Summer is a great time to take a break from your art practice. But it’s also the time when you want to start applying for fall residencies. Artists never rest! To make your work a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of residencies that offer stipends or are free to attend. From a residency for culinary artists to one for community activists, there’s something for everyone!
Artist Dread Scott leading a Creative Capital workshop.
The following post is adapted from artist Dread Scott’s upcoming webinar, Creating a Marketing Strategy, which covers all aspects of marketing your work, including defining your goals, developing effective communication tactics, and building your support community. Below are Dread’s tips for getting your crew of supporters together.
Like everything you do as an artist and a person, your marketing strategy should start with stating your goals. What are you trying to achieve with your efforts? The answers to this question could be “cultivate a funder,” “build an online community,” “sell more tickets,” or “announce a project.” While the objectives vary as much as the creative process, the key is to match your tactics with your goals.
Artist and Creative Capital grantee Jen Bervin at work. This image of her is featured on her artist website.
Your website should be completely dedicated to you and your work. Think of it as a studio visit or a reading where you are not present. A visitor to the site should be able to find all of the information they need – including images of your work (in detail if needed), excerpts from your writing, information about your career, a bio and/or statement, and any relevant press or reviews. They should be able to get press releases or printable images, find your contact information, and learn about your upcoming public events and projects. It is a tool to communicate with your audience as well as allow them to communicate with you. It can also be used to promote the work of fellow artists, social causes, or keep people up to date with your process.
A well-designed, functional website is a great promotional tool for both emerging and mid-career artists. On Thursday, June 16th, 2016 at 7pm EST, artist Sue Schaffner presents her “Website, Blog & Email Essentials” webinar, an overview of best practices for your website, blog, and email marketing and communications. In order to teach by example, we’ve included some of our favorite artist websites and note what’s working.
Penny Lane is a filmmaker who focuses on lesser-known histories as a means of reconsidering current issues. So, it’s no surprise that she took an interest in the little known tale of John Romulus Brinkley, a man who gained national fame and fortune after curing impotence in the early 1900s, inventing the informercial and dismissed his critics as “the establishment.” NUTS!, Penny’s Creative Capital-supported project, has already received accolades in film festivals like Sundance and Rotterdam. It premieres June 22 at Film Forum in New York, followed by a release in other major cities. We caught up with Penny to ask her a few questions about the project.
Alex Teplitzky: The Guardian calls the film’s plot “a story so odd you’ll wonder why you haven’t heard it before.” How did you come across it?
Penny Lane: Like all good things, I found the story of John Romulus Brinkley in a public library. I stumbled on Charlatan by Pope Brock—a really terrific book—and was hooked pretty much right away. As a nonfiction filmmaker I’m constantly scanning for stories, and in my case those stories almost always come from reading. (I suppose for some other filmmakers the stories come from traveling, or talking to people. I like to sit alone and read books; sue me).
And as I began telling friends about this amazing story, about “a guy who used to implant goat testicles into dudes to cure impotence,” I was amazed that a lot of people would ask, “Well… did it work?”
No, of course it didn’t! But I began to think about how much people want to believe in miracle cures. The weirder the better, really. How “one weird trick to melt belly fat” is way better click-bait than “eat less to lose weight.” Who doesn’t sometimes wish the world was more interesting, more magical, more colorful than it really is?
As an artist it’s important to build a path to greater sustainability and self-sufficiency. Our Professional Development Program works to create workshops that serve artists’ needs and help them reach their goals on their own terms.
This summer we are launching the Creative Capital Summer Intensive—a free, four-day professional development workshop for 40 New York City area artists in all disciplines—and we want you to apply. (Deadline: June 27) The Summer Intensive offers a unique opportunity for artists to receive arts-focused professional training in strategic planning, verbal communications, marketing and promotion, web skills, financial management and business.
The Summer Intensive is supported by BAM’s Education & Humanities department with participation by DanceMotion USA℠. The event will be held on August 10-13 at BAM Fisher in Brooklyn, New York.
Due to high demand, eligible participants will be selected through a lottery process. In order to be included in the lottery, artists must complete the online registration form before June 27.
For complete program details, including eligibility requirements and access to the registration form, click here.
Working with several advocates for the decriminalization of sex work, the Center for Artistic Activism took over the controversial sculpture “Perceiving Freedom” in Cape Town. Photo by Steve Lambert.
