Photo Gallery: Creative Capital Hosts Strategic Planning Workshop for 33 NYC Artists

Colleen Keegan at Creative Capital Workshop

Workshop leader Colleen Keegan welcomes artist participants with an introduction to Strategic Planning.

“It’s not about working harder, it’s about working differently.”
-Workshop Leader Colleen Keegan, Strategic Planning Workshop

“Oh to have more of this. It has made me deliciously happy!”
-Rebecca Darlington, Artist Participant, Strategic Planning Workshop

On Tuesday, December 2nd, 33 artist participants gathered at Creative Capital in New York City’s Financial District for an evening of Strategic Planning. Led by Colleen Keegan and Ela Troyano, this Professional Development Program (PDP) workshop lays the foundation for creating a strategic plan: including (but not limited to) time management, budgeting and networking. Over the course of three hours, artist participants focused on the early stages of their plans, with a directive to form small teams in order to hold each other accountable for their progress moving forward. Continue reading

Lessons in Sustainability: Five Questions for Sharon Louden

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua

Sharon Louden teaches at the Chautauqua Institution.

This winter, artist Sharon Louden hosts her first four-part webinar series: How to Approach, Engage & Communicate with Galleries, Museums & the People You Want to Know. This series is now sold out, but stay tuned for information about more webinars with Sharon in the spring and fall! Interested in hearing about upcoming dates or joining the waitlist for this series? Email us!

Sharon is also the editor of the 2013 compilation, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists, which offers realistic insight into how artists juggle their creative lives with the everyday needs of making a living. 

We had the opportunity to ask Sharon five questions about how she manages to sustain her own practice, and what she’s learned along the way.  Continue reading

The Art of Conversation: Five Questions for Moira Brennan


Moira Brennan leads a session at the Theatre Communications Group National Conference in 2010.

Moira Brennan is an arts writer and Program Director of the MAP Fund. On Monday, January 19, she will host a live, online discussion with cultural producer and performance curator Caleb Hammons. This webinar is the first performing arts edition of our Conversations Inside series. To be a part of the conversation, register here.

We had a chance to ask Moira some questions about her upcoming webinar series, in addition to a few things we just wanted her opinion on:
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Announcing the 2015 Creative Capital Artists: $4,370,000 Awarded to 46 Moving Image and Visual Arts Projects

Creative Capital's 2015 awardees

Creative Capital is pleased to announce its 2015 awardees in the categories of Moving Image and Visual Arts, representing a total of 46 funded projects selected from a nationwide pool of more than 3,700 proposals. Drawing on venture-capital principles, Creative Capital seeks out artists’ projects that are bold, innovative and genre-stretching, then surrounds those artists with the tools they need to realize their visions and build sustainable careers.

The 2015 Creative Capital Artists are an incredible group of creative thinkers, representing 50 artists at all stages of their careers with an age range of 28 to 80 years old. They hail from 13 states plus Puerto Rico and Canada; more than half are women, and more than half identify as non­-European American. Each funded project receives up to $50,000 in direct funding, plus additional resources and advisory services valued at $45,000, making the organization’s total 2015 investment more than $4,370,000.  Continue reading

The Creative Capital Award – Who Helps Us Decide?


Today, we announced the 2015 Creative Capital Artists in Moving Image and Visual Arts. We could not be more excited about the 46 new funded projects—an incredibly diverse group hailing from 13 states plus Puerto Rico and Canada. We’ve arrived at this day thanks in huge part to the work of our valued colleagues who help us select each group of Creative Capital Artists. While we worked with more than 100 consultants during the ten-month process, two consultants advised us during the entire award round, reviewing submissions at every stage. I asked Mike Plante (Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival and our Program Consultant for Moving Image) and Dean Daderko (Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and our Program Consultant for Visual Arts) a few questions about what it was like to work with Creative Capital on the process.

Lisa Dent: What motivated you to work with Creative Capital as a Program Consultant for this award round?

Mike PlanteMike Plante: Everyone wants to help artists and filmmakers make a project but it’s difficult to know how to actually do it. Creative Capital has made the blueprint. It’s rare to give filmmakers and artists money with few strings attached, but that is exactly what CC does. To be part of a process that finds amazing artists across the country, discuss their ideas and the path they are on – and to then give them not only financial help but real-world advice about balancing work and life. It’s really a dream project.

Photo by Matthew Rowe, Houston

Dean Daderko: My motivation is pretty simple: I know of no other funding body that is as forward-thinking, as deeply generous, or as profoundly invested in being responsive to artists’ practices as Creative Capital. They fund the projects other organizations wouldn’t even consider! The end game here isn’t a substantial check—their commitment begins well before artists reach this stage, and continues throughout the life of the project, and beyond! Creative Capital understands fundamentally that by working with artists as partners—and by providing not just money, but thought, time and rich reserves of resources and connections—that they can positively and productively shape the future. Their unconventional and deeply responsible approach gives artists an incredible amount of agency, and they’re invited to bring their creative approaches to innovating and developing a game plan that’s uniquely responsive to the goals and concerns of their projects. The success they’ve had with this artist-centric strategy speaks for itself: so many artists will tell you what a dream it is to work with Creative Capital. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the staff are some of the friendliest, most helpful, and well-connected people around either! Ruby Lerner is my hero! Continue reading

Why We Support Adventurous Art: Ruby Lerner & Lisa Dent on Creative Capital’s Award Process

Still from Janine Antoni's "Touch."

