Published On :12/10/2013 10:30:00 AM
"to fail and fail big" in Action
In keeping with our focus on live arts, over the past six months The Field took “to fail and fail big: a study of mid-career artists, success and failure” from the page to the stage and into action. As we promised in “to fail” we are aiming to talk with every prong of “the big we” in the arts sector so that we can move the work in “to fail” forward.
And we are doing it.
And we want to be über transparent about what we are learning, what we are risking and where we are headed…..So over the next few months we will unveil a few of our most titilating takeaways and ahas. We will include provocative questions and actionable tactics about what YOU (artist, art-lover, arts administrator, Board member, donor, etc) can do to fail and fail big too. So here we go….
Who’s hot and who’s not? The Field did a public launch panel at SITI Company on May 1st with artist Okwui Okpokwasili, producer Tommy Kriegsman, funder Moira Brennan and artist Somi - facilitated by the crazy smart Georgiana Pickett of Baryshnikov Arts Center. An aha moment from an artist in the audience (paraphrased), “I am mid-career and I’ve been somewhat successful but I feel invisible now. I am not in the ‘it club’ that gets the Doris Duke money, the Genius grants or the European tours. Do I have to change my work and my self to be in the ‘it club?’”
The question to you, dear reader: What ways do you contort yourself or spin your work so that you get a gig, a grant or a review? Is it worth it? Do you end up feeling like you aren’t being honest about your work? Or is it all just part of the game? We've started you off with our answer below. Join the conversation with us on our Facebook page.Our answer:
We’ve contorted ourselves at The Field for sure! Five years ago the “it club” in funding was all about innovation. We didn’t really do “innovation” per se but we had a big dream for a re-grant program called ERPA. So we applied to the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund and amazingly we got two big grants! We were in the “it club”!
Now “innovation” is over it seems. It’s all about creative placemaking. We don’t do that. And we have no big dream programs that are contort-able to fit into creative placemaking. So are we out of the “it club”? What do you do when your work is out of fashion? Do you contort and spin? Do you let go and wait for the next round?
Share your thoughts with us!
Published On :11/5/2013 2:18:27 PM
Thomas Kriegsmann: Teacher of Touring 101
In this installment of our teacher profiles, we asked THOMAS KRIEGSMANN, founder of ArKtype and teacher of this fall's Touring 101, about his thoughts on Resilience and how it relates to being a touring artist.
"On the topic of resilience and its place in a touring model, I would say that developing a viable touring model requires the artist to incorporate a touring repertoire that fits the markets they wish to access from a creative and community engagement perspective, and following that a marketing strategy that invites multiple communities in a few different ways, and gives the presenter tools to strategize toward those markets effectively.
"Resilience in the touring market is a matter of continuously moving work to new opportunities while coaxing former supporters into support for new ideas. This constant shape-shifting, internal and external dialogue, self-motivation and openness to community needs, and exploring what different opportunities offer you creatively and professionally and the dialogue and effect that has on the art is inherent to the practicalities above and will be a general theme we discuss."
On a practical level, you can expect Thomas to address "developing a viable touring budget that is within the present fee structure of touring venues in the US and beyond, staffing, venue specifications and technical specifications as relates to viable tour budgets, what to expect from marketplace pricing and how to get what you need."
Producer, manager and curator who founded ArKtype in 2006 toward the long-term development, production and touring of new internationally based performance work on various scales. His work includes projects with venues worldwide and renowned artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Brook, Yael Farber, Annie-B Parsons & Paul Lazar, Lisa Peterson, Jay Scheib, Julie Taymor, and Tony Taccone. For three seasons he produced the Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota, FL and recently premiered Big Dance Theater / Mikhail Baryshnikov’s MAN IN A CASE and the U.S. premiere of Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater’s NOT BY BREAD ALONE. Current collaborations include Jay Scheib (Cambridge); Baryshnikov Productions (New York); Denis O’Hare & Lisa Peterson (New York); Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater (Tel Aviv); Big Dance Theater (New York); Byron Au Yong & Aaron Jafferis (Seattle/New Haven); Phantom Limb (New York); Jessica Blank & Erik Jensen (New York); Sam Green / Yo La Tengo (Brooklyn / Hoboken); Compagnia T.P.O. (Italy); Aurélia & Victoria Thiérrée-Chaplin (France); Joshua Light Show (New York); Dayna Hanson (Seattle); KMA (London); Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra (Brooklyn); Rude Mechs (Austin, TX); and Theatre for a New Audience (New York). Upcoming premieres include Jay Scheib’s PLATONOV from the story by Anton Chekhov (La Jolla Playhouse, September 2013), Dayna Hanson’s THE CLAY DUKE (Summer 2013) Jessica Black & Erik Jensen’s LESTER BANGS PROJECT (Spring 2014). www.arktype.org
Published On :11/5/2013 2:17:03 PM
SHAWN RENÉ GRAHAM: Individual Giving Appeals Workshop Teacher
We recently asked SHAWN RENE GRAHAM, teacher of Individual Giving Appeals, and Artist Services Manager at The Field for her thoughts on how to stay resilient when asking for what you need as an artist:
Stop saying ‘I am not good at asking for money.’ Develop some techniques that make you better.
You can’t be afraid of ‘NO’ or take it personally. You have to learn to move to the next prospect and not let the ‘NO’ be positive and not negative. Maybe it just means you should re-examine your message or strategy, be clearer about who you are and what you are asking for exactly.
You need to examine your own inhibitions about asking. Part of the work is understanding your own relationship to money and your own hang-ups. We tend to project those onto other people, when what you think may not be true at all for the person you are asking.
