News & Stories

Creative Capital Newsletter Spring 2011

February 28, 2011

Welcome from Ruby Lerner 
Coming Soon 
Artists At Work 
Chain of Opportunity 
Creative News 
Professional Development Program
MAP Fund News 
Arts Writers Grant Program 
Artist Project Updates 
Upcoming Artist Events

Every season, I am increasingly amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of our nation’s artists. I have spent the past month meeting with grantees and applicants around the country, and their ideas, adventurous spirits and artistic potential are so inspiring. Beginning in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where nine Creative Capital grantees performed or screened narrative films, documentaries and shorts, including five Creative Capital projects, and continuing through the information sessions that my colleagues and I hosted nationwide for our current grant round, I’ve met brilliant artists at every stop. As you’ll read below, our Letter of Inquiry for Visual Arts and Film/Video grants has been met with enthusiasm by thousands of artists, and our readers will soon be hard at work evaluating the submissions.

Meanwhile, we’re looking ahead to the Armory, Pulse, VOLTA and other art shows, each of which will include the work of Creative Capital grantees. As 2011 continues, we will update you on our grantmaking process and all of our institutional news. Of course, we’ll also keep you apprised of grantee news and developments—the premieres slated for the coming months demonstrate the range of wonderful artists in our orbit, and we can’t wait to add to our family next year!


March 2–12: Rude Mechs' The Method Gun premieres at Dance Theater Workshop in New York 
March 3: Lynn Hershman Leeson’s !Women Art Revolution screens at MoMA, 6:30pm, and premieres June 3 at IFC Center in New York 
March 4–5: Nora Chipaumire presents lions will roar… at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance in Willamstown, MA, and March 8 at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh 
March 14: Jae Rhim Lee lectures at MIT on the Infinity Burial Project, 7:00pm 
March 19: Deke Weaver performs ELEPHANT at Salt Lake Art Center, 6:00pm and 9:00pm 
March 22: Ben Marcus and Deb Olin Unferth read at The Center for Fiction, 7:00pm 
March 30 – April 12: Richard Move and Lisa Kron perform Martha@... The 1963 Interview at Dance Theater Workshop in New York 
April 14–16: Ledoh’s COLORMEAMERICA premieres at the Joyce Soho in New York 
May 4: Futurefarmers premiere Shoemaker’s Dialogues at the Guggenheim 
May 14: Trimpin’s The Gurs Zyklus premieres at Stanford Lively Arts

In Your Bookstore, on Your E-Reader 
Creative Capital’s artists are in a bookstore near you! The past few months have seen a flurry of publications by Innovative Literature grantees. As noted in our last newsletter, Christian Hawkey’s Creative Capital project VENTRAKL was published in the fall by Ugly Duckling Presse, kicking off a flood of new grantee works. Hawkey shared the stage at a recent reading with 2006 grantee Cole Swensen, whose Greenswardwas also published last year. 2009 grantee Rebecca Solnit’s Creative Capital project, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, was published by the University of California Press in November to rave reviews and inclusion in the New York Times Book Review’s Holiday Books. Infinite City is already in its third printing, which you can pick up online or in bookstores nationwide, and Solnit is looking ahead to creating future atlases. 2006 grantee Alan Gilbert’s project, Late in the Antenna Fields, was published last month by Futurepoem after a reading at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn. Antenna Fields is Gilbert’s first book of poetry, following his Another Future: Poetry and Art in a Postmodern Twilight (Wesleyan University Press, 2006), a collection of writings focusing on conceptual documentary strategies in contemporary poetry and visual art. 2009 grantee Deb Olin Unferth’s much-anticipated project, Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War, was also published last month by Henry Holt & Co. Unferth used Creative Capital funds to schedule a nationwide book tour, which helped her secure reviews and interviews about the memoir. Revolution’s release was celebrated with a reading and party at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn.

