a conversation about what it was like to make the movie, why we did it, what we think it achieved—or didn’t achieve—and what people might get out of it. But I think we should just start with what maybe you thought, at the very beginning, about the idea of making a movie, having a movie made. What did you imagine it might be? Because I know, no matter what your answer is, it was not what it ended up being.

Elizabeth Streb: Well, for one, I was extremely excited and inspired because I know that you were around STREB and SLAM [Streb’s school and creative center], both with your children and yourself for years and years and years, so it wasn’t someone coming in that I didn’t know from the outside. I felt that you would have the worm’s eye view, the eagle’s eye view, the human eye view straight on, from the bottom up, from the top down. And I completely trusted that however you saw the story of STREB leading up to the London Olympics [where Streb staged public performances on London landmarks], I completely trusted. And I don’t think I, in my mind, fabricated what it would be like, at all.  Continue reading

Taraneh Hemami Organizes Pop-Up Bazaar Exploring Iranian Political Activism

Ali Dadgar, "Revolusign" installation view, 2014, mixed media on panel

Ali Dadgar, “Revolusign” installation view, 2014, mixed media on panel

Taraneh Hemami (2012 Visual Arts) premieres her Creative Capital-supported project, Theory of Survival: Fabrications, at Southern Exposure in San Francisco, September 5 – October 25. Drawing inspiration from a traditional Persian marketplace, Fabrications takes the form of a pop-up bazaar featuring work by 12 California-based Iranian artists exploring decades of collective activism and revolutionary actions inside Iran and in its larger diaspora. Within a labyrinth of niches and patterned archways designed by the H. Majd Design Group, the Fabrications bazaar is a site for gathering and exchange focused on Iranian political and cultural historical moments. Market booths overflow with handcrafted and manufactured objects; a library boasts a growing collection of publications and archives; and a teahouse becomes a stage for performances, games and storytelling. Continue reading

Real-Life Budgeting: Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist

Andrew Simonet in Headlong Dance Theater's performance work, "Hotel Pool"
Andrew Simonet in Headlong Dance Theater’s performance work, “Hotel Pool”

On Monday, September 15th at 7:00pm EST, Andrew Simonet presents the Creative Capital webinar “Real-Life Budgeting.”

Stereotypes about artists not knowing how to manage money are common. Some are even rooted in a grain of truth. But most of the time it’s not that artists are actually bad with their money, it’s that artists practice a profession in which making art and making a living are not emphasized as parallel endeavors. But they should be, and Simonet’s webinar is an introductory course that unites these two important pursuits for practicing artists.

From 1993 until 2012, Simonet was the co-founder and choreographer of the Philadelphia’s Headlong Dance Theater company (2002 Performing Arts grantees), which is known for producing works that comment on contemporary culture. During that span of time as co-founder and choreographer, Simonet had the distinct honor of making a living as an artist who created experimental dance theater. Continue reading

Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Art+Housing Collaborative Offers Affordable Housing & Art Space in Chicago

Dorchester Art+Housing Collaborative in Chicago

Dorchester Art+Housing Collaborative in Chicago

Seven years ago, Creative Capital Artist Theaster Gates (2012 Visual Arts) bought his home in Chicago’s South Side; by 2010, he had completed Dorchester Projects, renovating several other properties in the area and turning them into artist and cultural hubs, and founded his own non-profit, Rebuild Foundation, which revives neighborhoods by restoring underused spaces and creating opportunities for engagement. Now, Theaster and Rebuild are embarking on an even more ambitious project: Dorchester Art+Housing Collaborative (DA+HC), made up of an art center and 32 refurbished townhouses open to mixed-income artists, is creating a tight-knit community of creative people who are expected to “collaborate with their neighbors and with Rebuild Foundation.” Jeffreen Hayes, Director of the Rebuild Foundation, told us, “At DA+HC, the spirit of collaboration is at the heart of the project! Rebuild is in a fortunate position of dreaming right along with our founder and working to stabilize, revitalize, and transform many urban communities. Access to affordable and safe housing is a big issue in Chicago for many people. We do hope to create more housing opportunities that will fulfill a need.”

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