Know that fundraising involves cultivation. Learn something about your donors as individuals or funding sources other than the fact they have money to give and appeal to that. If you are meeting one-on-one, show an interest in them that isn’t just about the money. This means you may have to step up your game and do some research. What appeals to that individual may not appeal to you in the same way, but you still need to engage them before saying ‘give me all your money.’
Click here to sign up for Individual Giving Appeals!
Find other ways to get stuff that is not just monetary. Maybe you can exchange skills with someone. You provide something for someone and they help you develop marketing materials, or grant applications or whatever. This is about surrounding yourself with people who do some things better than you and learning from them, but making the exchange fair."
Ms. Graham is a freelance writer and dramaturg from San Jose, California who has worked with many writers including, Kia Corthron, Nilo Cruz, Steve Harper, Eduardo Machado, Walter Mosley, Lynn Nottage, Suzan Lori Parks, John Henry Redwood, Guillermo Reyes, Paul Rudnick, Steve Harper, Susan Sontag, Dominic A. Taylor, Edwin Sanchez, Judy Tate, and Naomi Wallace.
She has been a guest dramaturg at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, the Crossroads Theatre Company's Genesis Festival, the New Professional Theatre, and African American Women's New Play Festival and on many panels including, National Endowments for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Artist Grants Panel in Playwriting and the Mark Taper Forum's New Works Festival and is currently the resident dramaturg of The American Slavery Project's: Unheard Voices collaboration.
Ms. Graham has worked in dance, serving as dramaturg for The Errol Grimes Dance Group's RED, Mrs. Robeson in Moscow, Sunday Day, Prism to a Dream and By the Sea at the Henry Street Settlement's Harry De Jur Playhouse. She is the Producing Coordinator for the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Future Classics Series and Playwright’s Playground, and founder of All Creative Writes, an artistic assistance service designed to provide individual artists and performing arts organizations with administrative, fundraising and writing support.
Ms. Graham holds degrees from the California State University, Los Angeles and the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. She lives in Harlem, NY.
Published On :11/5/2013 1:53:43 PM
Fran Kirmser: Marketing and Communications Strategies Teacher
The Field is thrilled to have FRAN KIRMSER, a two time Tony Award Winner, back as our teacher of Marketing and Communication Strategies this fall.
Fran has worked for over twelve years, producing, promoting and fundraising for dance and theater, and has been working with The Field for several years!
Collectively she has raised millions of dollars in institutional funding and corporate sponsorships for hundreds of companies. She has held positions in Development, Public Relations, Management, or Booking and Representation with the following organizations: Ellis Wood Dance, Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, Lisa Giobbi Movement Theater, Shen Wei, Pascal Rioult Dance Theater, Doug Varone and Dancers, Sandra Cameron Dance Center, Pentacle.
She was a founder of manhattan theatre source 1999-2011 where she served as Producing Artistic Director and in 2002 founded Made to Move, Inc. - a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge of the art of dance and theatre that still thrives today.
Fran produced August Wilson's Radio Golf on Broadway nominated for four Tony Awards. She holds two Tony Awards for the 2009 Best Musical Revival Hair and this year's 2013 Best Play Revival Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. In 2010 Fran conceived a sports series for stage including the 2011 longest running Broadway play Lombardi, Magic/Bird and now Bronx Bombers.
She is a graduate of Skidmore College with continuing education at NYU Tisch School of Dance and Columbia University.
Our Marketing and Communications Strategies workshop will take place at The Field on Tuesday October 29, at 6:30pm and in the vein of our fall theme of resilience, will address creating a communication strategy that adapts to your needs over time! For more info, visit us here!
Published On :11/5/2013 1:51:36 PM
Amy Cova: Fall 2013 Fieldwork Facilitator Profile
This Fall, Fieldwork is being facilitated by AMY COVA, the Founder/Artistic Director of Amy Cova Dance.
Amy's choreography has been commissioned by numerous institutions including the Detroit Institute of Art. Her company has been seen at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, The Alvin Ailey Studio Theatre, TriskelionArts, The Flea Theater and Dance New Amsterdam.
Most recently Cova premiered her evening length work Spinal Streets and a Straw as part of FLIC fest 2013.
Having been a faculty member/guest artist at numerous universities including Oakland University and the University of Michigan, Cova is currently a Groundwork Artist in Residence at Shannon Hummel's Cora Dance and performs with Nadia Tykulsker/Spark(edit) Arts.
We recently asked Amy why she wanted to facilitate Fieldwork,
"Fieldwork is a welcome and safe environment in which I can share my work. More importantly, it is a space that inspires learning, about one's own process and the process of experiencing the work of others. The process of offering feedback is generous and rich for both the artist sharing AND the artist witnessing and offering feedback."
Fieldwork is a unique forum for artists to share developing works and exchange feedback, peer to peer. As a method for giving feedback, Fieldwork reveals how each piece is perceived by others and fosters a detailed information exchange. Incisive and stimulating critiques are guided by an experienced facilitator. Participants will meet weekly to share their developing works. To learn more, or sign up, click here.
Published On :9/17/2013 12:49:56 PM
Edward McKeaney: JumpstART 2013 Teacher
EDWARD MCKEANY, who is teaching The Field's arts management intensive, JumpstART, moved to New York City in 2003 and has served as the Director of Development & External Relations for Elevator Repair Service Theater since September 2011.
Ed worked as the General Manager of The Wooster Group from 2008-2011 and the Director of Special Events at BAM from 2005-2008.
He's also been the Managing Producer for PearlDamour and Banana Bag & Bodice, and Director of Development at Abingdon Theatre Company. Before moving to New York, he spent many seasons at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV.