!Women Art Revolution Takes on Sundance, Berlin, MoMA and More 
2008 Film/Video grantee Lynn Hershman Leeson’s !Women Art Revolution (!WAR), a documentary detailing the evolution of the feminist art movement in the United States from 1968 to the present, is on a roll. It is the only documentary of the past decade to screen at the Toronto, Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals in the same season. It has its first New York screening on March 3 at MoMA, which will include an introduction by Gloria Steinem and a discussion with Leeson afterward. !WAR will return to New York for a run at the IFC Center in June. Other components of the project, including the interactive exhibit and website RAW/WAR, a graphic novel and a curriculum guide, have been extremely successful in engaging viewers and other audiences with the rich history of feminist art—and its exciting, ever-changing present. The project is a catalog of the past, featuring iconic pieces and pioneers of feminist art, and a catalyst for the future, as asks users to contribute to the feminist art movement today, building a self-defined community.

Los Angeles Poverty Department’s Multidisciplinary History of Incarceration In January, 2009 Performing Arts grantees Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) premiered the performance portion of their History of Incarceration at Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles. LA WEEKLY described the piece as “evocative and edgy” and a “scathing indictment of the California penal system.” During each performance, staged in a space filled with prison-regulation bunk beds and patrolling guards, audience members learned about the overcrowding in California prisons and the injustices faced by inmates. Conversations with lawyers of inmates and from the ACLU Jails Project illuminated these issues further. In the Highways Gallery, LAPD presented an exhibition of images charting the expansion of the prison population and prison construction in California over the past three decades. Visitors were asked to read, on camera, a page from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the health services and over-crowded conditions in California’s State prisons are in violation of the Constitution, as they constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.” Pages read by Californians at previous project locations were projected as part of the exhibition. The performance will be restaged in Los Angeles in June.

Mark Shepard’s Sentient City: An App, an Exhibition and Now a Book! Last month, 2009 Emerging Fields grantee Mark Shepard celebrated the release of Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space, a collection of essays and case studies for which he served as editor. The collection is based on the Sentient City exhibition he curated at The Architectural League of New York in fall 2009. Earlier in 2010, he released the first portion of his Creative Capital project, the iPhone app Serendipitor, an alternative mapping app. Shepard’s full Sentient City Survival Kit prepares the user to defend him or herself in the “near-future sentient city.” The book “explores the experience of living in a city that uses networked digital technologies to remember, correlate and anticipate” human activity. Its release was celebrated at McNally Jackson Books in New York with a conversation between Shepard, Paola Antonelli (Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA) and Hadas Steiner, an architectural historian.

More than a dozen Creative Capital grantees showed work at Art Basel Miami in December 2010… Five grantees performed at the APAP Conference in New York in January… Nine grantees performed or screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, including Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman, who won the U.S. Documentary Editing Award for If a Tree Falls… Five grantees screened work at the Berlin Film Festival… Laura Poitras won the Best Documentary award for The Oath at the Gotham Independent Film Awards… Richard Pell’s Center for PostNatural History won the Maker’s Muse Award from the Kindle Project… Karyn Olivier received the William H. Johnson Prize… Banker White received a Sundance Documentary Fund Fellowship… Miguel Gutierrez’s Last Meadow and Tere O’Connor’s Wrought Iron Fog were among Artforum’s Best of Dance 2010… PearlDamour is in residence at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC in 2011… Mark Shepard received an Eyebeam Fellowship for 2011 and hisSentient City project has been shortlisted for the FutureEverything Award 2011… Jae Rhim Lee will be in residence in April at the MAK Center for Art + Architecture in Los Angeles… Steve CuiffoTrey Lyford and Geoffrey Sobelle have a residency at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival in March and a rehearsal residency at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage in June… Kenny Fries has been honored by the A Room of Her Own Foundation, which named a fully-funded fellowship to their 2011 retreat after him… Headlong Dance Theater received a 2011 Dance Advance Grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage...

