News & Stories

Fall 2011 Newsletter: IdeaFestival, Fall Premieres and More

September 14, 2011

Letter from Ruby
Mark Your Calendars
Artists at Work
Chain of Opportunity: Residencies, Awards and Milestones
Creative News
Professional Development Program
MAP Program
Arts Writers Program
In Case you Missed It

Letter from Ruby
As we dive into fall, we are entering the final stages of the selection process for our next class of grantees, 46 Film/Video and Visual Arts projects to be announced in January 2012. We started in February, when we received more than 3,000 letters of inquiry from artists across the country. Nearly 100 national arts professionals—artists, curators, gallerists, directors, distributors and producers—have carefully read and evaluated all of the material submitted, winnowing the list down to 650+ projects that were invited to submit full applications, and then again to a group of 180 that will have a full panel review later this fall. As always, it has been an inspiring process to see the wealth of creativity and innovative thinking among our nation’s artists and we so look forward to welcoming the class of 2012 to our family in January.

And what a community they will join! 406 grantees and 325 projects supported to date, a network of hundreds of art professionals nationwide who serve as consultants and cheerleaders to them, and a hands-on staff that keeps the engines running. Throughout our organization’s history, we have constantly evaluated and re-evaluated all that we do, refining our methods and pushing ourselves to always be ready to meet the changing needs and challenges facing artists. We've spent the last year envisioning what our next decade could and should look like, and we have an incredible roster of new programs that we are in the process of unrolling to benefit all grantees, past and future.

There has never been a more exciting moment for Creative Capital or for the artists we serve. You can see our artists everywhere this fall—from MACLA in San Jose to Art Basel Miami Beach—and we are supporting them in every way we can to ensure that we can all be inspired, awed and transformed by the work they create. Stay tuned—we have so much ahead and we look forward to keeping all our friends and family in the loop!


Mark Your Calendars!
Liz Cohen
exhibits her Trabantimino in AutoBody at Ballroom Marfa in Marfa, TX, September 30 – January 29
Elena del Rivero premieres [Swi:t] Home: A CHANT at the New Museum, through October 2, and her collaboration with fellow Creative Capital grantee Leslie McCleave is featured in Remembering 9/11 at the International Center for Photography in New York, through January 8
Jae Rhim Lee
exhibits elements of Infinity Burial Project at Incheon Women Artists Biennale 2011 in Incheon, Korea, October 1-31
Pablo Helguera
’s School of PanAmerican Unrest Anthology is published by Jorge Pinto Books, with a release party in NYC on October 11
Nick Cave
's Soundsuits in Ever-After at Jack Shainman Gallery and For Now at Mary Boone Gallery, through October 22… Nick and William Pope.L also exhibit in exhibit in Prospect.2, the second edition of the New Orleans International Contemporary Art Biennial, October 22 – January 29
Jennie C. Jones
solo exhibition Absorb / Diffuse at The Kitchen in New York, through October 29
Suzan Pitt
's El Doctor and other work will be featured in Suzan Pitt and Jim Trainor: A Conversation in Light and Darkness at REDCAT in Los Angeles on November 1
Franco Mondini-Ruiz has two solo exhibitions: Poodles & Pastries (and Other Important Matters): New Paintings by Franco Mondini-Ruiz at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and Dulce: Bisque Without Borders at ASU Art Museum in Tempe, AZ, both through December 31
Sanford Biggers has three major solo exhibitions: Cosmic Voodoo Circus at SculptureCenter in NYC through November 8; Sweet Funk—An Introspective at the Brooklyn Museum, through January 8 (with an artist talk in conversation with Mos Def and Marcus Samuelsson on October 13); The Cartographer's Conundrum at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, December 11, 2011 – October 30, 2012
Stephen Vitiello’s All Those Vanished Engines also opens at MASS MoCA on September 25
Mary Lucier, Jem Cohen and Stephen Vitiello in group exhibition September 11 at MoMA’s PS1, through January 9
Edgar Arceneaux
solo exhibition at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel, Switzerland, September 24 – January 1
Eduardo Kac: Living Works at Parco Arte Vivente (PAV) and Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, through September 29
Cory Arcangel
and Brody Condon in Videosphere: A New Generation at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, through October 9
Golan Levin
solo retrospective eyecode: Works by Golan Levin at the Beall Center at University of California Irvine, October 5 – January 22
Basil Twist
presents Arias With a Twist Deluxe at Abrons Arts Center in NYC, through October 16
Annie Han
and Daniel Mihalyo (Lead Pencil Studio) present Extended Collapse at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, through October 16
Shih Chieh Huang
exhibits elements of EX-SE-10 at Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, DC, through December 4
Cesar Cornejo
premieres Puno Museum of Contemporary Art with Galeria Lucia de la Puente in Art Positions showcase at Art Basel Miami Beach, December 1–4
Marina Zurkow: Friends, Enemies and Others at Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ, through January 8

