Beyond Cash: Supporting Individual Artists through Promotion, Recognition, and Validation

Tuesday, August 2, 2:00 EDT/ 11:00 PDT [PASSED]

  • Amber Hawk Swanson (Moderator), Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships, OtherPeoplesPixels
  • Irene Borger, Director, Alpert Award in the Arts, Herb Alpert Foundation
  • Jayson Smart, Program Officer, Rasmuson Foundation
  • Ute Zimmermann, Program Manager, Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue

Session 7 of the 9-part  2011 Web Conference Series
A recording of this presentation is available here.


For arts grantmakers that want to support individual artists through means outside of cash grants, this presentation provides a perspective on why artists consider the promotion and validation of their creative process just as important as receiving grants. The panelists will offer ideas, suggestions, and feedback on how artists can be empowered through means outside of financial assistance and the need for such services.

Presenter Bios:
Director of the Alpert Award in the Arts since it’s inception, Irene Borger oversees the giving of five annual $75,000 grants to outstanding, risk-taking artists working nationally in dance, film/video, music, theatre, and the visual arts. The writer, curator, and editor of the Alpert Awards website and artists pages, her work has appeared in many publications including The Los Angeles Times, Vogue, O, and Architectural Digest, and on The Wall Street Journal arts page. Her interviews with creative people—from Richard Meier and Trisha Brown, to Susan Sontag and Agnes deMille—have appeared live and on public radio. A Bennington College graduate, with an MA in Dance Ethnology from UCLA, Irene was a member of the dance history faculty at University of California, Riverside, and, for ten years, the artist-in-residence at AIDS Project Los Angeles. The editor of two books, The Force of Curiosity (conversations with Alpert Award artists), and From a Burning House: The AIDS Project Los Angeles Writers Workshop Collection (Washington Square Press/Simon and Schuster), she is currently writing a book on creativity and “not-knowing”. Irene also leads ongoing and short-term writing workshops in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Tecate, B.C.
Jayson Smart joined the Rasmuson Foundation in March 2010. His work for the Foundation is focused on grantmaking and initiative development in Arts & Culture, Health, and Education. Immediately prior to joining the Foundation, Jayson served as deputy director with the Municipality of Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services. Jayson’s prior work includes arts administration in the presenting and touring field, and he has a background in social service agency management with a focus on disability advocacy and policy. Jayson presently serves as a board member of Out North Contemporary Art House, is a “Big” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska, and has had experience as a search and rescue volunteer. Jayson holds two degrees from the University of Alaska Anchorage: an MA in public administration with an emphasis in public management; and a BA in psychology. He has spent the last 26 years in Southcentral Alaska; and his family, with three fast growing children, has lived in Wasilla since 2009.
Formerly Officer, NYFA Source and Instructor, NYFA MARK at New York Foundation for the Arts, Amber Hawk Swanson has also held the positions of Host/Producer at Chicago Public Radio's, and Visual Arts Faculty Member at the Chicago Arts Program of the Associated Colleges Midwest. A video and performance artist, Amber lives and works in Brooklyn and Chicago. Recent exhibitions include Locust Projects (solo, Miami), Non Grata Art Container (Estonia), Invisible Dog (Brooklyn), and Georgia State University (Atlanta). Recent residencies include Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (NYC), Woodstock Byrdcliffe (NY), Bolt (Chicago), and Fountainhead (Miami). Her work is included in the permanent and MPP collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography and has been profiled and reviewed in Map Magazine, The Associated Press, Time Out Chicago, and Flavorpill. Amber holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Studio Arts, 2006). Notable projects include The Feminism? Project, 2005-2006; Amber Doll, 2006-2008; Fit, 2008-present; and Tilikum, present.
As a great admirer of artists and the vision and chutzpah it takes to be (and stay) one, Ute Zimmermann has focused on supporting artists in their work throughout her career. After stints at the American Academy in Berlin and Performa, Ute now works at Artadia, a nonprofit that provides visual artists around the US with unrestricted awards and a national network of support. Since joining Artadia in 2008, she has helped start numerous new initiates such as a New York residency program, a biennial publication, and an exhibitions exchange program. Currently she is working on expanding Artadia's artist services. Originally from Germany, Ute now lives in Brooklyn, NY and loves it there.