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News & Events
Notices for partners, news for artists, announcements from the field, job postings.
This September 19-22, Miami will host the annual Performing Arts Exchange (a program of South Arts). Juried Showcases will feature up to 18 touring artists/ensembles, performing for presenters from throughout the Southern, Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Showcases are 15-minute presentations of a performance and are designed to give presenters a sense of the work as their audience would experience it. Showcases will be held the evenings of Thursday, September 20 and Friday, September 21 at the beautiful restored Art Deco Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road in South Beach, Miami. Presenters and other conference attendees will be transported to the Colony for these featured conference performances.
If you/your company is interested and ready to tour regionally/nationally, PAE Juried Showcases are an excellent opportunity to be seen by a wide range of presenters. Artists/ensembles are selected based on artistic excellence and demonstrated readiness to tour. Juried Showcase applications are due by March 30, 2012. Please review the guidelines thoroughly before applying.
Guidelines for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Artist Residency Program are now available online in the Arts Program section at www.ddcf.org. Residencies are designed to support artists and organizations with annual income of at least $300,000 to work together to increase demand for jazz, theatre and/or contemporary dance. These residencies are not designed to support creative time or the creation of new work as the primary residency goal. A fuller explanation is provided in the guidelines themselves; an accompanying FAQ is also posted to answer anticipated questions.
This new initiative, part of a larger special $50 million allocation to the arts, will award $1,500,000 in grants in early 2013. Grant awards will be made at the $75,000 and $150,000 levels. Guidelines and the accompanying FAQ include full explanations of the rationale for the program, the process for selection, and review criteria. Interested applicants should note that the first deadline is June 1, 2012, when an intent to apply form must be submitted. Preliminary proposal deadline falls on July 30, 2102, and final proposals (for those invited by a preliminary panel to submit full proposals) will be December 3, 2012.
Organizations and artists must prepare all application materials jointly. Applications are open to organizations that present and/or produce artists in jazz, theatre and/or contemporary dance, and to service organizations with a history of programs, services and activities benefitting individual artists in those same fields. Applicant artists can come from any field, as noted in the guidelines, although applicant artists and organizations must be able to demonstrate a prior history of working together.
These grants will be adjudicated through peer panel reviews and administered by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Questions about program intent or review process should be addressed to:
Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts: 212-974-7107 or BCameron@ddcf.org
Cheryl Ikemiya, Senior Program Officer: 212-974-7108 or CIkemiya@ddcf.org
Logistic questions about deadline dates, submission of electronic forms, and/or technological difficulties should be addressed to:
Lillian Osei-Boateng, Program Associate: 212-974-7109 or LOsei-Boateng@ddcf.org
by Renata Petroni
Director of NPN International Program
Since 2010, NPN International Program has been building relationships with NPN/KAMS Exchange, a partnership with the Korea Arts Management Services (KAMS) and the Japan Connection, a partnership with the Japan Contemporary Dance Network (JCDN). Currently in their network-building phase, both partnerships follow the Performing Americas Program model of a systematic cultural exchange program based on reciprocity and knowledge building.
These projects are developing the context for this exchange by creating strong connections and opportunities for all partners involved to travel to each others’ countries to investigate local cultures, the arts, and cultural policies. To this end, every year, NPN International Program supports trips to its partners’ countries. Following the JCDN partners’ trip to the NPN Annual Meeting in Tampa in December 2011, the U.S. curators — Yolanda Cursach of MCA Chicago and F. John Herbert of Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; joined by Jordan Peimer, Director of Programming at Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, MK Wegmann, NPN President and CEO, Renata Petroni, NPN International Program Director and Kyoko Yoshida, Executive Director of U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network and consultant to the Japan Connection project — traveled to Yokohama from February 13 to 20 to attend T-PAM. They had multiple objectives: a work meeting with JCDN partners to discuss the next steps of the Japan Connection; participation in T-PAM sessions; seeing a wide range of performances; and a trip on February 16 organized by Norikazu Sato, Director of JCDN, to visit Sendai and Minami Sanriku, a fishing village in the Miyagi prefecture in the north of Japan.
Launched as “Tokyo Performing Arts Market” (T-PAM) in 1995 with the objective of promoting Japanese artists internationally, T-PAM changed its focus in 2005, becoming an international platform for information exchange, networking, mutual learning and discussion. In 2011, T-PAM moved to Yokohama, changed the name from “Market” to “Meeting” and became “Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama,” while keeping the acronym “T-PAM” (www.tpam.or.jp). Yokohama was chosen for its proximity to Tokyo, economic advantages, manageability and because a great deal of capital has been invested in transforming this dormitory city into a cultural capital. The city’s officials and cultural institutions are an active partner of T-PAM together with the Japan Foundation.
