PearlDamour: A Case Study of How Creative Capital Supports Artists


PearlDamour, How to Build a Forest performance installation at The Kitchen in New York, 2011

PearlDamour, the Obie-award winning collaborative team of Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour, creates performance projects both inside and outside traditional theater spaces. This week, they are presenting their performative installation, How To Build A Forest, at Duke University’s Paige Auditorium (October 19-21). This truly unique project, created in collaboration with visual artist and costume designer Shawn Hall, is a durational interdisciplinary work—part visual art installation and part theater performance—in which an elaborate forest is built and dismantled over an eight-hour period. The work was inspired by the loss of 100 trees at D’Amour’s family home in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, and subsequently informed by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

PearlDamour received their Creative Capital grant in Performing Arts for How to Build A Forest in 2009, and the life of their project provides a wonderful case study in how Creative Capital supports artists pursuing ambitious projects with a combination of financial and advisory support.

APPLICATION PROCESS

As with all our grantees, PearlDamour was selected through our open-call, three-phrase application process. Nearly 100 arts professionals from across the country serve as readers, evaluators and panelists who review the applications and help to determine the projects that are awarded Creative Capital grants.

Remarkably, Creative Capital’s grantmaking process created an  opportunity for PearlDamour to develop their project before they even received a grant. Continue reading

Our Grantmaking Process: How do we select our grantees?

We are so proud of the fact that Creative Capital is one of the only national nonprofit organizations that awards grants to individual artists through an open application process. This means that anyone can apply, as long as you meet our basic eligibility criteria. In February, Creative Capital received over 2,700 Letters of Inquiry for grants in Emerging Fields, Literature and Performing Arts. In January 2013, we’ll announce the 46 funded projects in our next class of grantees. Yes, it really does take almost a year to determine the projects that will receive Creative Capital grants!

Applicants, funders and others in our network often ask us how we go about winnowing thousands of applications down to only 46 funded projects. The short answer: very thoughtfully, and with a lot of help.


Creative Capital actively solicits new applicants through an open call for Letters of Inquiry, using web-based outreach, in-person info sessions and partner organizations to help us spread the word. This year we worked with seven Program Consultants who advised us in our grantmaking process, in addition to 19 Recommenders in different parts of the country who suggested artists and artist organizations in their geographic region to notify about the grant deadline. Continue reading