Interested in launching a socially engaged art campaign? Curious how successful artists have pulled it off? Stephanie Bleyer is an expert in community engagement campaigns and founder of the firm Six Foot Chipmunk, where she helps artists across disciplines create strategic plans, raise funds, and reach and mobilize new audiences. On Thursday June 9th, 2016, she will lead the webinarProducing & Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign, an essential for artists’ projects involving social justice, education, public art, or community building. Adapted from Stephanie’s webinar, the following information pairs best practices with action-oriented case studies.
Ruby Lerner receiving an honorary doctorate from MICA.
This May is Ruby Lerner’s final month as Executive Director of Creative Capital. How fitting that, this month, she also received honorary degrees and delivered the commencement addresses at two major art school graduations: first at Maine College of Art (MECA), and then at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). As Ruby “graduates” from Creative Capital, we wanted to share some of her advice to the MECA and MICA undergrads with artists in our community. Continue reading →
‘Daisy’ by Pascual Sisto (2016) HD video, 7:02, loop. Image courtesy of Pascual Sisto, from bitforms exhibition “Temporary Highs” curated by Lindsay Howard
No artist lives in a vacuum. Even though the art world is increasingly competitive, it’s possible to share helpful information about how to make your art practice succeed. That’s why we’re starting a series called “Pass It On,” where we ask people to share what has worked for them to get ahead in the art world. We’ll hear from artists and curators in all mediums including digital, visual and film, as well as all around the country.
For our first post, we hear from independent curator Lindsay Howard, who was on the selection committee for Creative Capital’s 2016 Emerging Fields category. A new exhibition she curated, entitled Temporary Highs, will open at bitforms gallery in New York on June 2ndand remain on view through July 31st.
Your gallery works for you, not the other way around. They’re there to offer guidance but ultimately you “own” the decisions around your work, which means educating yourself on materials, fabrication techniques, marketing and brand development, the art market, and who’s who in the collector world.
Add influential curators, gallery directors, and collectors to your mailing list. We want to know what’s on your mind, what’s happening in your studio, and what shows you have coming up. I appreciate receiving the occasional email blast because it reminds me of an artist, and keeps them fresh in my mind for exhibitions, commissions, and interviews.
On June 3, Mark Elijah Rosenberg’s Creative Capital-supported film, Approaching the Unknown, will be released theatrically in ten cities (see list at bottom of post), and available on-demand. The story follows Captain William D. Stanaforth (played by Mark Strong), an astronaut on a one-way solo mission: taking humanity’s first steps toward colonizing Mars. Although the entire world is watching him, he is completely alone in a dark and distant sea of stars. Stanaforth rockets bravely through space facing insurmountable odds, but as the journey takes a toll on his life-sustaining systems, he is forced to make impossible choices that threaten his sanity, mission and very existence.
Approaching the Unknown received the Creative Capital award in 2012. I connected with Mark to learn more about the evolution of this ambitious project and struggles encountered along the way.
Jenny Gill: Approaching the Unknown is (obviously) a work of fiction, but you mentioned in your presentation at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat that there are elements of your personal life experience and desires in the story. Can you talk about the balance between the personal and the imagined in your writing?
Mark Elijah Rosenberg: No, it’s not fiction—we really sent a man alone on a one-way mission in space! Or at least, that would’ve been easier and quicker.
Approaching the Unknown is about an astronaut on a journey to set up a colony on Mars. He knows he’s never coming back to Earth, and he’ll be alone for a while, but within a few years he’ll be joined by dozens then hundreds of other people. There are some lines of voice over that never made it into the film where Stanaforth, the astronaut, relates his experience to that of his grandfather, immigrating to America, and his ship being just like a boat sailing across the Atlantic. But is that the comforting story we tell ourselves so we can do something adventurous, or is it naive and hubristic to think any worthwhile adventure in life can ever be a cakewalk? That’s the line Stanaforth is walking, and it’s a line anyone with ambition has to balance upon. What’s brave and what’s stupid? To do anything amazing, you do need experience and knowledge and confidence. But at a certain point, you also need to push yourself into the new, the unknown, the frightening. Continue reading →
An artist at The Headlands Center for the Arts. Image Credit: Headlands Center for the Arts.
Sometimes the resource you need to create is a good bout of uninterrupted time, which in our ceaseless schedules can become a luxury—costly and elusive. Residencies and grants reinvigorate neglected practices and can provide the final push for an ambitious project. We’ve scoped out some opportunities for artists and writers to find solitude and support all around the country. The deadlines are approaching soon!