This year’s sessions and discussions revolved around the profound social, economic and psychological effects that the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant have had on the Japanese population. Underlying fears about the future brought people to question their life choices and consider new perspectives. Artists and cultural workers, trying to cope with the senseless devastation and its unknown consequences, have been questioning their roles, philosophies and beliefs. T-PAM, through a series of workshops and discussions, provided them with a platform for reflection.
In addition to the T-PAM sessions and a very enlightening and productive meeting with our JCDN partners, the U.S. participants enjoyed the amazing program which included performances presented by theaters in Tokyo, special selections performed in various spaces throughout Yokohama and surroundings, as well as showcases selected for T-PAM by three young curators, Akane Nakamura, producer and founder of NPO Drifters International and SNAC; Yukako Ogura, Director of AI.Hall; and Katsuhiro Ohira, Director of ST Spot.
What impressed me most about our visit was just how different the work showcased in Yokohama was from what I have seen in other countries. There was an intangible quality—almost a self-consciousness—which appeared in a lot of the work. This was particularly prevalent in Yumi Osanai’s dance trio “Skybaum” seen at the Yokohama Dance Collection EX which mixed moments of scenographic beauty with singular quirky movement. Similarly, Yuuri Furuie’s “Japanese Room A,” also at Yokohama Dance Collection EX, mixed classical dance forms with costuming and design that brought to mind elements of anime. In contrast, Finnish choreographer Ervi Sirén showed “Kite” at Bank Art, a work-in-progress with local dancers; this collaborative work (another, almost opposite one is happening in Finland with a Japanese choreographer and Finnish dancers) allowed the movements of the Japanese bodies to be fore-grounded against the contemporary European formal structure.
Language is of course an issue in performance, but the best work always transcends that. Especially exciting was the Tokyo-based theatre company FAIFAI’s (Japanese for Fun-Fun!) “Anton, Neko, Kuri” performed at Nihehi Works — a multi-level performance space and café. (To see video <http://faifai.tv/english/news/anton.php>) In this work there were three simultaneous texts, a spoken one in Japanese, a movement score, and projected English translation which worked together in very different and exciting ways to portray a community in a housing block that comes together around a sick cat—improbable, but the most thoroughly charming work of the week. Idiot Savant’s “After the Feigned Atomic Party,” performed inside the sanctuary of a Buddhist temple, presented a formal exploration of how the Japanese utilize techniques of devised theater. It was particularly interesting to speak with the director afterwards and discover his intentions in this work that mixed imagery from the holocaust with those of Japan’s 3/11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. — Jordan Peimer
The last objective was the trip to northern Japan. The decision to visit the areas hit by the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami came about during our meeting with JCDN last October when MK Wegmann and F. John Herbert shared their experiences of the recovery efforts following Katrina in New Orleans and the flood in Cedar Rapids. Norizaku Sato, director of JCDN, thought it useful for MK and John to meet with members of organizations like Artslink, which coordinates artists’ recovery efforts on the sites hit by the earthquake and tsunami, and the Mediathèque in Sendai, which has created a website where the victims of the disaster can record their experiences. On February 16, we set off for Sendai with a certain trepidation as we did not know what to expect. After a three-hour train ride we were picked up by a representative of Artslink who drove us to Minami Sanriku, a fishing village in the Miyagi prefecture. What we saw took our breath away. The entire town center had been washed away by the 50-foot waves, leaving a wasteland punctuated by a few building skeletons that still stand as a ghostly reminders of the disaster. We were told that of the 20,000 inhabitants, 5,000 died or disappeared and most of the others have relocated to neighboring towns. As the Town Hall was destroyed with all its records, Minami Sanriku’s inhabitants can no longer retrieve their identity documents while the mayor and other surviving town officials had to relocate to trailers parked on tennis courts up on the hills. City officials have worked hard at relocating people and organizing teams to clean the hundreds of tons of debris while appealing to the central government to lend a helping hand to rebuild the city and its fishing industry so that the population can return home.
In the meantime, to prevent the few residents who are still on-site from leaving the city, the local government and the contractor in charge of cleaning the debris have been hiring local people to help in this colossal task. The debris is sorted and collected into huge mountains but there is no place to put it. It’s a monumental challenge faced by communities along hundreds of miles of Japan’s battered northeastern coast. Town officials, who estimate it will cost about $27.4 million to remove the city’s debris, have plans to burn as much of it as possible and recycle what they can, but since Japan has little landfill space left, the rest may eventually be shipped overseas. Until the debris is disposed of, the towns cannot start re-building their communities and the people cannot move on with their lives.
