News & Events

Notices for partners, news for artists, announcements from the field, job postings.

A Message from Board Chair Abe Rybeck

Posted: Monday, October 5th, 2015 at 2:27 pm in Field News, News

In my role as the Board Chair of the National Performance Network, including the Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN), I am grateful for the ongoing support of our network, and I invite you to stay close in touch with us through the coming transitional period. NPN/VAN plays a unique role in the cultural ecology. Though not giant in scale, we are mighty in impact, particularly in communities that have been underserved by the cultural sector. Our relationship with you is more important than ever, as both continuity and growth bring us through this leadership change.

With the announcement of MK Wegmann’s upcoming retirement as NPN/VAN President and CEO in 2016, we feel tremendous appreciation for her leadership. MK’s leadership of our terrific staff, our highly participatory partnership, our deeply engaged board, and our strong community of supporters has made us the strong, vibrant network we are today. In the face of MK’s news, we are moving toward our future with renewed vigor, well prepared for exciting and challenging changes, powered by the relationships we have built over the decades.

As happens with many good leaders, folks in the field grew to strongly identify NPN/VAN with MK. But at the same time, MK supported a large body of up-and-coming and established leaders within our network. I know how effective her mentorship strategy was because I consider myself one of the beneficiaries of it.

We are prepared to handle this transition well. Early in 2015, the NPN/VAN Board of Directors appointed a transition committee to oversee the process. Our bylaws clearly put this responsibility in the board’s purview. The board is a highly accomplished and broadly experienced body of nationally renowned leaders that represent NPN Partners, artists and field colleagues. We have risen to this task without hesitation, knowing this is a crucial turning point in our network’s history. NPN/VAN Chief Operating Officer Steve Bailey, Director of National Programs Stanlyn Brevé, Local Program Director Stephanie Atkins, and the entire staff are heavily involved in making a smooth and effective transition. MK is not taking on a role in choosing new leadership but we are absorbing her advice on the transition in general. As you may know, the job announcement for a new President and CEO has been posted. Please help spread the word to colleagues in the field.

I believe deeply that our community of colleagues can contribute insights to this process that could make a substantial difference. I would be grateful to discuss this further, so please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me. I promise to make your input worthwhile.

Thank you for the journey up to this juncture and we are excited about the future.

Abe Rybeck
National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network, Board Chair

NPN/VAN President & CEO
MK Wegmann Announces Her Retirement

Posted: Monday, October 5th, 2015 at 2:15 pm in Field News, News

MK portraitI am writing to let you know about my impending retirement from my position as President and CEO of the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network. For the last fifteen years I have enjoyed the privilege of leading NPN/VAN and I am now ready to go back to working independently, continuing to support artists and organizations as they pursue their work.

In 2000, as then chair of the newly formed NPN board, following our move in 1998 to be an independent organization, I led a national planning process to determine the feasibility and viability of our network. The resounding affirmations we heard about the value we hold for artists who are touring and creating new work convinced me to take on the leadership role to build NPN into a strong, well-rounded organization with expanded resources for artists, organizations and communities. Overwhelmingly, artists, Partners and colleagues praised the long-term relationships gained by convening, collaborating and co-commissioning as our highest value – what a network is meant to be.

Over these years we have boosted legacy programs including the expanded presence of artists at the Annual Meeting, Performance Residencies, and the Creation Fund. We have sought to strengthen the capacity of our Partners through mentorship and leadership initiatives. The Performing Americas Program and Asia Connection brought new partners from around the globe. In 2006 we established the Visual Artists Network, mirroring our long-standing commitment to equitable artists’ fees and community engagement to the visual arts field. The Forth Fund launched in 2012 to give additional resources to Creation Fund projects and deepen the relationships between presenters and artists creating new work. This year we are beginning a major multi-year initiative, Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE), that combines two incredibly important field issues – cultural equity and capitalization. LANE is a perfect reflection of NPN/VAN’s mission, vision and values and a perfect way to lay the foundation for the organization’s future.

Last fall NPN/VAN moved our offices into Arts Estuary 1024, realizing our long-held dream of embedding us in our home community of New Orleans, firmly anchoring our Local Program and connecting the threads of local, national and global activities. Our voice in cultural policy arenas advocates loudly for artists, for communities, for racial justice and for cultural equity − principles of NPN from its inception in 1985.

None of this could have been accomplished without a strong and loyal staff and board, who have supported and contributed to our growth. Their expertise and shared vision for the impact we can have has made our successes possible. I know that as we make the transition to new leadership that there is a solid and committed organization still ripe with possibility and ready for what is next. I am proud of who we are and what we have accomplished, and proud of the part I have played in it.