This week, Creative Capital returns to the Louisville IdeaFestival for a presentation with Ruby and five grantees: Erika Blumenfeld (2000 Visual Arts), Shih-Chieh Huang (2009 Emerging Fields), Richard Pell (2009 Emerging Fields), Mark Shepard (2009 Emerging Fields) and Pamela Z (2002 Performing Arts). Last year’s presentation was such a success that Creative Capital was invited back on the spot and we are so excited to be returning to share new ideas and the work of five innovative artists.

Ruby’s presentation will detail how Creative Capital’s unique method of support, combining funds and career development services, can be an important engine for the arts nationally. Supporting the kind of creativity that moves us forward as a society—whether in business, science or the arts—requires investors as willing to take risks as the innovators themselves. While there is a vigorous system of angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity backing innovators in business, science and, more recently, the social sector, the cultural arena has sorely lacked this kind of support. Creative Capital offers an important model for the creative sector and we are excited to have the opportunity to share our ideas and make new friends at this year’s IdeaFestival.

For the five grantees who joined Ruby last year, the impact of their participation has been tangible. Matt Moore (2008 Visual Arts) is back in Louisville to work with a local farmer who is participating in his Digital Farm Collective. Jae Rhim Lee (2009 Emerging Fields) and George Legrady (2002 Emerging Fields) are exploring ways to collaborate with the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, including sending their work to the International Space Station. And Brent Green (2005 Film/Video) and Sanford Biggers (2008 Visual Arts) both have had recent shows in Louisville.

This year’s group of artists has been truly everywhere recently, and we know our grantees will offer Festival attendees compelling examples of artistic innovation at work. In addition to Creative Capital’s presentation, during the festival Mark Shepard and Shih Chieh Huang will have site-specific installations and programs for attendees to experience. Mark will be presenting a Louisville-focused version of one component of his Creative Capital-supported project, Serendipitor, a smart phone app that lets serendipity help users get from point A to point B. Shih Chieh will have two installations of his lyrical, technology-based sculptures, at LOT Gallery and at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, in collaboration with artwithoutwalls. For more info, visit

Artists at Work
Eve Sussman
(2008 Visual Arts) is premiering her Creative Capital-supported project whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir at the Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York this month (on view through October 22). whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir is a film that follows the observations and surveillance of a geophysicist code writer stuck in a futuristic city. Pushing the envelope of cinematic form, whiteonwhite is edited live in real time by a custom programmed “serendipity machine,” delivering a changing narrative—culled from 3,000 clips, 80 voice-overs and 150 pieces of music—that runs forever and never plays the same way twice. Iterations of this powerful work have been shown online and in person nationally and internationally, beginning with a screening at The Museum of Modern Art in April 2010, and including presentations at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria, Haunch of Venison in London and the Toronto International Film Festival. Episodes have been available on Triple Canopy, and a screening at SFMOMA is planned for early 2012.

2009 Performing Arts grantees Secos & Mojados (the collaborative team of Victor D. Cartagena, Roberto Gutierrez Varea, Violeta Luna, David Molina and Antigone Trimis) will premiere their work Border TRIP[tych] / TRIP[tico] de la frontera at MACLA in San Jose, September 23–25. Border TRIP[tych] is a collaborative performance art project about an immigrant’s journey from El Salvador to the United States. Collectively, this three-part project encompasses the literal and metaphoric journey faced by an immigrant, from departure to arrival at her new country of residence. MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, a contemporary arts space deeply committed to community engagement, serves as a fitting venue for Part Two of the performance triptych, A Body Parted: Shrapnel of Present Time. In conjunction with the Border TRIP[tych] premiere, Victor Cartagena recently unveiled a new mural on MACLA’s Williams Street façade and has a multimedia installation in MACLA's gallery where the performances will take place.

2009 Innovative Literature grantee Ben Marcus’s Creative Capital-supported project The Flame Alphabet is scheduled for publication by Alfred A. Knopf in January 2012. In The Flame Alphabet, language is toxic to everyone but children. For adults this means no speaking, no reading, no writing, no listening—at least not without severe allergic reaction, depression or crippling pain. In telling the story, the narrator, a man whose family has come apart, is literally dying a slow death as he is poisoned by writing the words that we read. Later this year, Marcus will be working with 2008 Film/Video grantee Erin Cosgrove on a trailer for the book. In addition to completing The Flame Alphabet, Marcus has had a busy year with other work, with two short stories recently appearing in The New YorkerWhat Have You Done? in the August 8 issue and Rollingwood in the March 21 issue.