Still from Janine Antoni’s “Touch.”

We’re gearing up for a busy winter at Creative Capital, as we prepare to announce our 2015 class of Visual Arts and Moving Image Awardees this Wednesday and to open our application for Emerging Fields, Performing Arts and Literature grants in February. I caught up with Ruby Lerner (Creative Capital’s President and Executive Director) and Lisa Dent (Director of Resources & Award Programs) to reflect on our original mission, the projects that have astonished us over the years and why we continue to support risk-takers.

Maura Guyote: Creative Capital has always been committed to supporting artists with singular visions who dream up ambitious projects and aren’t afraid to take risks. Can you talk about why that mission is important?

Ruby Lerner: In any field, if you don’t have experimenters, you don’t have progress. Think about the medical field. We’d still be using leeches if there hadn’t been experimentation and research. So experimentation is really critical for any field to move forward. It’s imperative. In the arts we see a lot of risk aversion, so there need to be portals where risk is honored and appreciated. Not all risks will succeed but we need people to stand behind the risk takers and that’s a role we’ve created for ourselves. Continue reading

15 Fun Facts About Creative Capital

Filling the auditorium at the Creative Capital Artist Retreat

For the past 15 years, Creative Capital has been funding adventurous, culturally relevant projects that don’t always fit in a gallery setting. Often, you might not even know you are looking at a Creative Capital art project, and it’s not always obvious how our grants or system of support helps our artists. As we continue to celebrate our 15th Anniversary and ring in 2015, we thought we would tell you 15 Creative Capital Fun Facts.

1. Not all Creative Capital Artists have been making art their whole lives.

Brent Green, Paulina Hollers

You probably know art is a difficult profession to get into. Sometimes all it takes is vision and determination; and other times you might have to get fired from your job at Red Lobster.

That’s what convinced Brent Green to apply for a Creative Capital grant. “I had gotten fired from my job as a waiter at Red Lobster,” Brent told Art in America in 2011. “I was 25, I hadn’t gone to college… [but] I’d made three short films [like the one above], animations, and I got the grant.”

Laura Poitras

Growing up, filmmaker and journalist Laura Poitras planned to be a pastry chef. She worked as a cook at the famous restaurant L’Espalier in Boston for several years before she decided to jump into filmmaking.

“I left cooking because there were serious limits to what you could do, artistically, to communicate,” Poitras told the Boston Globe. “When you’re a chef, your job is to please people… You’re there to offer a good experience, not a complicated experience.”

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A Page From Our Handbook: Best Practices for Your Artist Website

Internet for Artists Workshop

Artist Leader Brad Stephenson giving website advice to a participant at an Internet for Artists Workshop in New York City.

The following post comes from the Professional Development Program’s (PDP) Artist’s Tools and Internet For Artists handbooks, which are used in our workshops. If this piece leaves you wanting more, you’re in luck! On Monday December 15, PDP leader and artist Sue Schaffner hosts a webinar on Web, Blog & Email Essentials. For more information on Creative Capital’s workshops and webinars, see our online calendar.

Websites allow you to exponentially broaden visibility for you and your work. Your artist website can help create a conversation around what you do, and allow you to control the way your work is received and appropriated. Continue reading

Your Creative Capital Holiday Gift Guide


If you’re like us, you are surrounded by art lovers, so the holidays are the perfect time to support the arts. We put together this special Creative Capital Gift Guide to give you some unique ideas about what to get your loved ones that enjoy the arts, whether it be music, film, literature, or live arts experiences!

As an added bonus, if you purchase these gifts through Amazon Smile, a percentage of what you spend will be donated to supporting Creative Capital. Everybody wins!

Song of the Shank


Jeffery Renard Allen’s #CCProject Song of the Shank has been in numerous year end lists for best books of 2014 including the New York Times and BuzzFeed! The novel tells the story of a real-life historical character Thomas Wiggins, who was a blind African-American known as one of the best pianists of his time.



Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi with music by Vijay Iver


Vijay Iyer composed music for this spectacular documentary film depicting the amazing Holi Festival that takes place in Mathura, India, the mythic birthplace of Krishna.



Epitome by Nick Cave

Nick Cave von

Nick Cave’s book Epitome documents and celebrates his most recent performance work, installations and sculptural “Soundsuits.” Published this year, the book is the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to date.



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8 Things Your Contribution To Creative Capital Supports!

Many people don’t know that Creative Capital raises every dollar we give to artists. As we get ready to close out another busy year, we thought we’d share a few unique ways that we put your donations to work.

By contributing to Creative Capital, you are supporting:

1. Groundbreaking new work from artists of all ages.

unnamed-1We believe in supporting catalytic moments at all stages of artists’ careers. In our 2012 Moving Image class, the ages ranged from Ghanian-American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu at 27 to experimental film legend Ken Jacobs, who became a Creative Capital Artist at the age of 78 (both pictured left).




2. Artists who defy categorization.


Our goal is to support a diverse body of work across all disciplines. Sam Van Aken is redrawing the boundaries of evolution by engineering trees that grow 40 varieties of fruit. His Tree of 40 Fruit went viral over the summer – you might have heard about it on NPR, Hufffington Post, CBS and USA Today, among many others!

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