As a key part of this transition, we are embarking on a research project, a substantive assessment of NPN/VAN’s many contributions to artistic practice, cultural policy, social justice and cultural vitality across the United States, as well as within Latin America, the Caribbean, Japan and Korea. I will continue to work with NPN/VAN through the end of calendar 2016 to be part of this project, which is both archival and analytical.

I am grateful for all of the support shown for NPN/VAN’s work over the past 30 years. The organization’s advancement has been a tremendous team effort from every sector within which we work and we value these relationships with our allies in the field.

With appreciation,
MK Wegmann

Stephanie Atkins Named
Local Program Director

Posted: Monday, October 5th, 2015 at 11:48 am in News

NPN/VAN has named Stephanie Atkins to the newly created position of Local Program Director. Ms. Atkins, who has been the resource development specialist, has worked with the organization spearheading its development efforts, while also helping to shape the evolving Local Program.

Ms. Atkins’ appointment reflects her involvement and commitment to the local arts and cultural ecology. The Local Program is NPN/VAN’s connection to the community, a way for a national service organization to stay in touch with constituents and have an impact on the city in which it is located.  There are three major divisions: 1) the Local Network is a group of local organizations and artist projects that form a capacity-building, peer-learning circle with full financial services provided by NPN/VAN; 2) fiscal sponsorship provides financial and nonprofit services for short-term projects; and 3) Arts Estuary 1024 is a multi-tenant arts facility managed by NPN/VAN, which opened in the fall of 2014.

Over the next three years, NPN/VAN will deepen and expand its Local Program in order to help fulfill the needs of the local cultural community, to increase visibility for NPN/VAN and the organizations/projects that are served through the program, and to help solidify a steady stream of earned, unrestricted income. The expansion will include increasing the number of partnership organizations/projects and services to the Local Network, increasing the number of fiscal sponsorships, and expanded programming and rentals at Arts Estuary 1024.  This growth is a major step in NPN/VAN’s commitment to New Orleans. The organization moved to the city in 2000 and five years later felt the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. This has had a lasting effect on New Orleans, this region and our nation. The needs of our local community are great and local resources are very limited. However, New Orleans has an immense wealth of history, indigenous culture, talent and potential. NPN/VAN’s local program bolsters the exceptional cultural and social aspects of New Orleans thereby helping to sustain and bolster its unique local environment.

In her new role, Ms. Atkins is responsible for managing support services for artists and smaller art organizations, and spearheading NPN/VAN’s collaborative partnerships with other service providers. She has worked for NPN/VAN for nine years, starting as an executive assistant, and has honed her skills as a leader in the arts. She has been involved with the field for more than 27 years as a visual artist, arts educator, and administrator. Prior to working with NPN/VAN, she taught art education in the public school system operated by the Orleans Parish School Board and held adjunct positions at Xavier University of Louisiana and Southern University at New Orleans. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual arts from Spelman College and an M.F.A. degree in painting from the University of Cincinnati. Ms. Atkins is a Rockwood Leadership Institute Fellow. She volunteers with the New Orleans Alumnae Chapter for Spelman College (NAASC), serving as former chapter president, and at Saint Katharine Drexel Preparatory School.

E-Newsletter / September 2015

Posted: Friday, September 25th, 2015 at 9:32 am in E-Newsletters

Cherokee Preservation Foundation Seeks E.D.

Posted: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 3:50 pm in Job Announcements

Cherokee Preservation Fdn

The Cherokee Preservation Foundation seeks an experienced Executive Director with a demonstrated commitment to philanthropic excellence to lead the organization starting in January, 2016. The Cherokee Preservation Foundation works to improve the quality of life of members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and strengthen the western North Carolina region near tribal land. Established in 2000, the Foundation provides funding, convening and collaboration in the areas of cultural preservation, economic development and environmental preservation, generally making grants in the $5 million to $6 million range each year.

