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Creative Exchange Awards for FY15

Posted: Friday, June 12th, 2015 at 4:26 pm in News

Since 2007, the Creative Exchange has supported more than 40 artists and artist companies from across the hemisphere for two- to five-week residencies with hosts abroad. As an outgrowth of NPN’s Performing Americas Program (PAP), the residencies are focused on exchanges between the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean, specifically U.S.-based artists traveling to hosts in Latin American and the Caribbean, and Latin American and Caribbean-based artists traveling to U.S. host sites. In contrast to NPN’s international touring program, the Creative Exchange is designed for longer engagements, which allow artists to develop relationships with host communities over an extended time period. After having spoken with artists and hosts that had participated in the Performing Americas Touring Program, the message was clear:  international exchanges were more than just performing and moving on to the next city — communities and artists on both sides were desiring longer time periods to collaborate, develop new work in unique environments, understand the process and methodology of partners, and to be part of a cultural exchange that builds lasting relationships through the performing arts.

The Creative Exchange is about deepening relationships and investing in process. In 2014, Sandglass Theater of Putney, Vermont received a residency award to travel to El Salvador and work with Teatro Luis Poma of San Salvador. The project’s goal is to develop a collaborative piece between the two companies — an adaptation of the story “Nathan the Wise.”  This work will be performed in El Salvador and will tour in the United States upon its completion.

Roberto Solomon, director of Teatro Luis Poma shared his appreciation of the exchange: “Thanks to the National Performance Network and the Centro Cultural of the Spanish Embassy in El Salvador, we have been able to have a three-week workshop to develop a version of “Nathan the Wise,” which is a play on religious tolerance, written in the 18th century. It has an incredible repercussion in what is happening around the world today and particularly in Central America: things are getting split up into ghettos of thought. And, we think that a future production of this play can greatly contribute to what I call the civilization of society.”

Because of the distance and time factors of international cultural collaborations, works often progress over time in shorter spurts of development, and the spaces in between the face-to-face contact provide for greater reflection, insight and innovation. Sandglass will be returning to El Salvador in 2015 to complete the second phase of this collaboration.

The Creative Exchange residencies are designed to be flexible and support work that can range from educational activities and creative research to setting a work on a host company or technical skills workshops. This model — designed for only one or two artists traveling— has made these cultural exchange projects more travel friendly and cost effective, allowing NPN to support more weeks of activity to more artist companies. For the current fiscal year, NPN has developed a new partnership with the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, which provides additional funds for projects that support Miami-Dade County-based artists, and has leveraged even more artist support through this match.

For the 2014-15 funding cycle, Performing Americas added a new component to the Creative Exchange.  In addition to the multi-week residencies, there is a new “mobility” award to support research. The Creative Exchange Mobility awards aim to provide support for artists and hosts who wish to explore face-to-face relationships with potential partners in the design of a future exchange project, i.e. Creative Exchanges, touring, or collaborations.  This subsidy supports travel only, with a maximum of $1,000 per award, and is not intended as residency or touring support.

Each year, NPN’s International Program has awarded 6-8 Creative Exchange residency projects throughout the hemisphere that represent a diverse range of geographical regions and disciplines. Annually, the application period opens in December with deadlines in March of the following year. Guidelines are posted on the website in English, Spanish and Portuguese once they are available. For the 2013-2014 application round, six projects were awarded residency subsidies and four received mobility awards:

2014-15 Creative Exchange Residency Awards

Artists from Latin America/Caribbean with U.S. Hosts

Host Artist Discipline
Miami Light Project (Miami, FL) Golpe Seko (Santiago, Cuba) Music
The Play Company (Brooklyn, NY) and Yale University (New Haven, CT) Guillermo Calderon, (Santiago, Chile) Theater

Artists from U.S. with Latin American/Caribbean Hosts

Host Artist Discipline
Antonius Roberts Studio & Gallery at the Hillside House (Nassau, Bahamas) Alexis Caputo (Miami, FL) Spoken Word, Theater
RED de Artistas del Caribe (Baranquilla, Colombia) Bistoury, Inc. (Miami, FL) Dance, MediaArts
Hotel Oloffson/FOKAL (Port au Prince, Haiti) Jean Appolon Expressions (Boston, MA) Dance
LindaLinda (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Pig Iron Theatre (Philadelphia, PA) Theater
Teatro Luis Poma (San Salvador, El Salvador) Sandglass Theater (Putney, VT) Puppetry, Theater

Creative Exchange Mobility Awards

Host Artist/Curator  Discipline
Pedry Roxana / El Mejunje (Santa Clara, Cuba) Nick Bazo, The Theater Offensive (Boston, MA) Performance GLBTQ Activism
Mirella Carbone / La Escuela de Danza Contemporánea de la PUCP (Lima, Peru) Ivonne Batanero (Miami, FL) Dance
Teatro Linea de Sombra (D.F. Mexico) Ruth Wikler-Luker (Portland, OR) Theater, Digital History Project
Eunide Edouarin (Port au Prince, Haiti) Regine Roumain/Haiti Cultural Exchange (Brooklyn, NY) Music

Funding for the Performing Americas Program is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and, for Miami-Dade County artists and arts organizations, from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.

For the 2014-2015 grant cycle, NPN is working in partnership with the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs to provide matching funds for projects involving artists based in Miami-Dade County or host sites located in Miami-Dade County.

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