Leading up to Thanksgiving, Creative Capital celebrated their 15th anniversary with a series of performances at Joe’s Pub running Monday November 24 through Wednesday November 26. The week kicked off with a champagne toast from none-other than Champagne Jerry and his entourage, the Champagne Club, featuring Max Tannone, Sophia Cleary, Gillian Walsh, Farris Craddock, with an appearance by Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock. I was sold from the get go—a ruckus entrance with confetti poppers and table dancing—and kept laughing through the epic, melting, slow motion finale. And I left with this piece of advice: “Say something ridiculous.” So in the spirit of the hilarity that ensued that evening, I caught up with Neal Medlyn (2013 Performing Arts), aka Champagne Jerry, for a conversation on celebration.
Brighid Greene: Creative Capital is celebrating 15 years; what were you up to 15 years ago?
Neal Medlyn: Fifteen years ago I was living in Texas playing experimental noise music in coffee shops for horrified people. I was a few months out from quitting my noise band, taking my boom box to various cafes and galleries in Austin, and putting on Lionel Richie songs and running amok in front of horrified Austinites.
In 1964 American composer and musician Meredith Monk (2000 Performing Arts) came to New York to begin an incredibly prolific and inspirational career. 50 years later multiple venues and institutions are celebrating her time in New York. Early in Creative Capital’s history, Monk received a grant for her work mercy, a collaboration with Ann Hamilton. As Creative Capital and Meredith Monk both celebrate important anniversary milestones, we thought we would do our part in honoring the artist by presenting 10 things you might not know about her work.
1. She’s a filmmaker too?!
As the New York Times wrote in 1990: Monk has created “dances that were operas, operas that were dances and mythic theater pieces that were operas and dances. To complicate matters, Ms. Monk is also a filmmaker…” One of her films, Book of Days, was a visceral flirtation with a television audience in the early 90s.
Dohee Lee as the Korean goddess Mago. Photo by Pak Han
As part of our Artist-to-Artist conversation series, Byron Au Yong (2009 Performing Arts) sat down with Dohee Lee (2013 Performing Arts) to learn more about Lee’s project MAGO, an immersive performance that blends traditional Korean arts and shamanism in a modern context. Drawing on Lee’s own family history and the current political and environmental crisis taking place in the South Korean island where she was born, Lee weaves myth, ritual, ancestors, memory, present and future into a powerful performance journey.
Byron Au Yong: You’ve been developing MAGO for a few years. This past year, there have been four seasonal ritual performances at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, plus performances throughout the Bay Area related to this project. How have you been able to sustain this development and who has influenced your process?
Dohee Lee: Mago represents my creator goddess and my ancestors. They guide me in my dreams and during research. Anna Halprin [a pioneer in dance healing] encourages me to create my own way as an artist. She always points to my cultural background as a great resource. Her way of thinking and working gives me space to be who I am. Continue reading
Joe’s Pub at The Public joins Creative Capital’s 15th anniversary celebration with a slate of performances by some of New York’s most adventurous and exciting artists—Lisa Kron, Danny Hoch, Kalup Linzy, Jomama Jones & Samora Pinderhughes, and Champagne Jerry. Running November 24-26, the series exemplifies the shared goal of both organizations to support innovative artists making interdisciplinary work. Tickets ($15-20) are now available online.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Joe’s Pub on this great series featuring Creative Capital’s performing arts awardees,” said Ruby Lerner, Founding Executive Director, Creative Capital. “All of us at Creative Capital are huge fans of Joe’s Pub, and it’s wonderful to celebrate our shared commitment to supporting adventurous artists over the past 15 years.” Continue reading
We’re so excited that Sanford Bigger’s band, Moon Medicin, will be playing at our 15th Anniversary Benefit next Tuesday, October 21! Sanford is a 2008 Visual Arts awardee, but his work is truly interdisciplinary—encompassing sculpture, installation, performance, and the music he makes with Moon Medicin. To preview their music and videos, check out their amazing website.
To purchase tickets for the Benefit event, click here.