We asked Ed how our Fall theme of Resilience connected to his curriculum for JumpstART,
"Resilience is the key to surviving today's cultural environment; whether having resilience in your creation process as an artist or in your management style as an administrator. I am thrilled to participate in The Field's JumpstART workshop this fall and continue a conversation about effective uses of resiliency in world of performing and visual arts."
JumpstART is a 3-part intensive that will cover fundraising, budget creation, contracts, production management, marketing and press, and how to plan for the future life of your production. To sign learn more or sign up for this program, visit us here.
Published On :7/11/2013 9:30:02 AM
A letter on social practice by Caroline Woodard
This guest-blog comes from Caroline Woodard, a Brooklyn-based artist and organizer. The following was a letter written to MacDowell on supporting social practice . For more information on Caroline, please visit carolinewoolard.com.
MacDowell was my first major residency, so I am thrilled that you are expanding your understanding of contemporary art to include long-term, process-heavy, socially engaged art. When I made a project for other Fellows, I felt a bit out of place, so I want to humbly offer the following suggestions for supporting what are now called social practices, as I think this working style deserves the time and commitment that MacDowell offers.
To clarify the types of projects that might get support, I have outlined 3 types of social practices as I see them today, from short-term engagement to long-term engagement, with recommendations tailored to these approaches.
1. The Stranger Approach: this is where an artist/group act as a catalyst for unconventional interactions and/or conversations. The artist serves as an “excuse” for otherwise difficult partnerships, meetings, or actions. The artist remains separate from the group, community, or site that s/he interacts with. For example, the Ghana Think Tank connects groups in conflict by creating platforms for dialog and action: http://ghanathinktank.org/
To support the Stranger Approach, you could ask artists to submit a Letter of Inquiry, and then ask the top 5 artists to submit site-specific proposals. If you want to lead the field and model this after architectural proposals, you should pay these artists to submit well-researched, site-specific proposals.
2. The Embedded Approach: this is where the artist/group work in contexts that are not sanctioned or codified as art-contexts, where s/he slowly builds relationships or has previously established relationships.
To support the Embedded Approach, you could solicit artists who are interested in doing a weekend, week-long, or month-long retreat with the group that they s/he is already embedded within. This would mean housing the group as they visit MacDowell together. Alternatively, you could ask artists if they are interested in embedding themselves in the Garden, Kitchen, Administration, or other existing social format at MacDowell. For example, Maureen Connor embedded herself in the Queens Museum and Ukeles is artist is residence in the Sanitation Dept of NYC: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcla/html/panyc/ukeles.shtml
CUP option: ask Peterborough groups what kind of artists they might want to work with, or what their issues are, and then make a call to artists based on what your local groups actually want.
To support the Lifetime Approach, you could offer the artist/group a residency of a weekend, week, or month to reflect upon the work done so far. Clearly, they cannot do a whole project at MacDowell or in NH (unless they are already from the area), as these are lifetime projects, not short term interventions. Outcomes might include a publication, sanity and clarity for improved work, and group strengthening (if it’s a collective or participants, non-organizers can be invited). For example:http://www.temporaryservices.org/booklets.html#91to100
- TIME: Social practices take time to develop. Do not think you are going to get a Lifetime project if you invite someone for a month. A month will give you a Stranger approach only.
- LOCATION: If you house this artist downtown in an apartment, rather than in a space away from the community they are working in/with/for, chances of deep relationship building will be improved.
- PARTICIPANTS: Social practices must incorporate ethical considerations. Please ask artists engaged in social practices to submit recommendation letters from prior participants, and consider bringing in participants of past projects as part of the reflection process or retreat for the Lifetime Approach. Please read Ben Kinmont’s work with Laurel George and students: Towards Ethics in Project Art (a free PDF is available online)
- INTENTIONS: If you are looking to work with social practice artists as a kind of community outreach for your institution, please enumerate your expectations and goals in advance. Artists are not necessarily going to fulfill your goals, and you can be more clear about this if you have a direct conversation about it.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration,
2008 MacDowell Fellow
Published On :6/20/2013 12:39:16 PM
Recap: Special Events Career Workshop with Zanetta Addams-Pilgrim (May 30, 2013)
by Susan Oetgen, Interim Program Manager, The Field
Working late at the office is not usually something I look forward to, but three weeks ago, on a balmy May evening, I was pretty psyched to stick around to host The Field's Special Events Career Workshop. As the rest of the Financial District was emptying out and shutting down, I was gearing up to spend a few more hours in The Field's sweet new conference room, taking notes from fundraising and special events consultant Zanetta Addams-Pilgrim, along with a similarly jazzed group of fellow go-getter artists.
As even a quick glance at her bio will attest
, Zanetta's track record as a fundraiser and special events planner is impressive, to say the least. Equally important, however, she's an experienced and adept teacher, so those of us in the workshop definitely got our specific special events questions answered. While she dropped plenty of pearls of wisdom here and there, she also had a straightforward, well-conceived methodology, which you can find more of in the Special Events Toolbox
she authored with Laura Goldstein, during her tenure as Program Director at Cause Effective, a business development and management consultant firm for non-profits. Meanwhile, I'll do my best to recap some of it here.
After a round of introductions so we could all meet and greet each other as colleagues, the first thing she did was to break down the definition of a special event. Basically, any event outside the purview of your regular programming is a special event, according to Zanetta. Let's say you're a dancer. That means pretty much anything that isn't a dance performance you put on for the public. It could be an open rehearsal that you invite potential donors to. It could be an ice cream social on your best friend's rooftop that you invite all your friends to in order to raise $1,000 for your latest self-produced project at Dixon Place. It could be a dinner party at your new Board Chair's fancy apartment where you and your entire Board of Directors are celebrating and honoring your outgoing Board Chair. In other words, if it's not a straight-up performance, it's a special event.
