E-Newsletter / March 31, 2017
NPN/VAN Partner, colleague and dear friend, Anne Arrasmith, passed away in February. In 1986, Anne co-founded Space One Eleven in Birmingham, AL with Peter Prinz. Space One Eleven joined the Network as a Visual Artists Network (VAN) Partner in 2009. Anne was a practicing artist and deeply committed to her local community and to the national arts community, including her NPN/VAN peers. She was a champion of VAN from its early years and a fierce advocate for artists. Thank you Anne for all your great cultural organizing, your artwork, your advocacy, your community building, and all the joyous memories. We will miss you greatly.
Major Grant for National Programs
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation recently approved a 2-year grant in the amount of $1,980,000 to the National Performance Network. The funding will support performing arts programming including cultural residencies, artistic creation and development, convenings, and international exchange. NPN/VAN deeply appreciates the long-time support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in helping NPN/VAN to integrate the arts into public experience, further artistic pluralism, and act as an advocate for equity and justice, in the arts sector and in society at large.
Funding for the Local Program
NPN/VAN is pleased to announce continued support from the Lambent and Joan Mitchell Foundations. The Lambent Foundation awarded an $85,000 project specific grant: $75,000 for the Local Network and $10,000 for planning around the project “Arts Estuary 1024: Place-keeping at the Crossroads of the 7th, 8th, and 9th Wards.” The Joan Mitchell Foundation awarded a 2016 Organizational Grant Program New Orleans Initiative in the amount of $20,000.
The NPN/VAN Local Program was recently recognized for its years of involvement within the local art and cultural community in New Orleans. NPN/VAN was a 2016 Arts Council New Orleans Honoree. Staff members were present at the annual Arts Council Honors celebration on December 8, 2016 when the Local Program was presented with the award. The Arts Council annually honors outstanding individuals and organizational contributors whose work aligns with the Arts Council’s mission to transform communities through art. Other 2016 Honorees were Brandan Odums and the Guardians Institute and Donald Harrison Sr. Museum. The NPN/VAN Local Program includes a network of local projects and organizations, fiscally-sponsored projects, and its facility, Arts Estuary 1024.
Last Call, NPN/VAN Local Program’s newest fiscally-sponsored project, is a multiracial performance collective of queer artists, activists, and archivists in New Orleans, that creates innovative, multi-platform performances and events to document and interpret neglected queer history in New Orleans and nationally, creating connections between those who lived this history and those who have much at stake if it is forgotten. These events conjure up an intergenerational gathering place where community is built and the movement for queer liberation is carried forward.
In addition to performance, there are four interwoven components to Last Call: (1) a digital archive of oral history interviews; (2) a podcast series to cull these interviews into rich half-hour stories; (3) community events that bring together queer people across lines of race, class, gender-identity and generational differences; and (4) a volunteer run next-generation support system for queer elders. Last Call is committed to building performance work rooted in multiracial collaboration and intergenerational exchange, and as such, works under the accountability of an advisory board of elders and the community. For more information please visit: www.lastcallnola.org
In November 2016, NPN/VAN staff, Partners and curators traveled to Kyoto, Japan to see adventurous new work from Japanese artists as part of the Kyoto Experiment. (read an account of that trip The Light across Waters). The more recent experiences during the February 2017 trip to TPAM (Tokyo Performance Arts Meeting) and visiting other sites and artists, stressed the importance of building intercultural understanding and partnerships through art and exchange. This series will convey how the trip challenged, inspired and continued to motivate NPN/VAN’s commitment to artistic expression amongst diverse communities.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded a $2,500,000 grant to LYRASIS, a leading member-based non-profit organization serving libraries, archives, and museums, for the Performing Arts Emergency Preparedness Initiative. Guided by nine organizational partners, including NPN/VAN, the project will strengthen emergency preparedness within performing arts organizations. The three-year grant will support a variety of programs increasing knowledge, ability, and readiness to plan and execute emergency recovery plans.