With a heavy heart, we drove back to Sendai, a large town of a million inhabitants located 100 km from the coast. Although the city was badly hit by the earthquake and tsunami, suffered tremendous damages and lost a great number of its people, we saw a vibrant town which had resumed its activities, including a rich cultural life. We visited a small gallery whose owner is very active in supporting local artists and teaching art in local schools, and the Mediathèque which is providing studio space to artists who have lost their homes and work places, as well as providing space for exhibits that bring the community together and include space to talk and share their experiences.
Seeing the commitment and dedication of so many people in re-building their communities, while helping others get over their traumas, was inspiring, and in the words of our friend Jordan Peimer, “what we experienced in the north, both the destruction and the hope, will live with us always.”
Western Arts Alliance (WAA) is accepting applications from performing artists, companies, or their agents for its Juried Showcase Program now through April 2, 2012. The Juried Showcase is a core component of the 2012 WAA Annual Conference – the largest booking conference in the West – and will take place on September 6 at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Denver, Colorado. The NCPA houses two beautiful venues perfect for showcasing all genres of performance: proscenium stage Gates Concert Hall will highlight theatre, amplified music and dance; while Hamilton Recital Hall is a chamber musician’s dream – complete with a Steinway concert grand and pipe organ.
You do not need to be a WAA member to apply!
Download the Application/Learn More: http://bit.ly/12WAAJuriedShowcaseAppFAQ
Download the Press Release: 2012 WAA Juried Showcase Application Press Release
Application Deadline: April 2, 2012
Application Fee: $65 | Showcase Fee: $635
Contact WAA: www.westarts.org | 503-274-4729
The Japanese Presenters’ Perspective
by Renata Petroni, Director of International Program
People across cultures share many similar feelings, emotions and life circumstances, but it’s the way they express these feelings and emotions and react to life circumstances or relate to each other that sets them apart. As we engage in international exchanges, we must learn to recognize and respect these differences, which are not limited to language, food, or dress code, but extend to etiquette, personal space, body language, humor, and values. How can we improve communication with our international partners when globalization and the speed of information give us the illusion of knowing more about other cultures than we actually do? What’s more, generalizations, hearsay, stereotypes, expectations, projections of one’s culture onto another add to the confusion. NPN’s approach is that there is nothing more exciting and effective than personal experience.
To promote this first hand knowledge, NPN supports ongoing explorations by U.S. and international presenters’ through visits to one another’s countries. Over the last 10 years, through the Performing Americas Program, a partnership with La Red de Promotores Culturales de Latinoamerica y el Caribe, NPN has supported travels in the western hemisphere by 65 NPN Partners and La Red members. NPN is now developing a new program in Asia with two new partners: the Korea Arts Management Services (KAMS) and the Japan Contemporary Dance Network (JCDN).
Representatives of NPN’s three international partners attended the 2011 Annual Meeting in Tampa, making it the largest international presence to date. Of the three La Red members, five KAMS presenters and staff, and four JCDN presenters only two spoke fluent English. Despite the language barrier, the international guests were embraced by the NPN community, participated in all the activities, and were thrilled to make connections with many U.S. presenters and with each other. An outcome of these encounters is an exchange project between Japan and Korea scheduled for 2013.
Here is what our Japanese guests wrote about the NPN, the meeting and the cultural differences they experienced:
Participating in the meeting, I was reminded of the importance of a “place” in which people from different fields, positions and affiliations can come together as equals and talk to each other face-to-face. Currently, there is no such established system (of network) as NPN in Japan and thus, individuals in the field make their own efforts separately. T-PAM (Tokyo Performing Arts Meeting) is centered in Tokyo and its vicinity and does not necessarily connect professionals from other regions. JCDN is perhaps the only organization that connects different regions of Japan through dance performances. Learning about NPN’s structure was stimulating, and inspired me and my colleagues from Sapporo and Fukuoka to think about the possibility of creating a network in Japan and to think objectively about the cultural landscape of our country. More than anything, I felt a great joy to meet with NPN members face-to-face and am looking forward to building a network together.
—Reiko Hagihara, Program Director, Kyoto Arts Center
Although there are many “networks” in our field, many have become obsolete. In contrast, I witnessed that NPN works very well as a network, providing opportunities to meet colleagues face to face, to share values and ideas. It helped me think about how we could form a network in Japan. I also found it very significant that we were able to communicate with people from different countries, not only from the U.S. In particular, it was great to spend time and converse with colleagues from Korea about strengthening the network in Asia.
