Outdoor Performance “Cry You One” Celebrates Land, People, Culture and Sustainable Living

Cry You One cast photo. Photo by Melisa Cardona.

Cry You One cast photo. Photo by Melisa Cardona.

This week, New Orleans-based performance companies Mondo Bizarro and Art Spot Productions (2013 Performing Arts) launch the national tour of their site-responsive performance, Cry You One, at the Clear Creek Festival Grounds in Rockcastle County, KY. Cry You One is an outdoor performance and online platform inspired by the disappearing wetlands of Southeast Louisiana. Part song, part story, part procession for our lost land, Cry You One utilizes the unique music and stories of Louisiana to inspire connections between people working to steward the natural world wherever they live.

I spoke with Mondo Bizarro’s Nick Slie, one of the leading artists on the project, about the story behind Cry You One, adapting the work for the Kentucky presentation, and the national tour of the work.

Jenny Gill: Cry You One was originally developed to celebrate and mourn the disappearing wetlands of your native Southern Louisiana. Now, you’re touring it to other regions. What has your process been for adapting Cry You One to the Appalachian setting outside of Berea, KY? Was it a challenge to create characters for the performance that hold the same relevance for you personally as the original characters for the Louisiana iteration?

Nick Slie: The best way I can explain this is to take you back a couple of years. In 2009, I attended my first Clear Creek Festival. The festival is an annual, multi-disciplinary event, now in its 12th year, that brings several hundred Kentuckians from rural and urban communities together with artist-activists and other great people from throughout the south and across the country. The intention of the Festival is sharing good music and art, building community, and inspiring all of us to live more sustainably—in harmony with nature and with one another. Started by the renowned singer Mitch Barrett over ten years ago, the festival features nationally recognized music and theater acts next to edible food walks and rocket fuel workshops. Continue reading

Video: Emily Johnson at the 2013 Creative Capital Retreat

Emily Johnson (2013 Performing Arts) presented her project Shore at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat last summer. Shore is a multi-day performance/installation of dance, volunteerism, feasting and storytelling. The project develops in each venue over an extended period of time, requiring conversation and collaboration amongst organizations. Shore begins with a feast, followed by a night of curated storytelling. You can watch more artist presentations from the Retreat on our Vimeo channel.

Playwright and Actress Lisa Kron Wins Big This Awards Season

Lisa Kron

Lisa Kron

On May 19, The Village Voice presented its 59th annual Obie Awards, celebrating achievement in the Off-Broadway and off-off Broadway theater. We were thrilled to hear that Lisa Kron (2000 Performing Arts) received a 2014 Obie for the musical theater work Fun Home.

Based on the graphic memoir by lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel, Fun Home dramatizes Bechdel’s coming-of-age and her relationship with her closeted gay father.  The critically acclaimed musical adaptation ran at The Public Theater from October to December 2013. Along with Kron as the playwright and lyricist, composer Jeanine Tesori and director Sam Gold also received Obie Awards for the production.
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Video: Kyle Abraham at the 2013 Artist Retreat

Kyle Abraham (2013 Performing Arts) presents his project The Social at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat. The Social is a reflective, evening-length dance work that explores social dance and the memories associated with attending your first school dance, church function or house party. Facilitating an open environment for audiences to get up and dance before and after the show, the work embodies what those experiences were like for the viewer and performer alike. You can watch more artist presentations from the Retreat on our YouTube channel.

Video: Jace Clayton’s “Art Assignment”

In this episode of the PBS web series The Art Assignment, 2013 Performing Arts awardee Jace Clayton (aka DJ /Rupture) challenges you to take a walk from where you live and find the quietest place. Here are his instructions for completing this “art assignment”:

1. Go outside and talk a walk from where you live or are staying at the moment.

2. Continue until you’ve found the quietest place possible.

3. Take a moment to absorb it. Then document the place through photography or video. Upload it to your social media platform of choice using #theartassignment.

Read more and join the conversation on the Art Assignment YouTube page.

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

luciana achugar’s “OTRO TEATRO”: In Search of a New Kind of Theater

Photo by Matt Lambros.

Photo by Matt Lambros.

luciana achugar (2013 Performing Arts) presents the New York premiere of her Creative Capital-supported project, OTRO TEATRO, at New York Live Arts, April 2-5, 2014. Placed metaphorically in the ruins of a collapsed theater, OTRO TEATRO is achugar’s current search for another kind of theater; a ritual of becoming; an occasion for communion. OTRO TEATRO, a solo work created and performed by achugar, is a dark rite of passage from destruction to rebuilding. It is a dance that is meant to be felt as it is seen, giving voice to the arcane spirit and desire of our uncivilized bodies.   Continue reading

Artist to Artist: Queen GodIs Interviews Tracie Morris about Poetry, Performance and East New York

Tracie Morris (left) and Queen GodIs (right)

Tracie Morris (left) and Queen GodIs (right)

As part of our “Artist to Artist” interview series, Queen GodIs (2013 Performing Arts) and Tracie Morris (2000 Performing Arts) met up at the Brooklyn Museum to discuss commonalities in their work. The following is an excerpt from their conversation. You can listen online to the full podcast, or subscribe through iTunes.

Queen GodIs: This is Queen GodIs, Creative Capital grantee, 2013, with the honor of being with Tracie Morris, a Creative Capital grantee from…

Tracie Morris: The first class of Creative Capital—2000.

Queen: I’m excited. I think there are a lot of parallels that I’m interested in discovering between our work, and some new things. I’m excited to see what she’s up to in this time and figuring out what we’re doing now. I’m going to start with what I call a “check-in.” I think that before you start an interview and start with asking people questions about their business, you want to see what’s on their brain for the day. This check-in is actually inspired by a quote of yours that I heard in an interview that you did with Charles Bernstein. You said: “Our subconscious says things that our consciousness has to catch up to.” I thought that was an awesome statement—a profound statement—and one that rings true in so many ways. So for this check-in, it’s just a quick thought, word-association based on this year in America. So I’m going to throw out some words, and you just give me one or two words—short, simple, off-the-top, first things that come to mind.

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Artist to Artist: Miwa Matreyek and Janie Geiser on Collaboration, Wonder and the Importance of Tinkering

Miwa Matreyek (left) and Janie Geiser (right)

Janie Geiser (left) and Miwa Matreyek (right)

As part of our “Artist to Artist” interview series, Miwa Matreyek (2013 Performing Arts) and Janie Geiser (2000 Performing Arts) sat down to discuss commonalities in their work. The following is an excerpt from their conversation. You can listen online to the full podcast, or subscribe through iTunes.

Miwa: We’re here talking about our work for Creative Capital. I just showed Janie my Creative Capital project, This World Made Itself, and I’ve seen a lot of Janie’s puppetry work as well as her films, and Janie’s seen my work. We’ve been in each others’ worlds for a few years. Janie was one of my mentors from CalArts who really inspired me to do performance, so it’s really thrilling to have this conversation.

Janie: Yeah, I’m very happy to be here talking with you in your apartment, where I can feel the presence. I see the collages that I’ve seen on your website. It’s really amazing. So, it might be a good starting place, thinking about your work as collage and how you combine images and how you went from still collages into performance and film.

Miwa: I actually consider the performances as a collage. Continue reading

Video: Nick Hallett and Shana Moulton at the 2013 Artist Retreat

Nick Hallett and Shana Moulton (2013 Emerging Fields) presented their project Whispering Pines ∞ at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat. You can watch more artist presentations from the Retreat on our Vimeo channel.