News & Events

Notices for partners, news for artists, announcements from the field, job postings. Submit news items using our online form.

Carpetbag Brigade from Colombia

Posted: Friday, February 19th, 2016 at 5:42 pm in News

The Evolving Acrostilt Tradition

“Callings” addresses climate change metaphorically and visually by invoking archetypes from the sea. A captain’s ghost and an ancient siren seduce and liberate the sailors of commerce, awakening them into the recognition that the sea is a living being. Carpetbag Brigade’s highly physical state-of-the-art acrobatic stilt-walking performance transcends language through intense physical expression. Mixing the genres of butoh, contact improvisation and physical theater, it operates as a wonderful vehicle to cross cultures and create connections with audiences from a different language, country and culture.

Carpetbag Brigade acrostilt

Carpetbag Brigade performing in Manizales
photo by: Ivonne Garavito Trejo

Teatro Taller de Colombia, the country’s oldest and most prominent street theater company, through their work of the last 40 plus years, laid the foundation for a rich stilt-walking and street theater environment throughout the country. After the invitation and support from NPN to come to Manizales was confirmed, Teatro Taller de Colombia helped to organize and support presentations of “Callings” at their Al Aire Puro Street Theater Festival in Bogota as well as organize presentations in Medellin through Tenarco (Teatro Nacional Artistico Colombia) and in Santa Marta through Festival Internacional de Caribe.

The field of interaction and support opened up by Teatro Taller de Colombia enabled Carpetbag Brigade to also spend a week in Bogota teaching and sharing their acrostilt vocabulary. A young street theater company, Gota del Mercurio (Drop of Mercury) took master classes from Carpetbag Brigade and were inspired to plan a visit in the future to participate in Carpetbag Brigade’s Global Stilt Congress event in Arizona, which brings together acrostilt practitioners from around the world to exchange techniques and deepen their craft.

Carpetbag Brigade received a FY16 PAP Creative Exchange subsidy.

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, the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.

Miami Dade County

Cameron Shaw Reflects on Her
First Annual Meeting

Posted: Thursday, February 18th, 2016 at 3:35 pm in Member & Partner Announcements

With the second year of support from the Quixote Foundation, representatives from NPN/VAN’s Local Network attended the NPN/VAN Annual Meeting in Portland. Cameron Shaw, executive director of Pelican Bomb, reflects on her first time participating.

This was my first time attending an NPN/VAN Annual Meeting. It was hands down the most diverse gathering of practitioners and presenters in the arts that I have witnessed. This diversity reflects the incredible and intentional community-building work NPN/VAN has done in the field over the years. The respect that conference-goers had for this work, NPN/VAN staff, and each other was palpable. As a direct result, the planned sessions, as well as my spontaneous conversations with colleagues, were marked by tremendous depth, sensitivity, and openness.  I found folks felt comfortable sharing the successes of their projects alongside their stumbling blocks. Within this spirit of creative and collective problem solving, I connected with a number of people whose perspectives and questions have already influenced my work in the month since and will no doubt continue into the future. I look forward to next year!


Congratulations Samuel Valdez

Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016 at 2:22 pm in Field News, News

Theater director and playwright Samuel Valdez, who is a director of NPN/VAN’s board, is being honored by the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission as the 2015 recipient of the Ashley L. Walker Social Justice Leadership award at their annual MLK All People’s celebration. In notifying Samuel of this award, the Commission said it “is inspired by your work in the arts through theater, your plays that call us to address human rights and dignity concerns, your work in understanding human trafficking, and your lifetime of service through your professional positions and community involvement. We would like to honor you and your lifetime of work with this award.”

Congratulations Samuel! We are proud that the talents we have seen in you are being publicly recognized in your own community.

Read the entire letter, attached here.

New Advancement Positions at Artspace

Posted: Monday, December 28th, 2015 at 10:41 am in Job Announcements

Artspace is posting two new positions in our National Advancement department, an Annual Fund Director and an Advancement Associate.

With the Annual Fund Director, we are looking for a mid-career person who can help lead efforts that expand our base of annual/organizational support from partners across the country, with a particular focus on individual giving in the Twin Cities, New York, Denver and Seattle.  The Advancement Associate job is a more junior position, but one with genuine growth potential.

We need people who would be Twins Cities-based, but we are hoping, especially with the Annual Fund Director, to attract candidates from other communities as we have with other recent hires.

Download PDF documents with full descriptions of the positions. Apply by January 15, 2016.

