The Seven Principles of Strategic Marketing


Artist leader Brian Tate leads a workshop on Strategic Marketing at this year’s Creative Capital Summer Intensive

Marketing is a term that often makes artists uneasy. 
It’s understandable, we are so often inundated with corporate messaging that feels cold, impersonal and profit driven.

However at its most basic, marketing is simply effective storytelling to a specific audience to drive a specific outcome. On Tuesday September 27 artist leader and marketing strategist Brian Tate will be leading our Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing webinar. This session will break down how artists can effectively and authentically deploy marketing theory in ways that help both them and the audience understand their work better. Register Here

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George Legrady’s 1973 Photographs of the Cree People Are Now Online


An Inuit woman, Maggie Ekoomiak, living in a Cree community in James Bay with artist George Legrady in the background

In 1973, 23-year old George Legrady (2002 Emerging Fields) was invited by the Cree indigenous communities to photograph their way of life. The Cree people were about to enter negotiations to dispute a dam project that would flood land they had lived on for millennia. Recently, George received funding to digitally archive these photographs. Looking at them, I found a striking similarity between that moment in 1973 and the one we are living in now, as 280 First Nations tribes have convened to protest the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota. Wanting to learn more, I asked George to select a few images and share his experience.

I am a digital media artist who has worked with integrating computation with conceptual art and photography since the mid-1980s. I received a Creative Capital award in 2002 for a project called Speaking/Sensing Space.

My first major project as an artist began in 1973, when I visited the James Bay Cree indigenous communities in northern Quebec. I took about 3,200 photos while living with the Cree over the course of 8 to 12 weeks (about 41 images a day). The return visits which took place with two McGill University ethnographers and my art colleague, Andres Burbano from Bogota, provided insight as to how a culture changes over time.

In 2012, I received a National Science Foundation Arctic Social Science grant to digitize the photographs and revisit the Cree to present the images back to the communities. Of the existing photos, I have digitized and archived about 700 to be used by the Cree and ethnographers. Below is a selection of 3 x 3 clusters of images from 1973 with anecdotal comments.
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Demystifying Public Art – The Basics

work no. 2630, understanding (2016)

Martin Creed, “Understanding”, 2016; Martin Creed Work No. 2630 UNDERSTANDING, 2016. Courtesy the artist, Gavin Brown’s enterprise New York/Rome, and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Jason Wyche, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY © Martin Creed 2016

Delving into public art can seem like a daunting process. Between finding public art commissions, creating effective portfolios, and working out the difference between RFQs (Requests for Qualifications) and RFPs (Requests for Proposals), it’s easy to get lost before you’ve really begun.

On Thursday September 22nd, visual artist Lynn Basa, will be leading the Creative Capital webinar Demystifying Public Art.  Lynn Basa is the author of The Artist’s Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions (2008),  and will be sharing from her extensive experience on all aspects of researching and applying for public art commissions. She will also tackle doubts and questions artists may have around the selection process, whether public art requires specific skills, and any lingering fears about the possibility of “selling out” by creating art for the general public. Register Here

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Artists Head to Kentucky for IdeaFestival

Jeffrey Gibson's 2014 exhibition at Marc Strauss Gallery

Jeffrey Gibson’s 2014 exhibition at Marc Strauss Gallery

IdeaFestival is an annual event based in Louisville, Kentucky where innovators across all fields come together to talk about how their work precipitates change. Every year IdeaFestival invites Creative Capital to present a session called “Art at the Edge.” This year’s panel, taking place on September 29, is an exciting opportunity to give a platform to some of the artists we support.

This year, our Executive Director Suzy Delvalle will be joined onstage by artists Jeffrey Gibson, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Shawn Peters and Phillip Andrews Lewis for the Creative Capital presentation.

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Internet for Artists: Ideas for Effective Blog Posts


A well curated artist blog can supplement your website, increase your audience’s understanding of your artistic practice and raise your online profile. But sometimes, just the idea of starting a blog can seem intimidating. How often has the question, “But what do I blog about” crossed your mind?

On Friday, September 16 at 7pm EST artist Sue Schaffer will be offering in-depth guidance on how to optimize your web presence through her Website, Blog and Email Essentials webinar, an overview of best practices for your website, blog, and email marketing and communications. 

