National Performance Network > E-Newsletters > E-Newsletter / September 2012

E-Newsletter / September 2012

Posted: Friday, October 5th, 2012 at 2:37 pm in E-Newsletters

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Newsletter / September 2012

100 artists + 400 presenters + 30 countries = Upgraded Electrical Service:
International Symposium on Electronic Art comes to Albuquerque

516 ARTS in Albuquerque, New Mexico is a new member of the Visual Artists Network (VAN), and despite its small size, is producing a huge international project, ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness (

Read more from Suzanne Sbarge,
Executive Director of 516 ARTS and Executive Producer, ISEA2012.

Latest Mentorship and Leadership Initiative Awards Total Nearly $21,000

NPN recently selected six organizations to receive support for the development of new leadership. On the Boards (Seattle), Pangea World Theater (Minneapolis), Junebug Productions (New Orleans), Su Teatro (Denver), Miami Light Project (Miami), and Portland Ovations (Portland, ME) have each tailored a leadership development program to suit their individual needs.

For details on the various projects,

MLI is supported in part by grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, MetLife Foundation and American Express.

Bollywood to Bolivia: DJ Rekha on the Road

In April of 2012, DJ Rekha (, a New York City-based DJ, curator, record label owner, educator and activist, toured to two cities in Bolivia.

Read more about her border-crossing journey —
across countries, gender and musical genres,
made possible by the Performing Americas Program (PAP).

PAP is supported in part by grants from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.… Outstanding Contemporary Dance at Home for $5

Choreographer Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Shuey offer a surreal, visually arresting examination of the gap between cause and effect in A Crack in Everything. A Crack in Everything received a Creation Fund award in 2010 co-commissioned by Bates Dance Festival in partnership with Jacob’s Pillow, On the Boards, DiverseWorks, and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

Visit and see this striking performance for only $5.

Photo (left): A Crack in Everything, zoe | juniper. Pictured: Raja Kelly. Photographer: Arthur Fink.

Korea Hosts International Arts Showcase

Next month NPN will send curators F. John Herbert, Legion Arts; Yolanda Cursach, Museum of Contemporary Arts Chicago; and Dawnell Smith, OutNorth to Seoul to attend the eighth edition of the Performing Arts Market (PAMS), October 8 to 12, 2012 at the National Theatre of Korea and other venues. Over a five-day period PAMS will offer an intensive program to more than 1,000 domestic and 150 international delegates, including the PAMS Choice showcase featuring excerpts from 13 distinguished contemporary Korean works of theater, dance, music, and multidisciplinary arts, booth exhibitions, networking and much more. For more details about PAMS 2012 go to

October is a very lively and exciting month in Seoul — in addition to PAMS, other festivals take place simultaneously: the Seoul Performing Arts Festival (, Seoul International Dance Festival (, and Jarasum International Jazz Festival (

100 artists + 400 presenters + 30 countries = Upgraded Electrical Service: International Symposium on Electronic Art comes to Albuquerque

by Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Director, 516 ARTS & Executive Producer, ISEA2012

Filipa de Lima Valente
Liminoid Bloom*s, 2012
mixed media / interactive prototype, 60 x 12 x 6 inches
on view at 516 ARTS for ISEA2012

Liminoid Bloom*s is a system of synergetic and interactive relationships among the environment, users of the gallery space, and programmed performances. Artificial ecology mechanisms mediate the space between the gallery and the environment of Albuquerque. These plantlike machines allow users of the gallery to experience the registering of atmospheric conditions present while simultaneously being able to affect the pieces themselves.

Neil Mendoza & Anthony Goh
Escape, 2011
mobile phones, tree, Arduino
on view at 516 ARTS for ISEA2012

This installation takes familiar, often stressful and annoying devices and creates an alternate reality that uses disposable, unwanted phones and unwanted noises and turns them into something beautiful. Each bird consists of a load of broken phone junk. The working phone communicates via serial to a device that then decides how the bird should move, when it should answer calls (from the public or other birds), and when it should make calls.

The International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) is the world’s premier forum for advancing exchange and innovation among artists, scientists and technologists. As host for ISEA2012, Albuquerque joins Istanbul, Helsinki, Munich, Singapore, Sydney and major cities worldwide as an international center for creativity and technology.

