Friday, June 1, 2018

June 2018 Meet Our Artists: André de Quadros


Our Members, Fiscally Sponsored Artists, and other program participants represent a wide range of career stages and disciplines. We love them - and, as fellow artists, we're always inspired by them. With this monthly feature, we hope you'll feel the same way!


 Name:
André de Quadros

What do you do?
Artistic Director of Common Ground Voices (CGV), an international choir project consisting of equal groups of Arabs, Israelis, and Swedes

What inspires you?
The common ground of music unites and acts as a tool for fruitful dialogue based on creativity, compassion, and respect.

What are you proud of?
In Jerusalem, we are confronted with ethnic, religious, political, and socio-economic diversity, segregation, and fragmentation. Over a five-day residency in March 2018, the singers were able to converse about the conflict, realizing the importance and platform of CGV.

The Swedish singers functioned as artistic and project partners by being able to mediate conversations. Several of the Israeli and Palestinian participants testified that CGV gave them the opportunity, for the first time, to have a fruitful dialogue with the other party, based on mutual respect.

What are your goals?

Common Ground Voices aims to form a circle of understanding in a world of differences between human beings.

Do you have any advice for your fellow artists?

Peace-building and conflict resolution takes patience.

How does The Field help you?

The Field assisted in raising money for the travel, accommodation, and food costs for the singers; providing the resources to make the 2018 March residency in Jerusalem possible.

Click to enlarge images. Content ©André de Quadros


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Field DC/Portland Touring Exchange

Our latest Network Touring Exchange wrapped up this Spring! Launched in 2016, this program provides the opportunity for movement-based Network Site Leaders and Fieldwork facilitators to visit another Network Site for 2-7 days of mutual capacity-building activities. Read about the 2016 Network Touring Exchange here.

This Spring we were happy to have Claire Alrich (Site Coordinator of The Field/DC; independent dance artist) and Sarah Greenbaum (Fieldwork facilitator; Dance Place Artistic & Community Program Manager) travel to Portland, Oregon from April 13-16, 2018. Here's what they reported from the field, to The Field!

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Project Summary

The goal of this exchange was to research residency models. During the exchange we planned to meet with community leaders and organizers of art spaces that host artist residencies to research different ways feedback is incorporated into residency structures. These conversations also focused on how programs centered equity, and how equity could be enhanced.


Day-by-Day

Friday, April 13: We began our first day in Portland meeting with Subanashi (Suba) Ganesan, Creative Laureate of Portland, Portland-based dance artist, and founder of New Expressive Works (N.E.W.), a flexible use dance space in SE Portland, which hosts performances, classes, and rehearsals. We talked with Suba about N.E.W.’s residency program which incorporates three sessions of Fieldwork over its six-month session. These Fieldwork sessions are led by The Field/ Portland Site Coordinator Katherine Longstreth.

Claire Alrich, Subashini Ganesan, Sarah Greenbaum (selfie)
Next, we met with Linda K. Johnson, who shared some history of the Portland dance scene and, specifically, her role in Conduit Dance Company, which was a major force in the local, national and international dance community until it closed in 2016 after 21 years due to lack of affordable space. Linda also discussed her mentoring program Corpus, which was devised from a need in the community for continuing artistic and community development for post-graduates in the Portland area.

Saturday, April 14: Saturday morning we attended an Authentic Movement class at FLOCK, a one-room dance center in Northeast Portland with eight member-artists, each of whom pays a flat fee each month for dedicated time in the space as well as access to flexible time they can reserve week by week. Authentic Movement is one of the only regular classes the space offers; generally it is dedicated to rehearsal and workshops for its members.

After class we talked with Tahni Holt, choreographer and founder of FLOCK. Tahni shared her experience of running FLOCK as well as her motivation for starting the space; we also spoke more generally about the successes and challenges of the Portland dance community, specifically in-regards to gentrification and shifting demographics of neighborhoods.

Claire Alrich and Tahni Holt (Photo by Sarah Greenbaum)
Saturday afternoon we participated in a Fieldwork showing organized by Portland-based artists Katherine Longstreth, (The Field/ Portland Site Coordinator), and Jen Mitas (Fieldwork facilitator.) The showing took place at Performance Works NW, a church-turned-studio space run by Linda Austin, which hosts an Artist in Residence program. Several Portland-based artists, including Catherine Egan, Allie Hankins, and Michael Galen, showed their work. We shared a segment of our evening-length work, Holon!, which will premiere this July at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC.