Next Zanetta introduced three practical tools that are indispensable to producing a successful special event: OBJECTIVES, TIMELINES, and BUDGETS. Since you might have many good reasons to throw a special event, it's important to know what your primary OBJECTIVE is. Maybe you're inviting potential donors and Board members to your ice cream social. Is the event first and foremost a fundraising event, a cultivation event or a recruitment event? Using a worksheet, Zanetta walked us through a process of determining all of our potential objectives, and then we discussed as a group why it is important to have consensus and clarity among the special events team members about the primary
objective. By the way, what if you don't have a 'special events team' because your organization has a 'staff' of one, a.k.a yourself? The lesson still applies. Even if it's just you on the 'team', best practice means listing out all the possible objectives for your special event, and choosing the most important one.
With that clarity around objective as your guiding light, you can turn your focus to creating a TIMELINE, the second of the tools Zanetta offered us. This tool is about information-sharing and accountability. Producing a special event is exactly like producing a performance: there are weeks and weeks of advance work that go into it. Zanetta's timeline tool is a spreadsheet that breaks out each step you need to take, when you need to take it, who is accountable for it, and what the status is, so that at any given point in time, you know how the event planning is coming along. Seems like a lot of work to create this timeline, rather than just diving into the steps you need to take, but according to Zanetta, you will be glad you have it when it comes time to evaluate your special event after the fact.
But there's a BUDGET to develop. Most of us typically draft budgets that simply list income and expenses. Zanetta encouraged us to take this third tool further and make low, medium and high projections on both the income and expense side. That way, we cover the bases as far as what we can expect to gain (or lose) financially from our special event and in the process of laying it all out on paper, we can make an informed decision about whether the special event is even worth doing! That's right! Zanetta stressed the importance of deciding against
producing a special event if it isn't financially feasible! Or if you can meet your primary objective in a more cost and time-effective manner.
If your budget looks good and you decide to go forth with your special event, Zanetta emphasized the importance of making time shortly afterward to EVALUATE the success of it. Did you meet your objective? Why or why not? Having a detailed reflection session on what you would differently or the same next time is the best way to build your capacity to meet your special events objectives in the future.
It was so worth staying late at the office to benefit from Zanetta Addams-Pilgrim's excellent workshop, and I hope the above is a helpful recap for those of you who missed it! Probably the biggest take-away for me personally was the notion that you can use those three tools (OBJECTIVES, TIMELINES, BUDGETS) to assess the feasibility of the special event you're planning before you even decide to host it. Drop a line to email@example.com
if you have questions or comments, or post them below! And keep your eye on this space for upcoming posts about the Career Workshops we have planned for the fall…
Published On :6/13/2013 11:05:00 AM
to fail and fail big: A Study on Mid-Career Artists, Success and Failure Part 5
Published On :6/6/2013 11:09:00 AM
to fail and fail big: A Study on Mid-Career Artists, Success and Failure Part 4
Published On :5/30/2013 10:51:00 AM
to fail and fail big: A Study of Mid-Career Artists, Success and Failure Part 3
Published On :5/23/2013 10:18:00 AM
to fail and fail big: A Study of Mid-Career Artists, Success and Failure Part 2
Published On :5/17/2013 9:19:31 AM
to fail and fail big: A Study of Mid-Career Artists, Success and Failure Part 1
Published On :11/4/2013 12:06:25 PM
Tweets from "to fail and fail big."
On Wednesday, May 1, 2013, The Field hosted a Panel Event, "to fail and fail big: A case study of Mid-career artists, Success, and Failure," at SITI Company. The panel was facilitated by Georgiana Pickett, Executive Director, Baryshnikov Arts Center. Panelists included award-winning performer and art-maker, Okwui Okpokwasili; Moira Brennan, Program Director, The MAP Fund; producer Thomas O. Kriegsmann and critically acclaimed musician, Somi.
The following is a chronological record of tweets that were posted real time during the event:
Gearing up for To Fail and Fail Big our panel event at SITI Company tonight. See you there
Here we go! Will it be frightening? Will we fail? Will we succeed? Will we move the field forward? Let's find out!
Why are we having this conversation? To discern the conditions that help artists thrive so the sector can help more artists thrive!
From Okwui Okpokwasili, "Do I feel successful? No. But I feel really f**king lucky."
Seems to me that many successful artists are failing regularly! How? Work-in-progress showings as an integral piece of creative practice.
"The only opposition is the mindset of the culture at large. Until this shifts, we will never have enough money for experimental art."
"The best presenters are the best bc of their plasticity...their ability to break the mold." Producer, Tommy Kriegsmann
Choreographer, Kimberly Bartosik, was told, "Being a white woman right now is really not working in your favor."
Does the system that created established artists even exist anymore? Great question.
Tweet #9 - retweeted by Kerry McCarthy and commented on by Karen Harvey "Maybe it's an illusion - because maybe the established artists were actually the beginning of the 'system' they thrive within?"
You keep on going. You develop a certain skin. Your success or failure cannot be what is reflected back at you from anybody.
There's a sense of entitlement to be creative in the younger generation that's not in line with our economic culture.
So many of you said it's not necessarily about failure, it's more about risk-taking and building an environment that champions those risks.
Published On :11/9/2012 1:32:27 PM
Post-Sandy Help for Artists
We hope you are safely recovering from Hurricane Sandy and taking advantage of the many resources that are popping up and/or volunteering when you can. The Field is also aware that the storm and its aftermath have had an impact on your art-making and managing your art, so we’ve gathered our resources and we’re making them available to anyone who needs them—for FREE!