I thought that the self-introduction session at the beginning of the annual meeting was particularly wonderful and effective. It enabled immediate communication regardless of one’s position or affiliation. (No conference in Japan starts with such a casual style like that!) I came to the meeting feeling quite nervous and pressured due to the cultural difference and language barrier. However, since everyone was very open-minded and kind to me, I was able to overcome such feelings. I appreciated “the Buddies” program and want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you who supported my participation.
—Kyoko Yokohama, Program and Planning Coordinator, Fukuoka City Foundation for Arts and Cultural Promotion
What I found wonderful about the meeting:
What impressed me:
During the five days I was thinking that the U.S. is a young country, forever-young.
Chizu Saito, President, Concarino
Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Performing Americas Program (PAP) is the only systemic international cultural exchange program in existence in the United States that is based on reciprocity and knowledge building. With its focus on exchanges between the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, the program has successfully toured 34 artist/companies and funded an additional 30 Creative Exchange residencies throughout the hemisphere.
PAP has made possible the presentation of Latin American and Caribbean work by more than 50 U.S.-based presenting organizations, and presentation of 17 U.S. artist companies in 47 different cities across Latin American and the Caribbean by presenters who may have otherwise not been able to support these artists’ work.
Designing, funding and coordinating an international exchange program has been a formidable task—especially in the less than visionary national climate of international diplomacy that has prevailed since the program began in 2001. Almost in spite of this, however, this project has flourished, showing that the need and demand for international cultural exchange is as strong and possibly more important than ever. Presenters and artists from all parts of the hemisphere have responded that more programs like this need to exist, grow and be supported.
After their 2010 Creative Exchange residency in Guatemala with Grupo de Teatro Artzenico, Goat in the Road Productions of New Orleans reported, “The opportunity to conduct a Creative Exchange residency through PAP was a dream come true. We are rarely paid a living wage for our work as artists in the United States! To receive a salary to make and share work with an exciting group in Latin America for three weeks was an utter gift to us – as artists, as teachers, as citizens of the world. Thank you.” In the summer of 2011, Goat in the Road reciprocated by hosting Artzenico in New Orleans where they continued the work they had begun a year before.
Reciprocity, peer exchange and knowledge building are core values of all of NPN’s international exchange initiatives, and working with partner networks abroad has amplified the possibility for facilitating the growth of true exchanges among artists, communities, and presenter-curators. The host organizations in both the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean open the doors to their spaces to offer artists a new, respectful and dynamic environment to create, present and engage in contemporary performance practice. Selected curators from across the continent also travel to meet hosts, artists and see live work abroad, key to the success of program.
NPN’s coordination of the tours and Creative Exchange residencies has increased the capacity of NPN Partner organizations and other U.S.-based presenters to present international work, by providing funds and facilitating the often-daunting prospect of obtaining visas for foreign artists. We’ve also increased the visibility of U.S. artists abroad by funding and coordinating their travel to festivals and presenters as far away as Buenos Aires, Uruguay, Brazil and Santiago, and as close as Puerto Rico and Mexico City.
“Performing Americas has boosted touring, U.S. visibility and creative partnerships at a time when the U.S. suffered dismal public relations abroad as a consequence of the second Iraq war.” (Randy Gener, American Theater Magazine, September 2010)
The artists who travel within the program share their artistic and cultural languages, creating lasting and meaningful relationships that not only expand their own cultural horizons, as well as those of the host and audience, but also dispel destructive myths and stereotypes by conducting honest human exchanges that do the work international diplomatic relations fails to do.
Looking forward to its second decade of work abroad, NPN has broadened the scope of its international exchanges by adding new partnerships with the Korea Arts Management Services (KAMS) and the Japan Contemporary Dance Network (JCDN), and by leveraging its experience to identify new possibilities across the globe that will provide more opportunities for artists and presenters within NPN and beyond.
Since 2001, the Performing Americas Program has been a partnership with La RED (Red de Promotores Culturales de Latinoamérica y el Caribe) for a hemispheric exchange program which subsidizes reciprocal tours using the NPN Performance Residency model. Funding for Performing Americas is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and, for Los Angeles artists and arts organizations, the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.
For a complete list of activities, participating artists and hosts, and recently posted guidelines for our upcoming round of Creative Exchange, please visit the Performing Americas Program section of this website.
To find our more about our partner network, La RED, visit www.redlatinoamericana.com