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Notes on Notes, Trust and the Documentary Promise

Excerpt from the documentary "NUTS!" by Penny Lane

Excerpt from the documentary “NUTS!” by Penny Lane

Earlier this summer, filmmaker Penny Lane premiered her Creative Capital project, NUTS!, about a Great Depression-era doctor who claimed to have cured impotence by implanting goat testicles into his patients. In making the film, Penny has been considering truth-telling and how documentaries are affected by dramatic story telling and creative editing. Today, she launched NOTES ON NUTS!, a footnote-like website that offers a critical look at her film NUTS! as well as documentary-making itself. Penny sent us this essay on the continuation of her project.

Trust is paramount in nonfiction. Your audience needs to trust that you’re honoring the documentary promise—the promise to in some essential way tell the truth—and so does your subject. That trust is your most valuable currency. Violating it is a tricky business­­.

What I want to suggest today is that the practice of annotation is a powerful act of transparency that nonfiction filmmakers might adapt to great effect.

By creating NOTES ON NUTS!, a database of over 300 footnotes tied to my Creative Capital project NUTS!, I had the idea that I could create one case study in order to instigate a whole new conversation: what would happen if documentary filmmakers started to regularly use footnotes?

This is meant as a provocation to my field, maybe even a call to action. Certainly a call to debate. I hope people will look at NOTES ON NUTS! critically. It is a kind of pioneer work; its flaws will be instructive to the next filmmaker who dares tread here.

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Funds, Fellowships and Free Time: Upcoming Residency and Fellowship Opportunities

Aida Mahmudova’s studio, 2015. Courtesy YARAT Contemporary Art Space. Photo: Fakhriyya Mammadova.

Virginia Woolf stressed the importance of having a room of one’s own in order to tap into the creative productive spirit. We’ve gathered here some residencies and fellowships designed to give you just that – a dedicated, concentrated space to do your best creative work.

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Know Your Rights: A Tool for Artists

Spencer Tunick, Arrow To Washington, NYC, 1995. Gelatin silver print, 48x60 inches. Edition of 6.

Spencer Tunick, Arrow To Washington, NYC, 1995. Gelatin silver print, 48×60 inches. Edition of 6.

We spoke with Joy Garnett from the Arts Advocacy Project at the National Coalition Against Censorship about a new artist education tool, Artist Rights.

Jenny Gill: How did the Artist Rights site come to be? Who compiled the resources and research available there?

Joy Garnett: Artist Rights was created to address questions that artists may have about their rights under the First Amendment. The site is a collaboration between the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). Previously, NCAC put together an art law database with help from a lawyer and five law students, and the CDT had built a site to address artists’ online rights. The Artist Rights site brings together the content of these two resources into one cohesive, easily navigable site.

The impetus for creating Artist Rights was an incident involving an artist who received a letter demanding that their work, which included nudes, be removed from an exhibition in a public space. The letter contained legalese that the artist found confusing and intimidating; had he been able to penetrate the jargon, he might have realized that the assertions in the letter were incorrect and that he was well within his rights. And so the idea for the website was born. Continue reading

Looking Back at the Creative Capital Summer Intensive

This past weekend, artists from around the world and across the disciplines of visual, performing and literary arts gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Fisher building for the first ever Creative Capital Summer Institute (CCSI).

CCSI is a free, four-day professional development workshop and  a unique opportunity for artists from New York to Lusaka Zambia to collaborate, share best practices and learn from prominent leaders working and living as artists today.

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Thoughts from the 2016 Artist Retreat: Bringing Together the Art World


The Creative Capital is a huge production: with over 300 people attending and 80 artist presentations over the course of a weekend, we need some extra help. So, in the months leading up to the Retreat, we hire three Artist Services paid internship positions to assist with the event. One of them, Erin Carr, a student at NYU’s Arts Administration graduation program, wrote about her experience at the Retreat.

This summer, I spent my time as a Creative Capital Artist Services intern almost exclusively focused on preparing for the 2016 Artist Retreat at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, NY. My experience at the Retreat was rewarding and thought-provoking, and I am still sitting with the presentations, thinking over what I learned from an intensive week there. The Retreat brought together artists, arts administrators, curators, programmers, writers and other arts professionals around nearly 80 five-to-seven minute presentations by 2013, 2015, and 2016 Creative Capital awardees. Outside of the presentations, the Retreat allowed people from different disciplines and positions in the art world to make connections. For this weekend the event helped to dissolve the separation between administrators and artists.

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