From Jen Shyu’s performance of “Song for Naldo”
Today, one of our ancillary programs, the MAP Fund, announced their 2016 round of artist projects. Thirty-six new works in contemporary performing arts will receive a total of $1.1 million in direct support for project development, creation and premiere.
We noticed some interesting themes and connections between the new projects, so to get a better sense of them, let’s take a look at a few.
A few projects this year are focused on rural communities outside the large metropolises in the U.S. where arts programs are typically focused. Roadside Theater, a part of Appalshop, an multidisciplinary arts organization in Appalachia, will produce Performing Our Rural Future, a musical play about the end of coal mining and the rise of a younger generation committed to a better life founded on a just economy. The organizations will collaborate with people based in Letcher County, Kentucky, which has one of the richest cultural heritages in the U.S., but is the poorest and sickest congressional district in the nation.
Multilingual artist Jen Shyu performs the musical Song of Silver Geese in six languages: English, Taiwanese, Tetum of East Timor, Korean, Javanese and Indonesian. If that’s not impressive enough, Jen plans on bringing the musical drama to all 50 states, focusing on small towns less exposed to cross-cultural and innovative art.
Excerpt from niv Acosta’s “Discotropia”
The MAP Fund, one of Creative Capital’s ancillary programs, supports live performance projects, and we love sharing an office with them because we get to hear about all the amazing, exciting artists they support! MAP—which was founded in 1988, making it among the longest-standing grant programs in contemporary performance—distributes over $1 million each year to projects that tend to be experimental in nature and that “question, disrupt and complicate inherited notions of cultural and social hierarchies across the American landscape.” Program Director, Moira Brennan, says “MAP has a long history of supporting artists and arts organizations that might fall through the cracks at more traditional funders. Because it’s been around so long, it has really led the charge toward a more diverse and expansive performing arts sector in this country. We love this time of year, because we get to hear about the incredible work being done in performance far and wide. It’s inspiring!”
The 2015 MAP Fund grant round is now open for Letters of Inquiry through September 28, so we thought we’d tell you about some of the projects they have supported in the past couple of years.
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:
2014 MAP Fund Grantee Faye Driscoll’s project “Thank You For Coming”
During the months of August, September and October, the staff of the MAP Fund (administered by Creative Capital) will be on the road, spreading the word about the program’s upcoming 2015 grant cycle. With the support of presenting partners across the country, Program Director Moira Brennan will lead sessions in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Miami, and Program Associate Lauren Slone will travel to Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Houston. Check here for specific dates and attendance information, and read on for a basic overview of the sessions, frequently asked questions and more.
The 2013 TCG Conference was held in Dallas, TX, June 6-8.
If I had to summarize the 2013 TCG conference, I would describe it as the collective expression of a desire to move from “yes or no” thinking to “yes and no” thought/action. From formal lectures to side conversations waiting in line at the food trucks, participants demonstrated a profound desire to move beyond binary thinking and competitive isolationism in a more collaborative effort to improve the overall health of the American Theater.
Formatted after an academic model, participants self-selected one of four “majors” (Financial Adaptation, Diversity and Inclusion, Artistic Innovation and Audience Engagement). Because of MAP’s funding priorities, I chose the Artistic Innovation arc with a minor in Diversity and Inclusion. 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