Support for Individual Artists
Sunday, October 6
Asian Arts Initiative
This is our time to remove our noses from the grindstones and come together to take stock of our work to support individual artists. The preconference is anchored by three conversations with people who have shaped—and are still shaping—our collective vision. With them, we will consider the roots of our field, what’s important to us right now, and where we might want to go next.
Depart hotel to walk to Asian Arts Initiative (approximately five blocks)
8:30 amContinental breakfast
9:00 amOpening remarks and performance, Scratch Orchestra with Dan Blacksberg
Philadelphia-based musician Dan Blacksberg will facilitate an improvised scratch orchestra, in which all preconference attendees will be invited to participate.
9:30 amStarting Up
A conversation among artist support pioneers: Ted Berger, Treasurer, Joan Mitchell Foundation; Cynthia Gehrig, President, Jerome Foundation; Francis Phillips, Program Director, Arts and the Creative Work Fund, Walter and Elise Haas Foundation; and Holly Sidford, President, Helicon Collaborative.
This group, representing some of the inaugural major fellowship and individual grant programs in the country, helped build the field of support for individual artists in the years since our first preconference took place in 1998. To provide groundwork for the day, this conversation will examine the roots of this work and the value proposition embodied in it. As a sector of the larger philanthropic ecology, how have we collectively position this work and made the case for the individual artist? Looking ahead, what are the challenges, resources, information, and individual and collective actions that will ensure a robust environment of support in the future?
10:45 amNetworking break
11:15 amGathering Up
Presented by Alan Brown, Principal, WolfBrown; Claudia Bach, Principal and Founder, AdvisArts; and Tommer Peterson, Deputy Director and Director of Programs, Grantmakers in the Arts.
We are now in a philanthropic culture where valid data is at the heart of every decision.
GIA is at a milestone point in its initiative to establish benchmarking data on support for individual artists nationally. One major component of this work was to develop a standard taxonomy of terms describing support for artists that would allow for benchmarking data to be tracked and reported by researchers while providing a common language for future discussion.
The draft taxonomy was developed to rigorous academic standards, and the process of vetting it and soliciting input from funders and other stakeholders is in progress. Individual interviews and focus groups were held during the summer of 2013 and will continue.
Background information and a copy of the draft taxonomy will be supplied to preconference participants in advance. This session will provide a report on this work in progress. Consultants to the project will be on hand at the preconference and throughout the main conference to solicit additional feedback and comments from participants. Details on these opportunities will be provided at the time.
12:15 pmLunch with Jon Rubin of Conflict Kitchen
Conflict Kitchen, a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict, is a project of Pittsburgh-based artist Jon Rubin in collaboration with Dawn Weleski. They use food as a means to create a public space for engagement and storytelling that encourages political dialogue between strangers. Countries they have focused on include Venezuela, Cuba, Afghanistan, and Iran. In researching North Korea they discovered that the cuisine in many ways is very similar to that of South Korea. By serving food from North and South Korea they want to shed light on the human side of the conflict, cooking up coexistence through ethnic dishes regardless of the degree of controversy.
2:00 pmShaking Up
This funder-led conversation takes an in-depth look at a small number of exemplary programs that are breaking new ground right now. Presenting are: Ben Cameron, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, on the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards; Tony Grant, Sustainable Arts Foundation, on supporting artists and writers with families; and Carolyn Somers, Joan Mitchell Foundation on the Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) program.
3:00 pmNetworking break
3:15 pmSpeaking Up
Artists share their vision and ideas for the future of our work and the consequences that work will have on their own. A three-person artist panel will speak in-depth on this topic, and an additional half-dozen artists, who will be participating in the full preconference, will be asked to reflect on the day.
The artist panel is moderated by playwright, director, and actor Ain Gordon. The panel comprises composer and performance artist Byron Au Yong, filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, and choreographer and multi-disciplinary artist Ann Carlson.
Artists have been invited from the Philadelphia area and beyond to participate in the full preconference, providing perspective during the plenary sessions and helping to shape lunchtime conversations. Invited artists include Isaac Lin, Magda Martinez, Trapeta B. Mayson, Adelheid Mers, and Tina Morton.
Closing remarks, followed by a reception in the Asian Arts Initiative gallery; on view is In Plain Site: Isaac Lin.
Walk to hotel (approximately three blocks)
Support for Individual Artists Preconference Planning Committee:
- Melissa Franklin (co-chair), Director, Pew Fellowships, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
- Esther Grimm (co-chair), Executive Director, 3Arts
- Abigail Guay, Program Manager, Grantmakers in the Arts
- Tommer Peterson, Deputy Director and Director of Programs, Grantmakers in the Arts
This preconference is supported by 3Arts, Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.