Spread The Word: Stephanie Bleyer on Engaging Communities Around Your Art Practice

Laura Poitras, a Creative Capital grantee, exemplifies social-justice oriented artistic engagement for Stephanie Bleyer.

Laura Poitras, a Creative Capital grantee, exemplifies social-justice-oriented artistic engagement for Stephanie Bleyer.

Community engagement brings politically invested artworks to life. An artist who knows how to successfully reach out to the communities around them and get them invested and involved in a project will see their creative capacity for change multiply.

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 webinar Producing & Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign, an essential for artists projects involving social justice, education, public art, or community building. It will highlight effective practices for community outreach & engagement based on several action-oriented case studies and teach artists of all disciplines how to produce and fund effective engagement campaigns for artworks that hope to impact and better the world.

In preparation for her webinar, we asked Stephanie a few questions about how she entered the field of socially aware and active art making and which artists are moving people toward social change.

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The Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program: What Have We Learned?

Ben Cameron, Doris Duke Foundation Program Director for the Arts, and Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital's President & Founding Director

Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital’s President & Founding Director

Ruby Lerner: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Ben! A bit of background, before we get started: In 2011, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation asked Creative Capital to partner with them to launch and oversee the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program (DDPAA), which announced its third class of awardees yesterday. I know that we’re both so excited to begin working with this extraordinary roster of artists. We talked about the birth of DDPAA in an interview for this blog back in April 2012, so we thought it would be interesting to do a “Part Two” now about what has been learned over the past few years working together to bring the program to life. We had a similar discussion on a session at last year’s Grantmakers in the Arts conference in Philadelphia.

Thinking back on the initial vision for the DDPAA program, what do you think the biggest changes have been (if any) to adapt the program to the needs of the artists? Continue reading

Taller Puertorriqueño: Our New PDP Partner in Philadelphia

Taller Puertorriqueño's Feria del Barrio

Taller Puertorriqueño’s Feria del Barrio

We’re very pleased to announce that Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia will be a new Professional Development Program partner this April, when we will host a Spanish-language workshop there.

In exploring their website, it’s clear how dedicated Taller is to enriching the lives of the Latino community in Philadelphia, and we’re delighted to become a part of their mission! Their site describes the evolution of Taller as an institution, explaining that it’s grown from “a grassroots, Puerto Rican graphic arts community center to a respected institution that celebrates the arts of Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Providing an outlet for neighborhood children and youth, by providing after-school activities and programming rich in artistic and cultural discipline, remains central to the organization’s ongoing work.”

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Postcard from Gainesville: The Creative Capital Professional Development Workshop

Last weekend, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, along with Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc. partnered with Creative Capital to offer a Professional Development Workshop to 24 artists from across the state of Florida who work in a variety of disciplines. This intensive two and a half days were a crash course in self-management, strategic planning, fundraising and promotion. The full weekend of lectures, peer critiques, one-on-one consultations and interactive exercises took place in the beautiful University Gallery and nearby classrooms at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

The workshop leaders included Colleen Keegan, Aaron LandsmanJackie Battenfield (if you’re near Sarasota, check out Jackie’s exhibition at the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery on display through February 9), César Cornejo and Beverly McIver. For more information, you should check out Jackie’s book The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love as well as the HBO Documentary Raising Renee about Beverly. By sharing their personal experiences and numerous resources, these artists and administrators provided the tools and methods that will help attendees manage the business side of their art with greater efficiency and results, allowing them to expand their skills and build more sustainable careers. Continue reading

Creative Capital Spotlight on Grantmakers in the Arts Website!

Ken Gonzales-Day (2012 Visual Arts) is one of the Creative Capital grantees whose work is featured on the GIA website.

Throughout November and December, the Grantmakers in the Arts website photo banner will feature artists supported by Creative Capital! For a feature on their blog, the GIA staff asked us to tell them what we’re excited about right now. This is what we shared about trends that we are seeing in the field, the evolution of our approach to artist services, and what’s in store for Creative Capital in 2013:

Here at Creative Capital, we are currently in the panel review stage of our grant selection process for artists in Emerging Fields, Literature, and Performing Arts. In January, we will announce the 46 projects in our 2013 class of grantees, bringing the number of projects we’ve funded to 418, representing over 500 artists. One of the things we’ve seen in our last grant application round is that, more than ever, artists are breaking the boundaries of artistic disciplines in their work and stretching the definition of what would even be considered art. This is very exciting and reminds us that artists are innovators in the truest sense of the word. They cross disciplines and move our society forward, just like innovators in the sciences and the tech sector. We at Creative Capital feel strongly that it is our job to invest in artists who take risks with their work, creating critical cultural capital. Continue reading

Partnering with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to Bring a New Program to Life

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) has been a major supporter of Creative Capital’s core grantmaking program since 2000, and has been the largest single funder of all our classes of Performing Arts grantees. DDCF is also the lead funder of the MAP Fund, an ancillary program of Creative Capital, and recently selected Creative Capital to partner with them to launch and oversee the new Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards Program, which announced its first class of grantees today. This program offers significant funding—up to $275,000 per selected artist—that is not tied to individual projects and is instead available for extended professional and artistic development, audience development and retirement planning. Creative Capital’s President & Executive Director, Ruby Lerner, sat down with Ben Cameron, DDCF’s Program Director for the Arts, to talk about this exciting new program and the partnership between Creative Capital and DDCF.

Ruby Lerner:  This partnership to launch the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards (DDPAA) is an extraordinary expansion on our long-standing relationship, and it’s an honor for Creative Capital that DDCF would entrust such an important program to us. Why did DDCF choose Creative Capital as a partner?

Ben Cameron:  As you know, all of us at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation have long admired the work of Creative Capital. We have been especially moved by Creative Capital’s ability to work with artists on an individually tailored basis, responding to each unique set of artistic needs; the way in which your organization listens to its grantees; its responsive, rather than proscriptive, orientation; and the value it places on learning. Panelists we have gathered over the years to review funding applications from Creative Capital have consistently described your work as “transformative philanthropy”—words that perfectly encapsulate our own hopes with this program. Your openness to learn, to evolve and to adapt as you learn more perfectly align with the learning adventure that we know lies ahead with this program. Continue reading

Looking for inspiration this holiday season?

For the artists and art lovers on your gift list, check out ARTBOOK’s Creative Capital store and get a 25% discount as a friend of Creative Capital! You’ll be supporting Creative Capital’s artists, and a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will benefit Creative Capital.

Among the books featuring Creative Capital artists that you’ll find on ARTBOOK are Eve Sussman & The Rufus Corporation: The Rape of the Sabine Women; Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power; Deborah Faye Lawrence: Dee-Dee Does Utopia; Conrad Bakker: Objects & Economies, Untitled Projects 1997-2007; and Mark Tribe: The Port Huron Project, Reenactments Of New Left Protest Speeches.