When Ruby was working with Arch Gillies on founding Creative Capital, Ruby stipulated that she have the ability to run a retreat for each round of artists. She foresaw that this would become the most important part of Creative Capital’s mission.
15 years later, it is clear that Ruby was correct! After every grant round, we bring the new artists and over 200 arts professionals (gallerists, curators, arts writers, and other arts organizers) to a campus outside of New York for a weeklong gathering where they can present their projects, talk about their needs, and learn how to successfully build their art career. This year, we’re at Rensaeller University and the artists will present their projects at the state-of-the-art theater EMPAC.
We call it a Retreat, but it turns out to be anything but. Ruby admitted during the first day, “We’re cheating when we call it a retreat.” Creative Capital artist Titus Kaphar agreed: “I’m going to need a retreat after this retreat. It’s more like a conference.”
Imagine summer camp for artists: the first three days are actually what we call the “pre-retreat.” This is where the new round of 2015 artists–this year in the categories of Moving Image and Visual Arts–get to know one another, rehearse their presentations, and begin to feel comfortable in their environment before the real action starts. We also invite marketing strategists, audience developers, social media experts, and business management gurus to offer courses for the artists. Plus: bowling. This year the dorms are across the street from Uncle Sam Lanes.
On Thursday evening, the 200 arts professionals arrive and presentations begin. Each artist has 7 minutes to present their Creative Capital projects. We also invite some of the previous grantees to present their projects and talk about their updates. Some are still working on their projects, and others have finished. For instance, this year, we’re excited to have Paul Beatty read from his Creative Capital project, The Sellout, which was recently published and garnered tons of rave reviews!
The artists end their presentations talking about what they need to finish their project: more money, film festival connections, producers, assistants or emotional support, and so on. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for real time updates, and info on the presentations. It’s gonna be great!
Oh yeah, kids can come to. Here’s Jeff Malmberg with his daughter Mira.
Dusk over the Hudson.