National Performance Network > E-Newsletters > E-Newsletter / August 2016

E-Newsletter / August 2016

Posted: Friday, August 26th, 2016 at 11:34 am in E-Newsletters


A Note from Our New President & CEO,Caitlin Strokosch

Dear friends and colleagues:
I am thrilled to offer my greetings as the new President and CEO of NPN/VAN! It is such an honor to collaborate with NPN/VAN’s extraordinary staff, board, Partners, artists, and supporters, and I am so grateful for the leadership and generosity of MK Wegmann in sharing the organization’s history and vision with me. I have long admired NPN/VAN’s work, particularly the values of artist-centeredness, equity, and social change that are embedded throughout the organization. These values are more important now than ever in guiding the way we navigate the most significant challenges and opportunities of our times. As I step into my new role, learning more about the work of NPN/VAN, Partners and artists fills me with hope and gratitude. I look forward to celebrating our Partners and artists at the Annual Meeting in Austin, welcoming our funders and colleagues in person, and sharing our bright vision for the future with all of you!

Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE)

National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network is excited to be a part of the Andrew W. Mellon Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative for small and mid-sized arts organizations. NPN/VAN seized upon this opportunity to develop programming focused on arts organizations of color and geographically isolated organizations, and calling it Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE). LANE directly addresses the racial equity challenges in the field of arts and culture and builds upon NPN/VAN’s history through the importance of relationships and addressing systemic change.

The Mellon Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative also creates an opportunity for NPN/VAN to partner with the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF). Working closely with NFF to tailor their model to ensure relevant content has increased both organizations’ understanding of capacity building. The LANE process shifts the discussion from the support of business models that focus on sustainability to a business model that focus on values-based adaptability, which will ultimately lead to sustainable practices.

The LANE cohort organizations are not institutions that are in need or deserve saving. LANE recognizes our cohort as leaders in the field whose vision and skillset are often under-supported, unrecognized and undervalued. If equity is to be achieved, leadership cannot remain the sole province of those with the most resources. We look forward to sharing the learnings from the pilot cohort with the field over the next four years. For more information about LANE and the first cohort of six organizations click here.


Live & On Stage at the 2016 NPN/VAN Annual Meeting

BIG NEWS! Congratulations to Dahlak Brathwaite, Meg Wolfe, Soomi Kim, and The Seldoms for being selected by our national panel to perform in this year’s Live & On Stage performances at the 2016 NPN/VAN Annual Meeting in Austin. Click here to get to know more about this year’s artists.

NPN’s Performing Americas Program offers grants for Creative Exchange residencies and mobility funds for performing artists and performing arts curators throughout the Americas.

Application Deadline: September 16, 2016 for projects happening between OCTOBER 1, 2016-SEPTEMBER 30, 2017

The Creative Exchange is a flexible and dynamic opportunity for artists to engage abroad with a wide range of hosts and communities in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. In June 2016, Miami artist Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez traveled to Managua, Nicaragua on a Creative Exchange Mobility award to explore a possible collaboration with the community-based organizations La Corriente and Las Hijas del Maiz. Their proposed project explores a reframing of the legacy of the Virgin Mary in a feminist context to empower Latina women, with input from Latinas representing different cultures and regions, as well as artistic disciplines. The travel was crucial for both the artist and host to discuss their mutual interests in the project, and design a future residency for the creation of a performance and multi-media work. There are two Creative Exchange options: Mobility awards support travel of up to $1,000 and Residency awards support 2-5 week creative residencies for up to two people. Click here for guidelines and application forms.


A Look Back at MK’s Courtyard Celebration

On June 29, 2016, NPN/VAN celebrated MK Wegmann upon her retirement, after more than 15 years of leading the organization as CEO & President. The event was held in the gardens of Arts Estuary 1024, the recently realized multi-tenant arts facility and long-term dream of MK and NPN/VAN. The more than 150 guests enjoyed an evening filled with music, which included arrangements by Nick Slie and Company; a trio composed of Michaela Harrison, Monica McIntyre and Joy Clark; and the 7th Ward brass band To Be Continued (TBA). Longtime colleagues and friends presented tributes, including Carol Bebelle from Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Don Marshall from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Cherice Harrison Nelson from the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, Kiyoko McCrae from Junebug Productions, Asante Salaam from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy, and Neil Barclay from the Contemporary Arts Center. City of New Orleans proclamations were presented to MK from the City Council and the Mayor’s office. Finally, NPN/VAN staff and board member John White dedicated the back space at Arts Estuary 1024 as MK’s Courtyard—a living tribute to MK’s exemplary cultural leadership. Click here for photos of the event.