Following the showing we went out for drinks and snacks with the Fieldwork participants, getting to know each other and sharing about our respective communities.

Sunday, April 15:
We spent Sunday morning exploring the West Hills of Portland and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Sunday evening, we returned to N.E.W. for the Artists in Residence Fieldwork showing. We watched works in progress by the four artists and participated in the feedback session, with about 30 minutes of feedback for each artist. Katherine Longstreth led the session and Suba Ganesan also attended.

Joint showing with Field/PDX and Field/DC artists (L-R) Celine Bouley, Catherine Egan, Allie Hankins, Rachael Dichter, Katherine Longstreth, Claire Alrich, Jen Mitas, Michael Galen (Photo by Sarah Greenbaum)
Monday, April 16: Monday morning we gathered at Jen Mitas’ home along with Katherine Longstreth to discuss the Fieldwork Facilitators Guide, with an eye towards shifting the guide to make Fieldwork more equitable and accessible to all. Prior to the meeting, Jen met with Suba Ganesan; Jen brought Suba’s insight to the meeting as well. We met for three hours and had a fruitful conversation, but recognize that there is much more work to do.

From there we went to Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) to meet with Erin Boberg Doughton (Artistic Director and Curator of Performance), Roya Amirsoleymani (Artistic Director and Curator of Public Engagement) and Van Pham (Development Associate). We discussed PICA’s structure, its position in a changing neighborhood and its Creative Exchange Lab, a three-week, interdisciplinary, research-based residency that takes place on site at PICA and at nearby artist retreat Caldera Arts.

We also attended the Creative Exchange Lab’s open showing at PICA, where artists shared samples of their work with the Portland community.


Takeaways & Actions

This residency provided us with ample time to learn, discuss, question, reflect and connect. The following points reflect recurring themes that surfaced during our time in Portland – important conversations that we continue to reflect on.
  • Bringing together diverse groups of people in flexible spaces 
  • Working from a scarcity vs. abundance lens as a means for creating more equitable sharing of resources 
  • How artists shift - and shift with - the changing landscape of a city 
  • The importance of holding space for process, without expectation of a product 
  • The impossibility of a “blank slate” and the need to acknowledge background/assumptions when viewing art and giving feedback.
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To learn more about future Network Touring Exchanges or how to bring Fieldwork to your city, visit The Field Network at thefield.org.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 2018 Meet Our Artists: Anabella Lenzu

Our Members, Fiscally Sponsored Artists, and other program participants represent a wide range of career stages and disciplines. We love them - and, as fellow artists, we're always inspired by them. With our monthly "Meet Our Artists" feature, we hope you'll feel the same way!





Name:
Anabella Lenzu

What do you do?
Choreographer, dancer, teacher, writer, and artistic director of Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama (ALDD)

What inspires you?
My work reflects my experience as a Latina/European artist living in New York, and comes from a deep examination of my motivations as a woman, mother, and immigrant.

What are you proud of?
I have had cultural, economic, and social difficulties in my career as a teacher and choreographer, but I have always risen above them by thinking and reflecting on my role as one of service to dance, to art, to my community, and to my people.
My impulse to learn, my need to see the world, and my desire to gain insight into this life and the next have led me to travel, teach, and share my experiences and my culture with others. I feel privileged and blessed to have been able to make a living as a choreographer, dancer, and teacher in Argentina, Chile, Italy, the United States, and the world.

Do you have any advice for your fellow artists?
As dancers with years of training, we know how we appear externally, how the audience sees and perceives us. We have built our internal framework, the skeleton of our artistic selves, and just as we built the house, we must furnish the interiors.
I reached my physical and mental limits many times. I suffered from bulimia and panic attacks, but I overcame them through my family’s patience and guidance, and by listening to myself, confronting myself in the mirror, closing my eyes and cultivating an internal self-image.
This is my dance training, and I apply it to all areas of my life. Through constant, persistent work, we form an umbilical cord – a connection – between the darkness and the light.

How does The Field help you?
I met Steve Gross (one of the founders of The Field) in 1999, when I did not speak English. I took ALL the workshops they offered in Grant Writing, Development, Marketing, Pitching, etc. I participated in Fieldwork at least 10 times and learned how to give honest and precise feedback to my peers (in English).
The Field gave me the foundation to understand how a private/nonprofit dance company functions, preparing me to create ALDD.

Click to enlarge images. All photos by Todd Carroll.

