National Performance Network > E-Newsletters > E-Newsletter / December 2008

E-Newsletter / December 2008

Posted: Friday, December 26th, 2008 at 4:05 pm in E-Newsletters

Click here for PDF version.

NPN E-Newsletter

NPN Taps New Officers

At NPN’s September Board meeting, new officers were confirmed for the
NPN Board of Directors. Six leaders from six states (California, Texas,
Colorado, Illinois, Connecticut, and Louisiana) reflect NPN’s core
commitment to diversity. Jordan Peimer of Los Angeles’ Skirball Center
takes the helm as Chair, with Vicki Meek of the South Dallas Cultural
Center serving as Vice-Chair. Tanya Mote of El Centro Su Teatro in
Denver returns for another term as Treasurer. Nicole Garneau of Columbia
College’s Center for Community Arts Partnerships in Chicago will serve
as Secretary, and Cathy Edwards, of New Haven’s International Festival
of Art and Ideas, will fill the At-Large position. President and CEO MK
rounds out the leadership group.

Can You Determine Who’s Who?
  _____ Co-artist on the largest public art project in Dallas, Texas

  _____ On the board of Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training

  _____   Won a Fellowship from the American Jewish Committee

  _____ Makes the best barbequed shrimp in the country

  _____ Performed every day for an entire year in 2005

  _____ Guest curator for the Time-Based Art Festival at Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts

Find out Who’s Who by reading the longer bios online.

NPN’s New Vice-Chair Issues Open Letter to National Colleagues

On the occasion of Barack Obama’s historic victory, Vicki Meek of the South Dallas Cultural Center notes, “Art has always been the prism through which a society’s warts and its beauty marks are viewed, and artists have always held up the mirror to reflect these realities. How we position ourselves in this historic time is critical. I encourage all of us to use every opportunity to solidify our positions, renew our commitment to supporting the art creators, and bolster each other in our varied communities.”

Read the full text of Vicki’s letter.

COO Wesley Montgomery Asks: What Do You Want?

Conversations around the country buzz with possibility, and arts leaders are thinking and talking about the chance to shape policy, exercise leadership and be a part of the political process in bold new ways. But now that the doors of opportunity are open, where do we want to go, as national arts leaders? NPN’s COO Wesley Montgomery reflects on these questions, and issues a call for action to the field: “participate, participate, participate.”

Read More…

Photo: Wesley V. Montgomery. Photo by George Long Photography.

Mel Chin’s OPERATION PAYDIRT Takes on Lead Contamination in New Orleans

Internationally-recognized conceptual artist Mel Chin has been working
in New Orleans for months on a major project that unites artists,
environmental scientists, landscape architects, arts organizations and
three million school children to create and implement a plan to
neutralize the lead-polluted soil of New Orleans, with the hope of
exporting the model to other post-industrial sites across the country.
On Halloween, Mel and his collaborators introduced the latest component
of their ambitious and multi-level project with SAFEHOUSE, which
transformed a house in the lead-laden neighborhood of St. Roch into a
powerful embodiment of the project’s goals. Mel’s work in New Orleans is a part of Transforma Projects, for which NPN serves as intermediary.

Read more about OPERATION
PAYDIRT, the FUNDRED Dollar Bill project and SAFEHOUSE.

Photos: Top, SAFEHOUSE; Above left, SAFEHOUSE Press Conference; Above right, FUNDRED Dollar Bills on display. Photos courtesy of Mel Chin.

Transforma Projects Announces Five New Mini-Grants

NPN is proud to serve as intermediary for Transforma Projects, which
supports work at the intersection of art and social justice.
Transforma’s Creative Recovery Mini-grant program, funded by the Andy
Warhol Foundation, fuels the recovery process with the energy of the
local creative community. A second round of competitive grants in
November awarded mini-grants to five innovative New Orleans’ projects.

  • Cornerstones of the Month documents the “everyday monuments and gathering places” of neighborhoods as they struggle to survive and revive.
  • A four-month residency with students in the lower 9th Ward will use newspaper theatre (an Augusto Boal technique) to create a Living Newspaper for their peers and the larger community.
  • A flooded home in the 7th Ward/Gentilly Terrace neighborhood will be transformed into a “New World Wailing Wall” with a sculptural installation.
  • A troupe of puppeteers, newly in residence at the Colton School, a project of Creative Arts New Orleans, will work with youth to “create new heroes.”
  • Streetcar Serenade will feature a dozen of the city’s finest spoken word artists, performing live on the St. Charles Streetcar line.

Read more about Transforma and the latest mini-grant awards.

Support Contemporary Arts!