Check out what is coming up and take advantage!
AFTER SANDY: How to Apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Monday, November 12, 6-7pm OR Friday, November 16, 11am-12pm
At The Field
With Shawn Rene Graham
Have you lost work or income due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy? If so, you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Join Artist Services Manager, Shawn René Graham, and get help with the fine print and process of applying. The deadline for applying for DUA is December 3, so sign up now!
At Governor Cuomo’s request, President Obama declared several counties in New York as major disaster areas. DUA is a Federal program that provides payments to people in a federally declared disaster area who have lost work or income due to the disaster. Read more about the Disaster Unemployment Assistance here.
Fundraising After Sandy
Monday, November 19, 6:30 - 7:30pm
At The Field
With Cara Liguori
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, is it safe, tacky or completely taboo to ask folks to support your art projects? What can/should you do if you were depending on end of year giving to meet your income goals? Join a group of your peers and Field Development Manager, Cara Liguori, to ask your most pressing questions and to share your opinions. The right way forward is going to be different for everyone, so let’s put it all out there and discuss.
Looking for more? Check out the following listings and information:
LMCC's Emergency Grants List:
NYFA's Emergency Grants List:
Volunteer in the Rockaways: Sign up to reserve your seat on a bus to the Rockaways to help with Hurricane relief and clean up. https://rockabus.com/
Occupy Sandy: An off-shoot of Occupy Wall Street, this organizing effort is looking for volunteers and donated goods. Find out more at: http://interoccupy.net/
Dance: Dance/NYC Help them tell your story and help you by writing Lacey Althouse at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the conversation on Twitter @DanceNYC #sandydance.
Theatre: ART/NY www.art-newyork.org They are collecting information re: immediate losses and
expect to provide further assistance so stay in touch with them.
Published On :9/24/2012 2:45:49 PM
Did you know? Information about MAP Fund and Helpful Hints for Applying
The Field’s Shawn René Graham sat down with MAP Fund Program Director, Moira Brennan, for an info session on applying to MAP. This is what we learned!
A little background:
Did you know that the MAP Fund is 24 years old? It is the oldest direct grant for performing art activities in the US and is only second to the NEA in funding resources. They give away $1.2 million annually to up to 40 projects in all performing disciplines—theater, music, dance—and they receive about 1,000 applications every year.
Application review process:
The MAP Fund has three goals in mind when reviewing applications:
1. They are looking for contemporary works that challenge conventions
2. They are interested in the issue of “the other” or diversity in your work
3. They fund proposals that demonstrate excellence of execution.
They want to make it the simplest application form, by keeping it streamlined and only asking for essential info, which includes project description and artist statements, a budget, and work samples.
Funding is usually granted to artists who have been producing work publicly for at least two years. The average award is 10-25% of the applicant’s total budget.
MAP Fund is excited about international projects, but unless the project includes a US-based performance it is unlikely to get funded.
Helpful hints & suggestions:
Project Descriptions and Artist Statements: Resist throwing all of your collaborators’ thoughts into your proposals. Be focused on your vision so that the panelists can see that you are in command of your own project. Make your artistic statements grounded and related to your artistic process; it should be 80% practical and 20% philosophical. Be sure to include a clear execution plan in your project description. There are links in the application that tell you what to write, follow them closely.
Work samples: Make sure your work samples grab the viewer’s attention within the first 5 seconds. Find sections of your work that are explosive. Work samples should be thought out carefully and should include clear descriptions. Your text should direct the panelist’s eye and hold their hand.
Budgets: MAP Fund panelists are keen on artist’s fees. Always include as much detail as possible and break down artist payment fees more than anything else.
For more information about MAP Fund, visit mapfund.org
If you are a Sponsored Artist with The Field and you want to apply to MAP Fund, you must register through us. Contact Shawn René Graham (email@example.com) immediately to apply.
Published On :9/21/2012 1:53:14 PM
Quick Notes and Quirky Wisdom
A short-hand recap of our Seasoned Process panel-discussion
In case you missed out on The Field’s panel, A Seasoned Process: Sustaining Creativity & Weathering Change, we were frantically scribbling notes! Here’s a smattering of sage advice and topical tips (and our rough interpretations) for being an artist, making work, and enjoying the longevity of your career.
A huge thank you to our panelists for their honesty and openess—Eve Beglarian, Donna Uchizono, Keith Reddin, and Judy Tate—and our insightful facilitator, Todd London!
Here we go…
“A career in the arts is not linear…It’s by definition unpredictable…you’ll be following a path that hasn’t been built yet…you can’t look for external validation because there aren’t any marks on the path.” –Eve Beglarian
“…it’s a constant set of corrections to get back on course, rather than staying on a designated path.”
–Judy Tate, on being an artist and the practice of making work
“The next thing I’m going to do is just for me.” –Keith Reddin, on taking a break from making for presenters or funders, and to reconnect with his creative practice
“Don’t take things personally…” –Donna Uchizono, on how it is impossible for all the good projects that are submitted to funders to get awards they deserve
“Have the confidence that it’s all going to work out and be ok—even if that confidence is artificial, because you can’t really know” –Eve Beglarian, advice on the financial instability of being an artist
“It’s been a financial disaster [laughs], but it’s been great. I felt a kind of freedom from promotion.”
–Donna Uchizono, on producing a show that was invite only with no advertising.