Additional Viewing:

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 2018 Meet Our Artists: Kelly Tsai

Our Members, Fiscally Sponsored Artists, and other program participants represent a wide range of career stages and disciplines. We love them - and, as fellow artists, we're always inspired by them. With this monthly feature, we hope you'll feel the same way!

What's your name?
Kelly Tsai

What do you do? Musician & Memoirist, Spoken Word, Theater, Dance, Film, New Media

What inspires you?
Sometimes it's just to put something beautiful into the world. Sometimes it's to ask a question that I'm curious about. Sometimes it's a gift or tribute to people that move me in their conviction and power. The world offers a lot of positive inspiration, and I feel lucky as an artist to have a job that celebrates that.

What are you proud of?
Evolving as an artist over time. Culture changes. Life changes. Relationships change. I feel blessed to continue to follow the heart of my inspiration and learn new ways to express my experiences through a wide array of techniques, mediums, and forms. There are always new relationships to be formed with existing audiences, new audiences, and who I am as an artist. Each day provides another opportunity to learn and grow from within. I'm proud that my work has always stayed true to that.

What are your goals?
To be f*kin' bad-ass & to make work every day.

Do you have any advice for your fellow artists?
The more you trust the universe, the more you'll have time and energy to pour into making the work you love. Stay awake at the wheel. What you loved in the past may not be what you love in the future, and vice versa. The role of the artist in culture is constantly in motion. Be honest with yourself. Respond, support, and nurture what's growing inside of you always.
Time is an interesting and important component in the creative process. Some artistic practices and fields are fast. Some are slow. Some are collaborative. Some are more solitary. There is no set standard for what constitutes the best development for work. Understand what fits best with your personality and how you like to create. Your greatest asset is your psychology and deep belief in the specificity of how you work.

[Ed: Read more about Kelly’s path in this Forbes interview, How Thinking Like an Entrepreneur Helped One Artist Build a Thriving Career.]

How does The Field help you?
When I first started my career in NYC, The Field was extremely helpful in providing nuts and bolts on how to think concretely about an artist career and the process of managing production and creating organizations for independent art-makers. It created a foundation for my continued learning behind the scenes, and the creative labor it takes to get art out to audiences.

All content © Kelly Tsai

Additional Viewing:

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

March 2018 Meet Our Artists: Emily Berry

Our Members, Fiscally Sponsored Artists, and other program participants represent a wide range of career stages and disciplines. We love them - and, as fellow artists, we're always inspired by them. With this monthly feature, we hope you'll feel the same way!

What's your name?
Emily Berry

What do you do?
Dance maker, educator, Artistic Director of B3W Performance Group

What inspires you?
Social justice, forgiveness, and Undoing Racism – a program of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond challenging participants to analyze the structures of power and privilege that hinder social equity, preparing them to be effective organizers for justice.

What are you proud of?
I am proud of being a collaborator among all the brilliant co-creators in B3W, a social justice art & performance collective. I am most proud that I get to work with them!

What is your goal?

To have the art we create make a difference - even if it is just by chipping away.

Do you have any advice for your fellow artists?
Take risks! Don't worry about being "good." Say what you gotta say and focus on that.

How does The Field help you?
The Field has helped me through fiscal sponsorship, workshops, and The Field Leadership Fund (FLF) – The Field’s 2015-2017 Fellowship program focused on offering professional development, compensation, and access to those who faced barriers to their advancement based on race, gender, and other identities. (Learn more about Emily’s FLF work here.)


Click to enlarge images. Content © B3W Performance Group

Additional Viewing:

FORGIVENESS - Part I: Forgiving the Personal (Performance Reel)

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

February 2018 Meet Our Artists: Jinah Parker

Our Members, Fiscally Sponsored Artists, and other program participants represent a wide range of career stages and disciplines. We love them - and, as fellow artists, we're always inspired by them. With this monthly feature, we hope you'll feel the same way!


What's your name? Jinah Parker 

What do you do?
I am the founder and director of The Jinah Parker Project, a non-profit arts organization created to inspire all people through dance, choreography, and education. As a dancer, a commissioned choreographer, and a full-time dance educator, I see dance as a transformative tool to tackle major social issues while encouraging courageous conversation and action. My newest major effort in that regard is SHE, a choreoplay that deals with issues around sexual violence against women and girls, what happens to women like Sandra Bland, and it is about empowerment and healing.

