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News & Events
Notices for partners, news for artists, announcements from the field, job postings.
The board and staff of NPN/VAN are overwhelmed with appreciation for the support we received from our friends across the country. We had 59 people donate for a total of $3437. The day was quite successful for New Orleans area nonprofits: 19,625 gifts were made for a total of $2,264,512 to more than 300 organizations. AfricaNOLA, a member of NPN’s Local Network, won the 4 PM Rock-Around-the-Clock $1000 lagniappe prize. All organizations will receive additional matching funds thanks to the generosity of the Greater New Orleans Foundation and its supporters.
How can you take part?
It wouldn’t be a New Orleans celebration without music. Listen to the GiveNOLA Day jingle created by Allen Toussaint.
SPARK Leadership Program
Theatre Communications Group (TCG) is now accepting applications for the SPARK Leadership Program. As part of TCG’s Leading the Charge : Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, this pilot program will create a more diverse theatre landscape by supporting the professional development of exceptional rising leaders of color who aim to take on executive leadership positions at U.S. not-for-profit theatres in the areas of artistic direction, management and/or producing.
Building on the success of the Young Leaders of Color program, SPARK will provide ten leaders who self-identify as leaders of color with the opportunity to participate in a curriculum that will focus on Knowledge & Skills-Building, Networking & Professional Connections and Self-Awareness & Inclusion Training.
Apply now through May 5, 2014, Noon ET
NEW YORK, NY, April 22, 2014 — The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced today the first-ever recipients of the Doris Duke Impact Awards and the third group of individuals to receive Doris Duke Artist Awards. Both awards are part of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, a special, ten-year initiative of the foundation to empower, invest in and celebrate artists by offering flexible, mult-year funding in response to financial challenges that are specific to the performing arts. Doris Duke Artist Award recipients receive $275,000, and Doris Duke Impact Award recipients receive $80,000. Since commencing in April 2012, the program has awarded a total of $18.1 million to artists in the fields of jazz, dance and theatre.
Among the 2014 award recipients are these artists who have received subsidies from the National Performance Network during their careers. NPN applauds the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for its generous, ongoing support of its own programs and the recognition these awards gives to artists who contribute to the diverse artistic practice of the performing arts in the United States.
Please read more about the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards and see the full list of recipients by downloading the press release.
by Anna Henschel
In the spring of 2008, in the Campus Center at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, five juniors (three theater majors, a Gender and Sexuality Studies major, and a religion major) formally agreed that upon graduation from college they would move to a city that was not New York and start a theater company. A year later, in August 2009, with one original work under its belt (created partly to fulfill the theater senior project requirement) Skin Horse Theater’s Curiouser: An Historical Inaccuracy was accepted by the New Orleans Fringe Festival. The rest, as they say, is history.
Six years later, Nocturnes (I-III), a symphonic exploration of humanity’s relationship with space, has been our most challenging and most rewarding work to date. The five members of Skin Horse have always strived to experiment and devise collaboratively to bring big ideas to the stage. With each project, we challenge ourselves with both practical and creative goals, often articulated as questions, that guide our devising and creative process. With its premiere in 2013, Nocturnes became the most recent product of this process.
We first imagined Nocturnes three years ago, during a brainstorming session on future original works. Two broad themes emerged as the ideas on which we wanted to base our next projects. The first, dubbed Horror Play, was an exploration of whether theater has the ability to scare the way that film does. Was it possible? We did our research (mostly by watching The Shining, Night of the Living Dead, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and everything in between) and created SARAH for the 2011 New Orleans Fringe Festival that, to our delight, elicited screams from audience members at the climax and was reported to have contributed to at least two nightmares.
The other product of that brainstorming session was known for much of its life as Space Play. Born out of a fascination with the night sky and inspired by everyone from Jack Parsons to Gil Scott Heron, we took more than two years to explore how to show outer space on stage. From almost the beginning, Space Play existed in three parts, providing three perspectives on humanity’s relationship with the cosmos: a view from the ground, life in outer space, and the cosmos itself. In our devising process we played with these perspectives and how each contributed to the overall arc.