Artspace Annual Fund Director
Artspace Advancement Associate

E-Newsletter / November 2015

Posted: Saturday, November 28th, 2015 at 2:11 pm in E-Newsletters

Coming Full Circle

Posted: Monday, November 23rd, 2015 at 4:07 pm in News

The 2015 Jean Appolon Summer Dance Institute
Hotel Oloffson, Port-au-Prince

The Institute is an annual initiative of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE), a Haitian contemporary dance organization based in Boston: The purpose of the Institute is to preserve and advance Haitian folkloric dance and to provide access to high quality and comprehensive intensive dance education to Haitian youth without financial resources.  The company’s director, Jean Appolon was born, raised and trained as a dancer in Haiti, but is now based in Boston. However, he has made a commitment to return to Haiti annually to give back to youth the tangible and intangible gifts of dance and cultural heritage.

The 2015 Institute began on June 27 with an open audition that was attended by 110 Haitian young people. Sixty students were selected to participate in the four-week program that included yoga, modern dance, Haitian folkloric dance, the creation and rehearsal of choreography, and a free lunch program. National Performance Network support, through the Performing Americas Program, made it possible for JAE Company dancer Eboni Baptiste to travel to Haiti to participate as a guest faculty member in the Institute. The Institute concluded with a final performance that honored Professor Bayyinah Bello (University of Haiti) and Professor Michel DeGraff (MIT). The students performed six original choreographies by Jean Appolon for an audience of approximately 300 people that included their family members and friends, as well as Haitian and foreign dignitaries.

The 2015 Institute was characterized by an extremely positive esprit de corps on the part of the participating students as well as the staff. Each day, students were focused and on time, some traveling 4+ hours round trip to participate. The Institute exemplified JAE’s philosophy of ”by working together we can achieve something great.” The final performance was indeed a great achievement as was the distribution of 58 certificates that documented the students’ successful completion of the intensive dance course. The Institute’s impact was felt at many levels, including the students’ artistic and technical accomplishments; the students’ social and personal growth; and the civic and cultural pride that comes with teaching and showcasing Haitian folkloric dance, music and culture as a valued resource.

The Performing Americas Program is a partnership of the National Performance Network and La RED (Red de Promotores Culturales de Latinoamerica y el Caribe). Since 2007, the Creative Exchange has supported more than 40 artists and artist companies for two-to five-week residencies with hosts abroad, focusing on exchanges between the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Performing Americas Program receives generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

RFP for Assessment of NPN’s International Program

Posted: Thursday, October 29th, 2015 at 5:51 pm in News, Opportunities

For more than a dozen years, NPN’s International Program has been providing touring and residency opportunities for U.S. artists and increasing the capacity of NPN Partner organizations to present international work. The program reflects NPN’s values of reciprocity and mutual respect, collaborating through network-to-network exchanges in Latin America and the Caribbean, Japan, and Korea.

NPN/VAN is seeking someone to take an outside look at the program. The purpose of the assessment would be to engage multiple stakeholders, including artists, NPN/VAN Partners, other presenters, global network partners, as well as NPN/VAN board and staff in a process to determine the next steps for the International Program; project how it can be more strongly integrated as a program; and help articulate the complexity of international relationships, cultural, and language differences. Additionally, it will be critical to have a clear analysis of opportunities for additional funding and/or partnerships that may be identified in the course of the assessment that would expand the reach and provide stability for the International Program.

The deadline is 5:00 p.m. CST on November 16, 2015.

Download a copy of the request for proposals for a full description and timeline here.


President and CEO Position Announcement
National Performance Network,
including the Visual Artists Network

Posted: Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 3:05 pm in Field News, Job Announcements, News

The governing board of the National Performance Network, including the Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN), seeks applications for the position of President and CEO. The successful applicant will assume the staff leadership of a nationwide organization with a strong record of leadership and success. The board is open to applicants with a wide variety of experience; however, all applicants must demonstrate their ability to effectively manage the Network. In addition, all applicants are expected to share the values of equity, diversity, social justice, and inclusion that are infused into all aspects of NPN/VAN work.

The Role. The successful applicant will be a policy activist, a national and international spokesperson, and a person capable of navigating and cultivating substantial resources for NPN/VAN. The individual must be intrigued by the future, networked to change agents, and have the ability to orchestrate the policy perspectives of a diverse national group into a coherent set of programs and initiatives. The individual needs to be capable of evolving a strong vision for the Network and must have the ability to serve as a change agent who can help realize that vision. The NPN/VAN President and CEO is a leader who is responsible for the overall health and vitality of the organization, which includes the maintenance and advancement of the network of arts organizations with proactive programs at the local, national, and international levels.