Chain of Opportunity: Residencies, Awards and Milestones
Natalia Almada
and Marc Bamuthi Joseph win Alpert Awards in the Arts…Laura Poitras’s The Oath is nominated for two Emmy awards and is available to stream on Netflix…Liz Cohen and Mark Newport are 2011 Kresge Fellows for Visual Arts…Carl Deal and Tia Lessin’s Trouble the Water is a finalist for the inaugural PUMA/Creative Impact Award…Matthew Geller wins major commission for public artwork at the new Miami Zoo…Sheryl Oring joins the Digital Design/New Media faculty at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro…Beatriz da Costa has residency at Eyebeam Center for Art + Technology in New York and receives Rhizome Commission for collaborative project with Richard PellLisa Kron and Young Jean Lee win Obie Awards…Brad Lichtenstein receives grant from Independent Television Service (ITVS)…Karolina Sobecka and Karyn Olivier are awarded NYFA Fellowships…

Creative News
Our grantmaking rounds are always lively and enlightening. This year’s group of 3,247 Letters of Inquiry was the second highest total ever received, marking a 27% increase over the last Film/Video and Visual Arts round in 2007/08, with 1,771 Visual Arts letters ranging from architecture to craft, from painting to public art, and 1,476 in Film/Video, from animation to documentary. We received inquiries from artists in all 50 states and DC, ranging in age from 20 to 89.

Our new class of grantees will be announced in January 2012, and we will welcome them into a broader and more structured suite of artist services. In 2011, we expanded our phone-in clinics for all grantees to include not just legal but also financial, tech, PR and business counsel. We forged new organizational partnerships to provide resources outside of our own offerings, from Kickstarter to ArtBook to Fractured Atlas and more. We’re creating more and deeper opportunities for grantees to connect to each other with webinars and convenings that facilitate peer-to-peer learning, collaborations and networking. And we launched a low-interest loan fund for performing arts projects for alumni grantees.

Beginning in 2012, each grantee will begin their work with Creative Capital with an intensive, three-day orientation. Each funded project will also have a Project Support Team, including a staff member, artist mentors, discipline-specific arts professionals, and experts and entrepreneurs relevant to the project, that will work to develop a Project Plan and provide a Professional Skills Toolkit tailored to help achieve the artist’s unique vision.

We are so excited by the new services just launched and about to begin, and we’ll continue to expand our offerings as we identify needs and opportunities to better serve artists. Stay tuned!

This July, our Professional Development Program (PDP) partnered again with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council to offer a five-day intensive Artists Summer Institute on Governor’s Island in New York City. Building on the success of the 2010 Institute, the 2011 workshop served 54 artists and focused on long-term goal-setting and entrepreneurship strategies, including presentations by guest artists on new and innovative business models. The agenda included sessions in Strategic Planning and Business Planning, Internet for Artists, Marketing, Verbal Communications, and Finance for Artists.

The five-day workshop format gave the artists time to truly connect and we anticipate that the participants will continue to share resources and ideas with one another. Several of the 2010 participants are currently organizing and curating a group show and they continue to meet to check in about goal setting and business planning. Said one 2011 participant, “You’ve taken 54 artists and made us stronger, wiser and more competent. You’ve proven to us that we can do whatever we put our hearts and minds to. And we will do it.”

PDP also just completed the second round of its Subsidy Grant Program, supported by The Kresge Foundation. PDP received 25 applications from 23 organizations in 17 states and was able to award 20 grants to organizations nationally, from the Creative Alliance of New Orleans to the North Dakota Council on the Arts to the Latino Arts Network of California. Organizations were eligible to apply for subsidy for several of PDP’s most popular offerings, and grants were awarded to support a range of weekend and one-day workshops in Strategic Planning, Internet for Artists, Verbal Communications and the new Spanish-language workshop, Taller de Desarollo para Artistas.

And we’re so very pleased to welcome the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as a new funder for PDP, supporting presentations of our Spanish-language workshop in Miami and San Jose in the coming year!

MAP Fund
The Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund is just beginning to work with its recently announced class of 2011 projects, 40 new performance-based works including 11 music-based works, 12 dance-based projects and 17 theater-based works. The diverse range of projects includes Zero Cost House, a new work by Philadelphia-based Pig Iron Theatre Company in collaboration with Japanese playwright, choreographer and director Toshiki Okada, which will be Okada’s first English-language creation, and Bus Stop DreamingDownload News Item

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