Film/Video and Visual Arts Grants 
On February 1, Creative Capital’s first grant round since 2008 opened online for artists pursuing projects in Film/Video and Visual Arts. In the four weeks that followed, we had 166,000 hits to our website, and more than 3,200 submitted online Letters of Inquiry (1,450 in Film/Video and 1,750 in Visual Arts). Throughout the month, Ruby Lerner, Kemi Ilesanmi and Sean Elwood travelled around the country to host information sessions for prospective applicants. For the first time, Kemi also hosted designated webinars this year, presenting the basics of the application process and accepting questions chatted in from participants. In total, Creative Capital held fifteen in-person sessions and four online sessions, which reached more than 1,250 individual artists interested in our grants. We look forward to reaching out again next year to new communities nationwide to spread the word for our next grant round in Emerging Fields, Innovative Literature and Performing Arts!

Our Professional Development Program’s (PDP) Workshop Subsidy Program, supported by The Kresge Foundation, was launched with great success in 2010. One of the recipients of a subsidy grant was the Montana Arts Council in Great Falls, MT, a past partner who would have been unable to bring PDP back to its artists without the subsidy program. PDP ventured west once again in October to present Internet for Artists and Improving Verbal Communication workshops to a group of 44 visual folk and traditional artists, including Indian and non-Indian artists living on reservations and rural areas throughout the state.

Before the first workshop, the Council was concerned that there might be a disconnect between the “city folks” from Creative Capital and the rural artists. However, those concerns were quickly dispelled. The artists and Council staff noted that the authenticity and passion of the workshop leaders, combined with their personalized approach, transcended any boundaries of rural or urban, city or country, and contemporary or traditional artistry. Says Cindy Holt of the Council, “PDP created an environment where interaction and learning from the [leaders and] from each other as artists, really touched and transformed the participants.”

The local artist participants, who first came together in 2009, have since established a network of support and kept in touch. Two artists are in the process of establishing a shared gallery, and two others recently completed a joint exhibition tour. One hundred percent of the workshop attendees reported in their evaluation surveys that they received high value from the workshops and wanted a continuation of learning opportunities. Says Holt, “If we had our way, we’d just keep those Creative Capital folks right here in Montana!”

PDP is currently accepting applications from organizations for the 2011 Workshop Subsidy Program. Visit for more information.

The Multi-Arts Project (MAP) Fund reviewed 790 Letters of Inquiry for its current grant round, which will go to panel later this month. Recent MAP-funded performances have included Taylor Mac’s Walk Across America for Mother Earth at LaMaMa Etc. and Emily Johnson’s The Thank-You Bar. A multi-disciplinary dance, storytelling, visual image and music performance, The Thank-You Bar will tour the country this year, including performances at Houston’s DiverseWorks in March and San Francisco’s ODC Theater in April.

ARTS WRITERS GRANT PROGRAM In November 2010, the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program announced its newest class of grantees. The Program awarded $600,000 to 20 individual writers. These grants range from $8,000 to $45,000 in four categories—articles, blogs, books and short-form writing—and support projects addressing both general and specialized art audiences, united by their dual commitment to the craft of writing and the advancement of critical discourse on contemporary visual art.

Billy Luther exhibits still photos from GRAB at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York, January 29 – April 17... 
PearlDamour present a work-in-progress performance of How to Build a Forest at Appalachian State’s Valborg Theatre in Boone, NC, March 2–3… 
Cesar Cornejo’s Puno Museum of Contemporary Art sponsorsed the exhibition The First Line at Cuchifritos in New York January 22 – March 6, with parallel drawing workshops in Peru…
Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis's Stuck Elevator was chosen for a three-week developmental retreat as part of the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab... 
Pablo Helguera’s School of Panamerican Unrest critical anthology will be published later this year by Jorge Pinto Books… 
Robert Karimi develops The Cooking Show as the first-ever Artist in Residence at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis... 
Eve Sussman's whiteonwhite is now available to view online on Triple Canopy's website...

Click here to browse upcoming exhibitions, installations, performances and events by Creative Capital grantees.

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