National Performance Network > E-Newsletters > E-Newsletter / January 2009

E-Newsletter / January 2009

Posted: Monday, January 26th, 2009 at 4:05 pm in E-Newsletters

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NPN E-Newsletter

24th Annual Meeting in Seattle Reflects on the “Best of Times, the Worst of Times”

The famous opening of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities framed NPN’s
recent Annual Meeting in Seattle, first cited by CEO/President MK
Wegmann in the opening plenary after nearly 175 people introduced
themselves and prepared for the three-day meeting. The Meeting featured
a plenary moderated by Baraka Sele, 15 provocative and educational Idea
Forums, two performance matinees at On the Boards featuring nine
and other standard Annual Meeting features
— a media showcase (Chat and Chew), a media lounge open 24/7, open space
roundtables, artists’ workshops, and the ever-egalitarian In the Works,
where many attendees took three minutes to talk about current projects.

Dickens’ words resonated in the Meeting’s closing keynote by Rha
, who exhorted her field to “lean into this moment,” with both
eyes open. Read the complete text of Rha’s speech…

The NPN Annual Meeting was funded by The Doris Duke Charitable
Foundation, Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts (a federal
agency), Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Seattle organizations —
4Culture and the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs. An extensive
list of local organizations served as a vibrant and connected
host committee.

Photos by Mimi Zarsky:
Webb Robertson, board member for Space 111, Wesley Montgomery, COO for NPN, and keynote speaker Rha Goddess

Katie Herron, Andrea Assaf, Linda Parris-Bailey, D’Lo, and Mildred Ruiz

Sage Crump, Theodore Harris, Sarah Biederman, Manuel Acevedo mingle at the opening reception

EXTRA! EXTRA! NPN was one of 16 national organizations to
craft a statement of recommendations for President-Elect Obama’s
Transition team. Read the full text…

Visual Artists Network

After a pilot year, NPN launched the Visual Arts Network in full force
with fifteen organizations. The new venture seeks to connect visual arts
organizations who share NPN values, particularly around connecting
artists with audiences. The following VAN Partners will each host a
visual artist in the coming year, creating meaningful community
residency activities:

  • Ashé Cultural Arts Center, New Orleans LA *
  • Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia PA *
  • Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Miami FL
  • DiverseWorks Artspace, Houston TX *
  • Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco CA
  • Hammonds House Museum and Gallery, Atlanta GA
  • LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), CA
  • Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids IA *
  • MACLA (Movimiento de Arte Cultura Latino Americana), San Jose CA *
  • Portland Institute of Contemporary Art,
    Portland OR *
  • Project Row Houses, Houston TX
  • Real Art Ways, Hartford CT
  • Space One Eleven, Birmingham AL
  • SPACES, Cleveland OH
  • Women & Their Work, Austin TX *

* also NPN Partners

Artwork (top):
Carlos Alejandro   1, 2, 3, 4,…, 1, 2, 3, 4
Mixed media; Gas tanks, vinyl, wire, paint; Variable dimensions
Photo by Roy Wallace
Presented by Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator

Artwork (above):
Nathalie Pham  Goldfishes, 2008; Photo by Amy Danford
Presented by Asian Arts Initiative

Intermediary Projects

NPN serves as an intermediary to significant projects in which artists and cultural workers are working in rebuilding efforts. We provide infrastructure support, planning services, connections to the NPN networks, office space (for some) and financial record keeping and reporting. We do not lead, make policy for, or run the day to day work of these projects.

Crossroads Project is one of NPN’s Intermediary organizations.

2009 Professional Development Exchange for Youth-Serving Artists, Educators and Activists in New Orleans, May 17-19


Expand, immerse and rejuvenate yourself in one of the world’s great cultural crossroads.
Mat Schwarzman announces that registration is now open for the 2009 Crossroads Project International Professional
Development Exchange for Youth-Serving Artists and Organizations. Come
study and share with peers from around the world in an intensive,
hands-on, multi-generational learning environment, May 17th to 19th in
New Orleans. Expand, immerse and rejuvenate yourself in one of the
world’s great cultural crossroads. Registration is limited to 75

The theme of this year’s seminar is “Youth Development, Performing Arts
and Social Change,” and it is designed especially for artists, educators
and activists who work with youth ages 13-19 in schools, community
organizations and universities. Only a nominal registration fee is
required and Mat extends a special invitation to NPN Partners and
to bring adult/youth teams to New Orleans to participate in the
seminar together. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to develop not
only yourself and your organization, but also the next generation of
cultural activists.

For more information, contact Mat at:

Mat’s book “Beginner’s Guide to Community-Based Arts” is widely used in
universities, schools and community organizations across the United
States and beyond. To order a copy, visit

Photos by Lana Jackson:
Mat Schwarzman leads a seminar on “The CRAFT of Youth Development.”

Youth workers and artists in a “Beginner’s Guide” workshop in Boston.

For NPN on Surviving Current Events

Some things fall out,
run down by crazy people of limited ability
or lazy people
or people who don’t care.
Now these things are holes on the horizon.
Hands suddenly anxious wave for help as they sink below.
the push up
of good things by good people who love
with passionate recognition in the moment
of the motion forward.
This is the currency we can trust.
Here is a beautiful thing.
We have it
and it has us.

Ed Noonan
December 12, 2008

Ed Noonan is the Executive Director of Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents
in Helena, Montana. He wrote this tribute to support NPN’s Annual

Support Contemporary Arts!