Top, left to right: New York City Players, Nora Chipaumire, Thaddeus Phillips, Cloud Eye Control. Bottom, left to right: Yosvany Terry, Laura Arrington and Jesse Hewitt, luciana achugar, The Civilians.
The MAP Fund, administered by Creative Capital, supports artists, ensembles, producers and presenters whose contemporary performance work embodies a spirit of exploration and deep inquiry. With today’s announcement of 41 breathtaking projects that make up the 2013 round, we are pinching ourselves at the privilege of this work!
Thanks to the generous support of our funders, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MAP will provide $1.4 million in project-specific and (ever more rare) general operating cash grants. In a clear testament to the vibrancy of the field of contemporary experimental performance, the works were selected from among more than 800 proposals and reviewed by a small army of artists and arts professionals from all over the U.S. The result is a dream-team of composers, choreographers, playwrights, directors and performers who will, no doubt, teach us to believe the unbelievable and fathom the unfathomable. Continue reading →
Our friends at the Knight Foundation recently published this great article by Scott Cunningham on lessons learned in organizing a poetry festival for Miami-Dade County, an exceptionally diverse community of 2.6 million people. Scott and the Knight Foundation are putting these lessons to use as they prepare for the second O, Miami Poetry Festival, which will take place throughout the month of April in celebration of National Poetry Month.
Three years ago, a group of friends and I started to dream up what a lot of people considered impossible: a festival that would bring poetry to all 2.6 million residents of Greater Miami.
At that time, Miami’s cultural scene was exploding. Art Basel was in full force, and we wanted to do a festival that was the opposite of the “pipe-and-blazer” readings that most people associate with poetry. We wanted to do a festival that reflected Miami’s diversity and personality.
Last weekend, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, along with Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc. partnered with Creative Capital to offer a Professional Development Workshop to 24 artists from across the state of Florida who work in a variety of disciplines. This intensive two and a half days were a crash course in self-management, strategic planning, fundraising and promotion. The full weekend of lectures, peer critiques, one-on-one consultations and interactive exercises took place in the beautiful University Gallery and nearby classrooms at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Earlier this month, I shared a summary of the Community Engagement session that I moderated at the 2012 Grantmakers in the Arts conference. I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the issues around community-engaged work with Aaron Landsman, a theater artist and long-time workshop leader for Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program. Aaron has developed a one-day Real Community Engagement workshop for PDP that he recently conducted in Broward County, Florida. Here are excerpts from our conversation about some of the key issues and topics that came up at the GIA session:
Alyson: One of the session participants mentioned the necessity of “first, do no harm” in any organization or artist’s priorities when they are considering or planning to do a community-based project. What do you think about that?
Aaron: I do think that’s a great baseline, although it can also run the danger of being interpreted as “make everyone comfortable.”
There have historically been projects that purport to engage specific communities, but which may not come from a real expressed desire on the part of those communities to be engaged with, but rather are driven by the artist, funder or presenter. Those kinds of relationships can easily become patronizing or harmful to the very people with whom they are trying to ally.
On the flip side, presenting and creative partners sometimes become overly cautious against wanting to do something provocative or uncomfortable. And I think artists often can bring a valuable outside perspective to a community; even if it may not always be an easy fit, at least not at first, it can produce insight and reward if it’s handled well. Continue reading →
In October I attended the 2012 Grantmakers in the Arts conference in Miami Beach, where I organized and hosted a session on Community Engagement in partnership with Barbara S. Bacon and Pam Korza of Animating Democracy. This session was designed to extend conversations begun at the GIA Conference in 2011 about cultural equity and the role of grantmakers and artists in social justice and community-engaged work.
Socially-engaged artists face many challenges as they navigate complex circumstances in order to accomplish their visions. There are often multiple institutions, individuals and goals to be considered in projects that can extend over a number of years.
One of the key challenges identified in the session is long-term commitment. Building and sustaining deep relationships within communities takes time and commitment from both the artist and the presenting organization. Often cultural organizations that an artist is working with do not have the capacity to forge and maintain relationships that will help support the artist’s project and presence within a community, not to mention the resources to sustain follow-up with community partners beyond the end of the project. Continue reading →
Ken Gonzales-Day (2012 Visual Arts) is one of the Creative Capital grantees whose work is featured on the GIA website.