With a staff of four people, our little team at 516 ARTS is reeling, but we’re excited! It’s been close to three years in the making, and we’re finally birthing this crazy baby. We’ve been getting to know artists from all over the world via email and skype, and now we’re about to meet them in person, which is a thrill. We’re hosting over 100 artists and 400 presenters from 30 countries right here in Albuquerque. It feels like an important moment for our small city in the middle of the desert to host such an international group of leading creative minds in art, science and technology.

Of course, we’ve had lots of help from volunteers and consultants, and teamwork has been the key to pulling this off, through juggling it all together, trust and adrenaline. We’ve just pushed ourselves to the max and have had to learn a lot along the way. The challenges have been many and ongoing, with of course money being the biggest. We’re still fundraising and encouraging registrations down to the last minute. We’re paying international artists, which presents all kinds of tax challenges. We’re bringing an artist from Cuba, who won’t know until the 11th hour if she gets her visa. We’ve upgraded the electrical capacity of our building to be able to show so much electronic art at once. And we’ve found it surprisingly challenging to secure corporate support, even though the intersection of art, science and technology seems like such a good fit for many corporations. A recent federal grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services has been critical.

So, it’s happening! We’re proving that small organizations can do big things for our cities and communities, by thinking both globally and locally, and by building partnerships with our fellow arts organizations, the university, local government, businesses and even scientific and technological entities. We’re highlighting the arts at the center of innovative thinking about the future.

If it’s too late to plan a trip to Albuquerque for the conference, please consider coming anytime this fall to check out the exhibition and lots of ongoing public programs around the region. To learn more, visit You can download the full guide to fall programs on the home page.

Bhangra and Bollywood go to Bolivia:
New York’s DJ Rekha on the Road

by Elizabeth Doud

Each year, PAP enables two U.S. artist companies to tour various regions in Latin American and the Caribbean. Artists are selected by NPN’s partner network in Latin America, La RED, which selects curators from their membership to act as host for U.S. artists. Now a decade old, PAP has successfully toured dozens of U.S. artists to Latin America and the Caribbean, and this is the second group to tour in Bolivia since the program began.

Photo (above): DJ Rekha working with workshop participant in La Paz.
Photo courtesy of the Mercado Cultural de Bolivia.

This year, Pablo Paredes of the Mercado Cultural of Bolivia chose to present DJ Rekha. Paredes has a major focus on presenting musicians and bringing leading edge work to Bolivian audiences. As part of PAP’s curatorial process, he travelled to the United States to NPN’s Annual Meeting in Knoxville in 2009, then again to the TBA Festival at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art to search for work that would fit with his organization’s mission. Through his travels and connections with new colleagues in the U.S., he discovered the work of DJ Rekha, and knew immediately that hers was the kind of sound he wanted to present.

Of the value of PAP touring support, Paredes said, “The presentation of this kind of artist wouldn’t be possible for a presenter like me in Bolivia. I want to take the risk on new voices and bring them to Bolivians — especially youth — but there is no way my resources could have covered the costs of bringing this kind of international work, particularly from the U.S.”

Called the “Ambassador of Bhangra” by the New York Times and named one of the most influential South Asians by Newsweek, Rekha is among the first DJs to merge classic Bhangra and Bollywood sounds into the language of contemporary electronic dance music. Since establishing herself on the club scene with her inaugural event, Basement Bhangra at SOBs nightclub in 1997, Rekha has produced some of the longest running and most successful parties in New York including Bollywood Disco and Mutiny. Rekha also produces a weekly radio show, Bhangra and Beyond. Her label, Beat Bazaar Music, launched in November of 2011 with its first release, Pyar Baile. Versed in a broad cross-section of musical genres — from Bhangra to Dancehall to Hip Hop to Bollywood — Rekha has also helped launch the careers of artists across the musical spectrum.

After getting to know Rekha’s work, Paredes invited her to present live concerts with her collaborator Zuzuka Poderosa, and he also designed a series of workshops with young aspiring DJ’s in the cities of La Paz and Santa Cruz where students had five-day intensives with the artist working on many aspects of the art of mixing, djing and talking about DJ culture in general.

These workshops were once in a lifetime opportunities for participants who were able to hear a completely new sound, and also experience the work of a female DJ in a field that is largely dominated by men, especially in Bolivia.

If you would like to know more about artists that are currently touring with PAP, or have toured in the past, please visit