STREB Extreme performing FORCES
As part of our “Artist to Artist” interview series, filmmaker Catherine Gund spoke with choreographer Elizabeth Streb (2000 Performing Arts) about their new film “Born to Fly,” the human condition and making every breath count. The following is an edited excerpt from their conversation. You can listen online to the full podcast, or subscribe through iTunes.
Catherine Gund: So, I’m Catherine Gund. I just made a movie called Born To Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity, which premieres at Film Forum in New York on September 10. I’m here with the one and only Elizabeth Streb, and the two of us are going to have a conversation about what it was like to make the movie, why we did it, what we think it achieved—or didn’t achieve—and what people might get out of it. But I think we should just start with what maybe you thought, at the very beginning, about the idea of making a movie, having a movie made. What did you imagine it might be? Because I know, no matter what your answer is, it was not what it ended up being.
Elizabeth Streb: Well, for one, I was extremely excited and inspired because I know that you were around STREB and SLAM [Streb’s school and creative center], both with your children and yourself for years and years and years, so it wasn’t someone coming in that I didn’t know from the outside. I felt that you would have the worm’s eye view, the eagle’s eye view, the human eye view straight on, from the bottom up, from the top down. And I completely trusted that however you saw the story of STREB leading up to the London Olympics [where Streb staged public performances on London landmarks], I completely trusted. And I don’t think I, in my mind, fabricated what it would be like, at all. Continue reading
Taylor Ho Bynum
Beginning on August 28 in Vancouver, composer and cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum (2013 Performing Arts) embarks on his Acoustic Bicycle Tour, a five-week, 1,800-mile performance journey of the West Coast that concludes at the Mexican border. Conceiving of the entire trip as a kind of composition, Bynum will travel solely by bicycle, presenting solo concerts and playing with ensembles of area musicians in a variety of contexts and venues ranging from pop-up outdoor concerts to art galleries to concert halls. The endeavor is a performance art piece, a philosophical statement, a celebration of musical community and an exercise in extreme physicality.
Highlights from the planned performances include duets and small ensembles with some of the finest musicians on the coast, including trumpeter Cuong Vu (9/3, Seattle, WA), pianist Myra Melford (9/19, San Francisco, CA) and bassist Mark Dresser (9/29, Mission Viejo, CA); large ensembles of local artists performing Bynum’s compositions and conducted improvisations, including the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (9/7, Portland, OR) and Phillip Greenlief’s OrcheSperry (9/16, Berkeley, CA); and two concerts featuring the music of Bynum’s longtime mentor and collaborator Anthony Braxton—a quartet co-led with saxophonist James Fei exploring Braxton’s classic 1970s small group music (9/17, Oakland, CA), then a concert under the leadership of the maestro at the Angel City Jazz Festival (9/27, Los Angeles, CA). Bynum will also appear at the Angel City Jazz Festival as a leader, with an all-star band of Los Angeles-area musicians performing music from his critically acclaimed Sextet and 7-tette recordings (9/28, Los Angeles, CA). Continue reading
Haruko Nishimura in Degenerate Art Ensemble performance
As part of our “Artist to Artist” interview series, Seattle-based artists Joshua Kohl and Haruko Nishimura of Degenerate Art Ensemble (2013 Performing Arts) spoke with choreographer Amy O’Neal (2006 Performing Arts), also based in Seattle, about collaboration in dance, choreography and site-specific performance work. The following is an edited excerpt from their conversation. You can listen online to the full podcast, or subscribe through iTunes.
Joshua Kohl: We thought we could talk about a whole bunch of things because we have a lot in common, and a lot of differences in our work.
Amy O’Neal: And we’ve known each other in the Seattle community for at least ten years, or more?
Joshua: Probably more.
Amy: And have been each other’s work in various ways.
Haruko Nishimura: Yeah. And we do both music and dance and different media. Maybe we could talk about process or collaboration? Amy, I know you have five projects right now, but, generally, how do you start the process from you, and how do you spread or hand over or share to another collaborator in your team or in your project?
Amy: So, this next project I’m doing is called Opposing Forces and I’m working with a cast of B-boy break dancers from Seattle. And I’m working with DJ WD40 to make original music. It’s going to premiere at On the Boards in October. Continue reading
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.