Management Responsibilities. The successful applicant must have the ability to manage a budget of approximately $3 million and manage an on-site staff of 13 and a remote consulting staff of 3. The President and CEO works with a nationwide membership that is concentrated among 72 partner organizations. In addition, the President and CEO also oversees the programmatic aspects of the Network. NPN/VAN already has in place a strong administrative and management system. Thus, while the President and CEO needs to evaluate, supervise, and adjust the existing system and is responsible for the effective overall management of the organization, many of the day-to-day management responsibilities are assigned to other senior staff.

Travel. This position requires extensive travel. In some years, the President and CEO may be away from the office 50% or more of the time. The purpose of such travel is to stay in close contact with Network partners, help shape the national cultural policy dialogue, and identify and cultivate resources and programmatic opportunities for NPN/VAN.

Qualities Sought. Although the successful candidate must demonstrate an ability to manage the organization, the primary quality sought in the position of President and CEO is the ability to position NPN/VAN and its spirit in regional, national, and international leadership circles, both inside and outside of the arts. Qualities that need to be demonstrated in order to succeed in this work are:

  • An ability to effectively design and manage complex programs that harness the collaborative and creative energies of the partner organizations, board, and staff.
  • An ability to successfully lead a diverse staff, board, and body of partners.
  • An ability to understand how cultural policy is made and executed and where in the process entities such as NPN/VAN can intervene to influence such policy.
  • An ability to effectively analyze complex writings, data, and organizations and create opportunities to advance the values and initiatives of NPN/VAN.
  • An ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written forms.
  • An ability to work effectively and with cultural competency with a wide variety of individuals in a way that recruits them to the NPN/VAN cause.
  • An understanding of how to maintain and expand NPN/VAN’s funding from private foundations and other institutional sources.
  • An ability to research, structure, and launch new revenue-development projects.

Nontraditional Applicants. The search committee will consider applications from a variety of fields, provided they can demonstrate competence and vision that align with the Network’s needs and aspirations.

Minimum Qualifications. The minimum qualifications for this position are:

  • Degree from a four-year accredited institution of higher education or the equivalent
  • Meaningful experience in the arts and/or creative industries
  • Five years of management experience
  • High-level written and oral communication skills

Location. The organization is based in New Orleans.

NPN/VAN The National Performance Network, including the Visual Artists Network, is a national network that supports artists in the creation and touring of contemporary performing and visual arts. As a network, NPN/VAN links over 72 diverse partner organizations across the country and the constituents they serve. The 30-year-old organization has a long history of activism on behalf of leading performing arts and visual arts activities. A full overview of NPN/VAN can be found at:

Compensation. The salary range for this position is $125,000 to $130,000. The position includes full health and dental benefits. A relocation allowance is to be determined.

Application Deadline. The deadline date for applications is December 1, 2015. To be considered by the search committee, all materials must be received by the search manager no later than 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on December 1, 2015.

Questions. Questions about this search and clarification regarding the qualities sought can be directed to NPN/VAN Search Manager Laurel Sherman at

How to Apply. To apply for this position, applicants should send a cover letter that details how they meet all or most of the items listed in the “qualities sought” section of this position announcement. In the cover letter, applicants also should address any significant strengths they would bring to enacting the Mission, Values, and Vision of the organization. Also, please send a writing sample that illustrates the ability to engage in critical thinking and analysis and a detailed, current professional resume. These materials should be sent via email. No paper applications will be accepted. Please send application materials to:

Laurel Sherman, NPN/VAN Search Manager


Download or print a PDF of this announcement here.

Job Opening at The Carpetbag Theatre in Knoxville

Posted: Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 at 4:30 pm in Job Announcements

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. (CBT), founded in 1969 and chartered in 1970, is a professional, multi-generational ensemble company dedicated to the production of new works. Our mission is to give artistic voice to the issues and dreams of people who have been silenced by racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and other forms of oppression. CBT serves communities by returning their stories to them with honesty, dignity, and concern for the aesthetic of that particular community, helping culturally specific communities to re-define how they organize.

The company works in partnership with other community artists, activists, cultural workers, storytellers, leaders and people who are simply concerned, creating original works through collaboration in a style based in storytelling and song.

The Executive Support Manager will provide high level support to the Executive/Artistic Director. Responsibilities include project management/coordination, a public facing external relations role and administrative duties. Keen organization skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively are vital. The position will also include basic clerical duties such as meeting planning, report production, database management, and travel arrangements. The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a creative, ensemble environment with a focus on mission-driven, community impact.

The full job announcement and how to apply can be downloaded as a PDF here.

E-Newsletter / October 2015

Posted: Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 at 11:57 am in E-Newsletters

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