“Tension wants to resolve itself.” –Judy Tate, on having trust in your process and that the work has the power to resolve itself
“…I try not to be that introspective. I lose faith all the time…I took that vow of poverty and I haven’t left the monastery yet.” –Keith Reddin
“I have to re-commit to this every day.” –Donna Uchizono on keeping “faith” in her work and staying true to it
“We’re talking about bodies of work, sustaining the art. It isn’t about this piece, it’s about a life’s work.” –Todd London
Published On :9/7/2012 12:40:12 PM
Why Fiscal Sponsorship and How to Get the Most Out of it.
Shawn René Graham, The Field’s Artist Services Manager and a Dramaturg who’s worked extensively in dance and theater (read: she’s been on both sides of the art-making/arts administration divide), breaks down why, when, and how fiscal sponsorship can be most useful to artists.
First off, we’ve got a new mantra for you: “Think business.” According to Shawn René, the key to being a successful and financially astute artist is to deftly straddle art-making and arts administration. She says, “artists need to think of themselves in two ways: as art-makers and as business people.”
A huge part of being a savvy business person is planning ahead. If you want to grow your budget through strategic and sustainable long-term fundraising, and/or if you’re seeking large gifts or applying to family foundations for institutional funding, you need non-profit affiliation.
What’s the difference between a fiscal sponsor and becoming your own 501©3? Primarily, the difference here is in time commitment and scale of operations. Becoming a 501©3 and maintaining that status with the IRS is a huge load of work and can be very complicated; you want to be really sure that it’s right for you before you dive in. A fiscal sponsor, on the other hand, provides many of the same non-profit benefits with a fraction of the work.
So once you’ve swallowed that pill, what are some practical ways to get the most out of your fiscal sponsor and fiscal sponsorship in general? Shawn René breaks it down:
1. Take inventory of the resources that you have—and the ones you still need. What skills or support structures do you bring to the table? In what areas do you require further expertise? This will help you identify what it is you need from a fiscal sponsor. It’s also super useful if you’re looking to barter with other artists.
2. Choose a fiscal sponsor that’s right for you. Think about what kind of relationship you want to have with your fiscal sponsor and what you expect them to provide for you. Do you need help with professional development (budgets, writing, touring, publicity)? Then choose a fiscal sponsor that offers resources on these topics (and be willing to receive critical feedback!).
3. Be ready to talk about your art-making history. Draft a personal timeline of your artistic work so you can visualize this and keep track. Know yourself, your process, and your work.
4. Be ready to learn, understand, and know your value in the marketplace. You are a contributor to the economy. Being fiscally smart is about fortifying partnerships, marketing yourself, and being connected in a network of artists, funders, and stakeholders.
5. Make the time commitment. Running a company (or even just the administrative tasks of an individual artist) takes time and attention. You need to be prepared to deal with the day-to-day upkeep, so build it into your calendar.
So now you’re thinking business. You’re ready to take the plunge. Who are some fiscal sponsors you can turn to? Well, there’s us: The Field. There’s also NYFA, Fractured Atlas, New York Live Arts, and Pentacle to name a few. Shop around, do your research, compare prices and benefits offered. And as always, contact us if you have any questions!
Published On :4/17/2012 2:08:29 PM
From ERPA recipient Connie Hall:
I'm a Joiner! For Selfish Reasons!
I was one of the first lucky recipients of the Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists program. Our project, Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant, was essentially an experiment in marrying the artistic model of an actor-driven, collaborative ensemble theater company with a business model borrowed from the food service industry. We were on a quest for the illusive “sustainability”. Theater-as-restaurant. Self-contained. Replicable economic model. As time went on, over and over again in conversations with fellow recipients, the word “community” kept coming up for each of us, separately, as a key to economic and artistic survival. At the beginning I thought that “sustainability” was synonymous with “self-sufficiency”. By the end, “sustainability” had become synonymous with “community”. This moved quickly from an idea to a commitment in a surprising way for me, just as the grant period came to a close.
In June of 2011, Paul Bargetto, artistic director of the undergroundzero festival, approached me to see if Conni’s Avant Garde Restauarant wanted to join a new cooperative of independent theaters. Do I want a slot in the annual festival? Do I want to help come up with a new system of working that involves cooperating rather than competing or working in isolation? Yup, yup, and yup. This is for me the next stage of Economic Revitalization. It involves letting go a bit of the importance I place on my own carefully carved out individual aesthetic niche and hooking my future with others. Really committing to other theater-makers to improve our lot.
The Official Scoop:
In February 2012, eleven independent theater artists and companies formed the undergroundzero cooperative: Paul Bargetto / East River Commedia, Anna Brenner, Jeff Clarke / Performance Lab 115, Alec Duffy / Hoi Polloi, Connie Hall / Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant, Daniel Irizarry & Laura Butler Rivera, Doris Mirescu / Dangerous Ground, Shige Moriya & Ximena Garnica / Leimay, Judith Malina & Brad Burgess / The Living Theatre, Jill A. Samuels, and Shannon Sindelar.
Since 2007, undergroundzero has been operating as a summer festival (Collective Unconscious, PS 122) featuring the cutting edge work of New York City and international theater-makers. This year, participants from past festivals and other veteran experimental theater artists formed the permanent resident cooperative in order to share resources and improve the conditions for making new work. The cooperative’s aim is to secure for its member companies the core means of production including rehearsal space, performance venues, touring opportunities, promotion, management, advocacy, and funding.
This year the undergroundzero festival will be presented at the Living Theatre, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center and outdoor sites June 26 - July 28, 2012.
Check out our website to see what is in the works and how you can get involved: www.undergroundzeronyc.org.
Published On :3/20/2012 2:47:27 PM
How to Get the Ones that Aren't Got
Cara Liguori, Development and Special Events Manager here at The Field, met with Community Liaison Safiya Raheem, from the office of Council Member Inez E. Dickens of Harlem’s District 9, to discuss Council funding for The Field and our programs. She walked away with a whole new bag of knowledge and some sparkly opportunity-ideas!