Visit their website for a full job description:

Deadline to apply: October 2, 2015




VAN Announces the 2015 Annual Meeting Exhibition Artists

Posted: Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 at 4:57 pm in Events

The Visual Artists Network (VAN) is pleased to announce the two artists that have been selected to exhibit their work at the 2015 Annual Meeting Exhibition:  Yvonne Buchanan and Gregory Michael Hernandez. Yvonne participated in a VAN Exhibition Residency at VAN Partner site Real Art Ways (Hartford, CT) in May 2015 and Gregory Michael Hernandez participated in a VAN Exhibition Residency at MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (San José, CA) in May 2012.

in Court (Basketball)

in Court (Basketball) 2012 digital video, color/silent, 13.13 minutes

Yvonne Buchanan was born and raised in New York City, and now lives in Syracuse, New York. Her video and animations are informed by African American history and that community’s strategies for survival using coping mechanisms such as religion, sports and entertainment. Yvonne maintains a studio practice in Syracuse and serves on the faculty of Syracuse University. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Canada, Paris, France, and Berlin, Germany. For more information, visit her website:

Hernandez, Ghost Window chapel

Proposal for a Ghost Window Chapel, 2015, model made of basswood, walnut, photographs, 20 x 16 x 16 inches

Gregory Michael Hernandez was raised in the Mojave Desert in Southern California, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1995. His work is landscape based, often contrasting the desert and the city, and incorporating themes of dislocation that define the human condition. Hernandez is interested in how environment shapes the way individuals and communities form their identities, and the intersections between philosophy, religion, politics and culture. To that end, his photographic methods have become a tool for mapping perspective, and translating between two- and three-dimensional representations. His work bridges photography, painting, sculpture, performance and site-specific installation, and can be seen at

The exhibition will be hosted by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center ( in Portland, OR. Disjecta builds dynamic programs that showcase new work and spur collaboration among artists, curators, and communities.

In addition to the artists above, a contingent of Portland-based artists will be selected to present hybrid, cross–disciplinary work during the exhibition opening.

MAP Fund Accepting Applications for Performing Arts Projects

Posted: Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 at 2:18 pm in Opportunities

The MAP Fund, an ancillary program of Creative Capital, is now accepting applications for performing arts projects. Visit the  Online Letter of Inquiry site to read the instructions, register your account, and submit your application. The submission deadline for LOIs is Monday, September 28, 2015 at 5:00pm EST.

The MAP Fund is founded on the principle that experimentation drives human progress, no less in art than in science or medicine. The program welcomes applications from artists, ensembles, producers and presenters of a high artistic standard, whose work in the disciplines of contemporary performance embodies this spirit of exploration and deep inquiry. Letters of Inquiry  must come from organizations based in the United States that have current nonprofit federal tax status (501c3); unincorporated artists or ensembles may apply to MAP through a fiscal sponsor.

Questions? Read the FAQs section of MAP’s website, or email with application inquiries.

NPN/VAN New Partners Search 2015-16

Posted: Monday, August 24th, 2015 at 2:26 pm in Field News, Member & Partner Announcements, News

updated 10/14/2015: Nominations are closed.

The National Performance Network, including the Visual Artists Network, is beginning a nationwide search for cultural organizations to join its partnership.

As an artist-centered network, NPN/VAN is unique in its structure — an interconnected partnership among diverse communities, artists, and presenters (NPN and VAN Partners). The Network is kept small in order to facilitate communication, active participation, and sustainable relationships that have measurable impact over time. Currently, NPN/VAN is 61 performing arts and 14 visual arts Partners across 28 states and 41 cities. For them, the Network is an invaluable mechanism for sharing resources, ideas, and skills across boundaries of race, geography, aesthetics and organizational cultures.

NPN/VAN values long-term relationships and Partners remain in the Network as long as their work and commitment to NPN/VAN’s mission and values remain active. As Partner organizations change and evolve, some choose to leave the Network to pursue other goals. This gradual and inevitable process allows the Network to remain dynamic by periodically inviting new Partners to join. NPN/VAN will be accepting a limited number of nonprofit organizations to become either NPN or VAN Partners beginning July 1, 2016.

Through September 25, 2015, NPN/VAN Partners, staff, artists, state and regional arts councils, and colleagues are invited to nominate nonprofit organizations that meet the criteria for Partnership. From those nominations, a select number will be invited to submit formal applications.

Click here to see details about the process, eligibility criteria, timeline for selection, and how to nominate an organization.

CAC in New Orleans Has Two Job Openings

Posted: Friday, August 21st, 2015 at 7:13 pm in Job Announcements

The Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans has two positions open:

External Affairs Coordinator – The External Affairs Department is responsible for devising and executing public relations, marketing, and advertising strategies to promote all exhibitions, performances, and events programmed by the CAC.

Institutional Giving Manager – The Development Department is responsible for managing the contributed revenue of the CAC through public and private grants, corporate sponsorships, individual donations, and the CAC’s membership and special event programs.

Visit their website to learn more about the positions and how to apply. The deadline for both jobs is September 4, 2015.

E-Newsletter / July/August 2015

Posted: Friday, August 14th, 2015 at 3:03 pm in E-Newsletters

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