Throughout November and December, the Grantmakers in the Arts website photo banner will feature artists supported by Creative Capital! For a feature on their blog, the GIA staff asked us to tell them what we’re excited about right now. This is what we shared about trends that we are seeing in the field, the evolution of our approach to artist services, and what’s in store for Creative Capital in 2013:
Here at Creative Capital, we are currently in the panel review stage of our grant selection process for artists in Emerging Fields, Literature, and Performing Arts. In January, we will announce the 46 projects in our 2013 class of grantees, bringing the number of projects we’ve funded to 418, representing over 500 artists. One of the things we’ve seen in our last grant application round is that, more than ever, artists are breaking the boundaries of artistic disciplines in their work and stretching the definition of what would even be considered art. This is very exciting and reminds us that artists are innovators in the truest sense of the word. They cross disciplines and move our society forward, just like innovators in the sciences and the tech sector. We at Creative Capital feel strongly that it is our job to invest in artists who take risks with their work, creating critical cultural capital. Continue reading →
The Arts & Business Council in Nashville hosted its second Professional Development Program Core Weekend workshop for local artists in late September. The workshop has been described as a ”crash course in self-management, strategic planning, fundraising and promotion.” The ABC staff asked the participating artists what they learned, and compiled this amazing video of their feedback (click Play above to watch). We’re thrilled to hear that the artists walked away with so many practical tools!
In Columbus, OH, Steve Lambert, an Artist Leader for the Internet for Artists workshop, explains the importance of using Content Management Systems.
This past weekend marked our Professional Development Program’s 200th workshop! Since the program launched in 2003, we’ve presented PDP workshops with 87 community partners in 71 cities, and nearly 4,500 artists across the country have attended. PDP has been incredibly busy lately, with workshops in Puerto Rico, Ohio and North Dakota in the last weekend alone!
Creative Capital worked with Beta-Local to present our Spanish-language workshop, Taller Profesional de Desarollo para Artistas, for the second time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Continue reading →
2012 MAP Fund grantees The Body Cartography Project
The Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund, administered by Creative Capital, supports artists, ensembles, producers and presenters whose contemporary performance work embodies a spirit of exploration and deep inquiry. I’m so proud to say that today the MAP Fund announced—for the 24th consecutive year!—a roster of grantee projects that will make anyone interested in contemporary performance swoon. Thanks to the generous financial (not to mention moral) support of our funders, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MAP is supporting 41 projects this year, with $1,200,000 in cash grants. This is the highest amount MAP has ever had the privilege of distributing, with the average grant at $30,000 (up from $25,000), and typically accounting for 30 percent of a project’s budget.
Before a single artist even sets foot on a stage, there’s so much to applaud in these works. Reading through the project descriptions one can’t help but be inspired by the courage and tenacity of contemporary performance makers all across the country. Issues that can seem paralyzing when encountered in a headline are here approached with a subtlety and humanity that leave little room for despair. I think of Susan Narucki’s San Diego-based project, Cuatro Corridos, which is using music and poetry to look at human trafficking across the U.S.–Mexican border. Or Kamala Sankaram and Susan Yankowitz’s new work, The Thumbprint of Mukhtar Mai, which will make an opera of the story of the first woman in Pakistan to bring her rapists to justice through trial. Continue reading →
On February 23, Creative Capital’s Director of Programs & Initiatives, Sean Elwood, moderated a program session with three Creative Capital grantees at the College Art Association’s 2012 Conference in Los Angeles. Embedded: A Social Practice in the Neighborhood included presentations and discussion with Cesar Cornejo (2009 Emerging Fields), Mario Ybarra, Jr. (2008 Film/Video) and Ted Purves (2005 Visual Arts). The artists each talked about their practices using their Creative Capital-supported projects (and others) to illustrate their experiences in working closely with communities to bring about change through creative engagement, embedding themselves in particular neighborhoods to realize social goals, build networks and affect cultural practices.