Council Member Dickens is particularly concerned with reaching District 9 constituents who are truly economically vulnerable and who may not have already established networking inroads or have associations with community organizations.
What does The Field have to do with this? A few things…
We too are curious and concerned about how to reach artists who have not already established a network of support or relationships with service organizations. We are interested in your thoughts and experiences. How did you find out about The Field or similar organizations? What pushed you to reach out for help? Where/when/with whom do you network? We want to hear your suggestions about how to reach vulnerable artists who don’t have the support they need. Email your thoughts, experiences and ideas to Cara Liguori at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll compile your notes and use this information in our efforts to secure further funding to better serve YOU and get to the ones that aren’t got!
And there’s more…
In our opinion, this may be a prime time to introduce your art to a larger audience and to get involved in a local community. Dickens is primarily concerned about the increasing street violence in her district. She’s interested in supporting her community organizations that run programs that enrich the lives of young Harlem residents and keep them engaged and off the streets. Dickens currently allocates funding to the Harlem YMCA and Children’s Art Carnival to help these organizations fulfill her goal of decreased street violence. It’s just a hunch, but for any of you that have ever wanted to run a theater workshop/dance or music class/poetry lab for at-risk youth, we recommend reaching out to these District 9 organizations to see if they are interested in partnering with you!
Published On :3/20/2012 6:51:10 AM
How can we not only define, but also enact, a new set of ethics and values that could transform the way we share, organize, and create?
Most people already have curiosity, enthusiasm, and strong desires to speak truth, hone a craft, produce beauty, and connect with others. How can we practice sharing, organizing, and creating in ways that transform ourselves, our communities, and the world? Here are some ways I do this:
Create online tools for collaboration and exchange!
We are only twenty years into the internet-era. We are in a beautifully experimental stage of the information revolution. Since the internet reached a critical mass in 1990, many people have been asking online platforms to foster deep connections in real time and space. At OurGoods.org, we support the production of new work through barter, because resource sharing is the paradigm of the 21st century. OurGoods is specifically dedicated to the barter of creative skills, spaces, and objects, because we want to build tools for the communities we are part of.
Learn from elders in sharing communities
We are in a contemporary fumbling for sharing rituals at intimate-distance. I've been looking to 30-year-old intentional communities and collectively-run spaces and institutions for advice. I've been visiting the intentional community Ganas, in NYC, to learn about the relationships they've built to share money, cars, houses, and work for over 30 years. At Ganas, for three decades, a voluntary daily meeting is set aside for members to talk through their personal struggles with cooperation. Members of Ganas recognize that no change will happen unless we struggle to "become the change we want to see in the world." We are conditioned to compete, talk over, and gossip. We need more spaces to practice cooperating, listening, and working through conflict. Jen Abrams, a co-founder of OurGoods, has worked in the oldest collectively-run women and trans theater space for 13 years. She reminds me that, "you have to take time to check in with one another...emotions are not efficient... either you address your feelings together before the meeting, or you end up working through them while trying to have a meeting."
Vocalize your Values
At Trade School, we asked a facilitator to help us come up with our principles. We talked about why we were each involved in Trade School New York (there are now Trade Schools in over 6 countries) and brainstormed about the things that are at the core of our work (the things that probably won't ever be changed). After 2 hours, we made this rough set of working principles:
1. Trade School is a learning experiment where teachers barter with students.
2. Trade School is not free-- we believe in the power of non-monetary value.
3. We place equal value on big ideas, practical skills, and experiential knowledge.
1. Everyone has something to offer.
2. We are actively working to create safe spaces for people and ideas.
3. We want more spaces made by and for the people who use them.
1. Trade School runs on mutual respect.
2. We avoid hoarding leadership by sharing responsibilities and information.
3. We are motivated by integrity, not coercion.
4. Our organization is always learning and evolving.
We recognize that bartering is a way to experiment with value. Because value is subjective, some people may not value the work that you make as much as you do. After bartering for years on OurGoods.org, we've come up with these basic guidelines:
1. Be clear: Define the exchange. Articulate what constitutes a job well-done.
2. Do your homework: Read your partner’s profile and feedback. Meet before you agree.
3. Be accountable: Do what you said you were going to do, when you said you’d do it.
4. Communicate: Stay in touch. Talk about what’s going right (or wrong) as it happens.
5. Leave feedback: This is what makes our community work.
Published On :3/8/2012 9:59:12 AM
No, but really: What is Fieldwork?
Fieldwork is for any artist who is interested in learning about how his/her work comes across to audiences.
Fieldwork is like no other place or format for showing work. You hear honest, direct feedback about what you’re making, not from friends or family, but from a group of people who will closely mirror your audience – people who aren’t connected to your work necessarily.
In Fieldwork, it doesn’t matter who is in the group with you – even people whose work you may not admire are able to give you feedback that will help your work develop.
In Fieldwork the direction of the work lays in your hands – since you don’t explain what your intent is, instead letting the work speak for itself, you remain the guardian of its development.
Often in Fieldwork, people find after they show their work, they are again energized about it, find new angles or ideas that are inspired by the feedback. Sometimes just showing the work in front of others gives the maker fresh eyes.
Most artists who do Fieldwork find that giving feedback is as important as showing their work. By participating in the process, you will learn to become much better at seeing work, putting into words how it is coming across to you, and verbalizing this information in a way that the maker can hear.
People often develop lasting bonds with their peer Fieldworkers – people find collaborators, performers, and audience for their work by participating in the workshop.