What inspires you?
The art of others inspires me most. I recently saw the film Crown Heights. It shows the brutal, manipulative, and racist structure of the American prison system and how the persistence and love of your family and friends can help you find freedom. Work that gives such rich historical content while also connecting to the social, political, and cultural climate of today’s reality while offering hope is what really connects to my heart. It makes me consider what my next project will be, and what work can I do that will have the greatest effect on my people, black people, women, the oppressed, and humanity as a whole. Work like this builds knowledge and creates a greater amount of empathy. It makes me contemplate how I can further move the needle forward for humanity.

What are you proud of?
My crowning achievement is my choreoplay, SHE, representing a series of risks I have taken over the past 2 years, and the ability to act on faith even when you are fearful. In 2015 I took the biggest risk of my life: I pressed send on my letter of resignation for my teaching position with the NYC Dept. of Education, where I had worked for nearly 5 years, and started the Jinah Parker Project. SHE forced me out of my comfort zone. I was gifted with the lives of 4 survivors who trusted me with their stories, and through this process I discovered my own story. SHE has afforded me greater self-esteem, courage, and the ability to express myself and educate others. This is Freedom.

What are your goals?
My main goal is to be happy and enjoy life while helping other people enjoy theirs. One of the ways I plan to accomplish that is to continue to produce work that is about the concerns of community as a way to create awareness, build solutions and healing. That also means taking my work globally. I would also like to create a foundation in the future that offers assistance to women of color who want to jump into their artistic/business careers but need an extra boost of support. I have encountered so many miserable artists at their 9-5 jobs that have incredible ideas but simply need a little assistance to get it off the ground. I was one of them. I have come to realize that it is impossible to do everything alone. Many people that are successful are not there on hard work alone but because at some point in their life they were given an extra hand or a boost from someone that was willing to help.

How does The Field help you?

The Field enables my organization to receive tax-deductible donations and affords me the opportunity to apply for grants and fellowships that require 501(c)(3) status. In artist circles, The Field often comes up as a reliable and friendly organization to work with.

Do you have any advice for your fellow artists? 

 To remember and quickly understand that everyone has a very different journey and that there are many paths to success. Your path and your success will not look like anyone else's, so don’t compare yourself to the people around you. And when you are feeling lost, always go back to what you love the most. Your purpose and life's work will usually lie close to that thing. Stay laser-focused and know that every opportunity is not one that you should take even if it seems good at the time.

All content © Jinah Parker


Additional Viewing: 

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Monday, January 1, 2018

January 2018 Meet Our Artists: Erick Montes

Our Members, Fiscally Sponsored Artists, and other program participants represent a wide range of career stages and disciplines. We love them - and, as fellow artists, we're always inspired by them. With this monthly feature, we hope you'll feel the same way!





What's your name? Erick Montes 

What do you do? Dance maker and Artistic Director of Erick Montes/Danceable Projects

What are you proud of? I am proud that finally I can say I have a company, and that within these past two years Danceable Projects has presented two premieres, one revival, a summer residency and two works in progress – all collaborations with impassioned artists from different genres and fields internationally, with the support of independent donors and self-production. So far, I have an ensemble of 6 dancers whose artistry and passion are not less than what any artist will dream of. I started connections with artists from Mexico to establish a more conversational relationship between the artistic scenes New York and Mexico. I am proud that the work is taking off slowly but surely, making me confident that next year things will look even better, brighter and stronger.

What are your goals? I want to challenge audiences’ understanding of social and cultural diversity with mindful movement oriented productions; To be critical and honest with my work and my teaching to create conversations that lift spirits – not only for audiences but for my art community as well;
To surround myself with creators who are not afraid of bringing challenges and risks to the theater or to public spaces; To never settle or expect less about myself and my work; 
To bring my troupe to different corners of the globe and activate togetherness by experiencing the refine simplicity of dance; 
And to create an actual space where Danceable Projects can hold artistic residencies for the creation, education, and performance of experimental performing arts.

How does The Field help you? As a Member of The Field, I have connected and learned with other artists and organizations at Q&A tables, information sessions on grants, and outreach programs. My donations are received through The Field – yay! I feel better having a place where I can come for stuff that I would normally feel ashamed or weird asking my colleagues about.

Do you have any advice for your fellow artists? Believe in yourself. Stay strong and don't be afraid of mistakes. Art is full of them. "Correctness" lasts only for so long and doesn't help the progress of societies. You are unique – always always remember that!

Click to enlarge photos. All content ©Erick Montes/Danceable Projects

Additional Viewing:
 “and you sit there !” (Brooklyn, 2016) by Erick Montes

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