As part of Skin Horse’s devising practice, we are intentional about not assigning roles (stage manager, director, light designer, actor, etc.) for the first few months. This gives us the opportunity to create as peers, each taking turns leading rehearsal. Once the play begins to take shape, we discuss who is interested in what responsibilities and move forward from there. During these early stages of devising we try to bring to the table every idea, text, film, material, image, sound, website, or other media that excites us, whether seemingly related or not. Patterns in fabric, sources of light, songs from the 1930s, YouTube videos, and math lectures all become part of our conversation.
We devised, rehearsed, and experimented with Space Play for six months before having a work-in-progress showing at the Contemporary Arts Center in May 2013. The feedback from the active NOLA theater community was both supportive and helpfully critical. We went into summer giving the piece space to breathe and to figure out what we needed from it, and it from us.
We picked up the mantle again in August, with performance dates set for four weekends in November. With the help of our incredible cast (Shannon Flaherty, Matt Standley, Rebecca Elizabeth Hollingsworth and Owen Ever), we pushed our ideas further for each of the three acts. Now called Nocturnes (I-III), the first act showed the history, culture, and context for humanity’s perceptions of the cosmos. The act was framed by the transcript of preparations for Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight, and then explored poets and songwriters alongside political speeches, the writings of Carl Sagan, and a job posting from an asteroid mining company. Act II imagined life in a space station and explored how to show zero gravity on stage. The result was part narrative, part dance, and almost silent throughout. Finally, in Act III, we drew inspiration from theatre artist Romeo Castelucci and visual artist James Turrell, among others, and strove to explore our ultimate challenge: could outer space be depicted on stage? Challenge met.
Nocturnes began and ended with a man, standing alone on a platform, who looks up and finds solace in the stars. We found this connection to the viewer, inspired by Olaf Stapledon’s novel Star Maker, to be a clear entry point for our audiences, as well as a way to leave and bring ourselves back to Earth.
Nocturnes (I-III) opened November 7, 2013 and ran for four weeks, through the 2013 New Orleans Fringe Festival, at a repurposed warehouse on St. Claude Avenue, part of a fledgling arts district in New Orleans. The sound, capturing everything from the ambient noise of a space station to the cosmos itself, was designed by Brendan Connelly, the lights were designed by Skin Horse member Evan Spigelman, and the sets of the train station, mission control, and space station were designed and built by Phil Cramer. Nocturnes won two Big Easy Awards: Best Original Work (Devised) and Best Lighting Design.
EmcArts is pleased to partner with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) to deliver two more rounds of its pioneering Innovation Labs program to eight participating organizations from across the country in 2014 and 2015. These rounds are funded by a generous $1.58 million grant from DDCF.
Round 9 of the Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts: Nonprofit producing and presenting organizations in theater, modern or contemporary dance, and jazz (including college – based presenters) are eligible to apply.
Round 2 of the Innovation Lab for Arts Development Agencies: This program is specifically for organizations that do not produce or present the performing arts, but rather provide services in support of the ongoing development of an arts discipline, its organizations and practitioners, or of a particular area of arts activities – collectively called arts development agencies.
Both Lab Rounds will run in parallel from July 2014 through April 2016, with up to four organizations participating in each Lab. Proposals will be accepted through Friday, May 30, 2014.
Download and read more:
Do you have an invitation to dance abroad? American Dance Abroad, which provides services and resources to U.S.- based artists engaged in international exchange, have announced a project to provide support to U.S. artists with international invitations.
Rapid Response is a quick-turnaround assistance program to support transit costs for U.S. dance artists in response to international invitations. Unlike other programs, assistance can be applied to choreographic or teaching residencies as well as performances. Requests for support will be reviewed monthly. Requests received by the 15th of each month (EDT) will have a decision by the end of the same month.
Find out more here.