We reached out to Susan Oetgen who will be facilitating the upcoming Guest Artist Fieldwork with Brian Brooks, to ask her what she gets from Fieldwork:
“Sharing work in Fieldwork always gives me useful information about whether my intentions are coming across successfully or not. Also, I like to practice performing as often as I can, and Fieldwork groups are great opportunities to actually get up and do something in front of an audience, with slightly lower stakes than in a public performance.”
Try it for yourself!
Click here to learn more about this season’s Guest Artist Fieldwork (March 20 – May 8).
Published On :3/5/2012 7:38:30 AM
Saying Goodbye to '25'
As we say goodbye to our 25th year, a parting note from former Executive Director, Steve Gross…
I worked at The Field from 1987 until 2006, when I left to begin my practice as a psychologist. I now work at a maximum security prison for women, and the point I’d like to make is that working with independent artists and working with convicted felons isn’t all that different.
Let me explain. Fieldwork, The Field’s oldest and core program, is a place where artists show their work as it’s developing. There are no costumes, no polish, no fourth wall – just the work itself, and after it’s shown, the artist sits down with his or her peers and gets feedback about how the work has come across. What I learned through participating in Fieldwork all those years is how to look at work, how to make sense of what is coming across, and find a way to talk about it so that the artist can learn about the work, find out how it impacts and audience.
At the prison, my job is much the same. The inmates’ “work” in this case is their behaviors, and my job is to take in what they are doing – how they behave – and make sense of it, and give them feedback, all in an effort to help them change, help them grow, so that when they’re released, and most of them will be released, they’re in better shape than they were before.
So you can see that the skill of being able to watch, synthesize, and give feedback is one that has served me incredibly well. I’ve had a lot of training…four years of graduate school, three externships, an internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale (yes, I will even name drop in service of The Field!), and yet the best training I’ve ever gotten is at The Field. It’s a kind of training that all The Field’s artists and staff receive, and my experience is that it prepares us not only to make better art, but to be better people.
Here’s to 25 more years of making better art and becoming better people!
Published On :3/1/2012 2:56:02 PM
Board Members or Bored Members?
Whether you have (or are building) an Advisory Board or official Board of Directors this group of individuals can seriously build resources (cash and human) and visibility for you—or be a lethargic, disengaged gaggle of needy folks.
Jennifer Wright Cook, our Executive Director, and James McLaren, Field Board Member, were panelists at today’s Devos Institute of Arts Management Seminar “maximizing Board productivity” for 200+ NYC arts organizations. Fellow panelists included Carol Ostrow, Producing Director and Jamie Harris, Board Member, from The Flea; and Gail Nathan, Executive Director, and Natalie Jeremijenko, Acting Board Chair and artist extraordinaire from Bronx River Art Center.
Top tips and takeaways:
1. It’s a relationship. Build it over time with trust.
2. Your Board is often your biggest donors – treat them as such!
3. Personalize it! Find something for each individual Board member to engage with you on. Something they enjoy too (not necessarily have your CPA Board member only do finances with you! She/he is with you for art joy too!)
4. Keep the Board excited! Communicate well and share the good news often!
5. Leverage good news for all it is worth (use your 5 year anniversary as an opportunity to celebrate in many ways; use it to up your give/get numbers and then maintain the $ level!)
6. Have an alignment element every year to ensure that Board and staff are aligned on mission and service delivery. Do we all agree to what we are doing? What is expected of you? Can you provide it? What can you provide? Etc.
7. Have an Advisory or Transitional Board (if you are in a transition!) to build your circle of influence, stakeholders and possibly money.
8. Have clear and forthright conversations with Board (and staff) about expectations, goals and desires. Spend time talking!
Published On :2/13/2012 8:21:46 AM
Field Dance Fund 2012 Announced!
The Field awards $42,000 to three New York City choreographers to build their capacity for creating bold new artworks with adaptive practices!
The ladder to success is broken for most mid-career dance artists; and younger artists question why to even get on the ladder in the first place! The Field Dance Fund (FDF) aims to transform artists’ practices so that they can move from a “triage” paradigm (in which many artists work), to a more honed, outcome-driven paradigm. Overall, the FDF artists will learn to combat creative burn-out by implementing more dexterous practices to move their careers and art-making forward. Unlike any other program in New York, and with generous support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Mertz Gilmore Foundation, FDF offers six months of individualized consulting services (valued at $4,000 per artist), critical peer support and a cash award ($10,000 each). Who are the lucky recipients? In January 2012 (the auspicious year of the Water Dragon), The Field selected the following three FDF grantees (from more than 70 applicants) via a rigorous peer adjudication process: • luciana achugar makes work that “celebrates being in the experience of the body in its entire sensual splendor.” A Uruguayan choreographer based in Brooklyn, she received a Bessie award for her work, PURO DESEO, in 2010, and was on Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” list in January of 2011. • Rachel Cohen’s work “encompasses excavation, research, movement and sculpture.” She often works with inanimate materials such as clay, flour, taffy, gum, wood and paper. Her company Racoco/Rx received a NYFA BUILD Stability grant in 2010 and is currently a company-in-residence at CAVE in Brooklyn. • Michelle Dorrance seeks to “address the class wars in dance by helping audiences to view tap dance in a new and dynamically compelling context.” After performing with the Off-Broadway production STOMP for four years, she is now focusing on her own choreographic process. Michelle is a 2011 Bessie recipient for Outstanding Production.
The launch of the 2012 Field Dance Fund is only a single manifestation of The Field’s core values in action. We are thrilled about this new adventure and we can’t wait to work with the FDF artists to help them actualize their ambitions!