“The System Isn’t Broken. It’s Working Exactly As Intended”

We kicked off a series of artist discussions, called Creative Conversations, on April 19 that asks artists how they are dealing with important social issues. In the first part of our series we brought five Creative Capital artists together to discuss how they are using their practice to address criminal justice and mass incarceration. You can watch the full video above, or check out highlights from Twitter below on our Storify. Hope you enjoy!

Continue reading

Announcing Creative Conversations: Criminal Justice

3x2-SJ-Banner1

Clockwise from top: Maria Gaspar, Paul Rucker, Shawn Peters, Michelle Coffey, Gregory Sale, Nick Szuberla

Starting Tuesday, April 19, something big is coming to New York. Ok, it’s the New York primaries (please vote!), but it will also be the first in our series of Creative Conversations, a panel of artists addressing critical issues. In this first discussion, we will gather five Creative Capital-supported artists who are addressing criminal justice and mass incarceration in their work: Maria Gaspar, Shawn Peters, Paul Rucker, Gregory Sale and Nick Szuberla. And we’re so happy that Michelle Coffey, Executive Director of the Lambent Foundation, will moderate the conversation!

We will livestream the conversation (RSVP here) from 6-8 EST on Tuesday, April 19, and take questions from Twitter, so use the hashtag #CreativeConvos and our handle @creativecap to follow along! In the meantime, read on to learn more about the presenting artists.

Continue reading

Creative Capital Featured in The Stranger: “How Creative Capital Replaced the NEA and Taught Artists to be Ambitious”

lead pencil studio, maryhill double

Lead Pencil Studio, Maryhill Double.

We were thrilled to read this wonderful, in-depth article about Creative Capital and our impact on artists in Seattle, written by Jen Graves for The Stranger. A short excerpt follows; read the full article here.

Last week, in an attempt to contact the Bellingham artist Christian Vargas about winning a 2016 Creative Capital Award, I googled him, left a congratulatory voice mail, and shortly got a phone call back.

“I’m not the right Christian Vargas,” said this Christian Vargas. “I wish I was!… That award—it’s life-changing, from what I hear.”

This Vargas #2 happens to also be an artist. Along with the rest of his graduate school class in Tennessee, he’s all but got the Creative Capital application pulled up in his browser waiting for the day after he graduates.

Creative Capital is such a big deal in the world of art that it even affects the lives of artists who don’t get it.

This grant-making organization, based in New York but serving artists nationally, was created in 1999 to counter the economic loss to artists when the National Endowment for the Arts killed the majority of its individual artist grants.

But Creative Capital is also a repudiation of the entire Reagan-era anti-social-services doctrine, and the condescending criticism in the 1990s from the Jesse Helms faction, who made the recipients of NEA grants sound like disgusting, freeloading children.

Creative Capital is a twofold initiative, then. It locates talented, deserving artists to support, and it recognizes that support consists of more than just money. The “more than” includes what can be thought of as ambition instruction, or giving artists the tools to think of themselves as something other than hopeless losers with a knack for making things—you know, full-fledged, contributing adults in a culture that regularly infantilizes those not wearing suits and making six figures.

And in Seattle, where money, attention, and the permission to be ambitious have always been scarce or viewed with skepticism, Creative Capital has made even bigger waves.

Case in point: “It wasn’t just a major turning point in my artistic life to get that call,” Paul Rucker, Creative Capital Class of 2012, told me. “It was a major turning point in my life.” …

Read the full article here.