Archive for the ‘skills building’ Category

Showered with Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Leonid meteor shower over Niagara Falls, from BILDER-ATLAS DER STERNWELT (translation: Image Atlas of the Star World) by Edmund Weiss (Stuttgart, 1892). Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Library.

Dancers The Boston Dance Alliance is holding its annual Open Call Audition on September Sunday, September 18, 11 a.m -5 p.m. at Brookline High School. Learn more to register.

Western MA Artists Vendors and Crafters that make handmade creations are sought for the Lenox, MA, Holiday Craft Connection, November 19, 2016 from 9 am – 3 pm at The United Methodist Church of Lenox, 6 Holmes Road, Lenox, Massachusetts (located behind NBT Bank). Free admission. For more information please call 413-243-2640 ~ 413-464-2659 or

Filmmakers Sundance Institute is is accepting applications of short and feature length films, episodic content, and virtual reality projects to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Learn more.
Deadline: varied deadlines in August and September, 2016

Artist Residency The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, NE offers 2- to 8-week residencies year-round for writers, visual artists, and music composers. Housing, studio space, $100/week stipend are provided. Visual artists work in one of three studios, two of which are approximately 425 square feet and one that is 258 square feet. Onsite letterpress studio also available. Learn more.
Deadline: September 1, 2016

Fellowships in the Creative Arts The Harvard University Radcliffe Institute Fellowships awards fellowships of $75,000 each, office space at the Radcliffe Institute, and access to the libraries at Harvard University. The fellowships are given annually to artists in a variety of disciplines to allow them to pursue creative projects. Fellows are expected to reside in Boston during the fellowship period, which lasts from September through May. Learn more.
Deadline: September 15, 2016

Visual Artists Business Grant The Clark Hulings Fund Business Accelerator Grant is now accepting applications. The fund offers targeted financial assistance and business support to professional visual artists to help them boost their careers and succeed as managers of their art businesses. Applicants must detail exactly how the grant would help them undertake, improve, or expand a specific project. Grants vary, but total funding for one year will not exceed $10,000. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Call for Art The Billboard Creative is currently accepting submissions for the 2016 Los Angeles Exhibition. The Billboard Creative is an all-volunteer nonprofit that produces public art shows on billboards throughout Los Angeles. Imagine your art viewed on a massive scale, by tens of thousands of Angelenos on their daily commutes. Public art displayed in a quintessential Los Angeles medium. Learn more.
Deadline: October 2, 2016

Music Performers Do you believe in the power of free, live music to bring people together and invigorate community life? Does your town or city have an underused public space that would be ideal for outdoor concerts? Apply for a 2017 Levitt AMP Grant Award. Applications are now open. Learn more.
Deadline: October 10, 2016

Award for Female Writer A Room of Her Own Foundation is currently accepting applications for their Gift of Freedom Award. A prize of $50,000 is given biennially to a female poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer to complete a project for publication over a two-year period. The top finalist in each of the two remaining genres will receive $5,000. Submit up to 10 pages of poetry or prose, an essay on financial status, an essay on the meaning of writing, an artist’s statement, a project plan, and a community benefit proposal. Learn more.
Deadline: November 2, 2016

Image: Leonid meteor shower over Niagara Falls, from BILDER-ATLAS DER STERNWELT (translation: Image Atlas of the Star World) by Edmund Weiss (Stuttgart, 1892). Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory Library.

Crowdfunding: A Primer

Friday, May 20th, 2016

From THE CIRCLE by Julie Mallozzi, crowdfunding on IndieGoGo

This is an updated version of a previously published article.

So, you have a creative project (an unfinished film, music album, graphic novel, etc.) and you want funding so you can adequately – make that epically – realize your vision.

Instead of relying solely on traditional grant programs (such as our Artist Fellowships or Local Cultural Council grants), which may or may not match up with your project’s timeline, you might consider using a crowdfunding site as part of your fundraising strategy.

Artists crowdfund by soliciting donations from many individual supporters, directing donations to one central online presence. There are a number of crowdfunding sites for artists to choose from, which generally have these things in common:

  • They make it easy for individuals to make tax-deductible donations.
  • They ask artists to set a fundraising goal.
  • They provide helpful and novel ways to interact with donors, including the ability to offer rewards.
  • And a certain percentage of the donations go to the crowdfunding site to pay for the service.

What sites are out there, and what differentiates them?


From the Kickstarter video for THE CHEMICAL WEDDING BY CHRISTIAN ROSENCREUTZ by John Crowley, illustrated by Theo Fadel, to be published by Small Beer Press

The most prominent crowdfunding site is Kickstarter. Anyone from tech entrepreneurs to working artists can use the site to create campaigns for their project, with a funding goal. Kickstarter campaigners then offer creative rewards (say, an embroidered t-shirt or a DVD of the project or a personalized portrait) to donors, increasing the appeal of the reward based on the donation amount.

Things to keep in mind about Kickstarter: if campaigns do not meet their fundraising goal, the artist gets nothing, so the incentive is high to drum up support. Also, project campaigns need to be approved by Kickstarter to launch.

For an example, check out this campaign by Small Beer Press (out of Easthampton, MA) to publish a new version of what just might be the history’s first science fiction book. The background story is unique and appealing, and the project’s video is especially strong.


THE CLEMENTE PROJECT by James Rutenbeck, crowdfunding on HatchFund

Another major crowdfunding site is Hatchfund (formerly called United States Artists Projects). Hatchfund is similar to Kickstarter in many ways, with tax-deductible donations, creative rewards, and an all-or-nothing fundraising goal. (Additionally, there’s a “stretch goal” if the original is exceeded.)

Unlike Kickstarter, Hatchfund is specifically focused on artists. Some projects may receive matching funds from Hatchfund for a portion of their campaign. And perhaps most significantly, Hatchfund offers one-on-one coaching and support for artists by Hatchfund staff.

Check out The Clemente Project by James Rutenbeck (Film & Video Finalist ’11), which you can also read about here. The campaign does a great job conveying how a story about unheralded voices in one struggling community can have universal significance.


THE CIRCLE Crowdfunding video from Julie Mallozzi

Another crowdfunding site is IndieGoGo. The big difference is that, unlike the all-or-nothing approach of Kickstarter and Hatchfund, you can elect to keep all of the money you raise (minus site fees), even if you don’t meet your goal.

Check out The Circle by Julie Mallozzi (Film & Video Finalist ’15, ’07), which very successfully conveys the potential impact of the project and its appeal to both targeted communities (like anti-violence activists) and a wider audience.

Go Totally DIY
Not a joiner? You could also take the principles of crowdfunding and set up your own campaign. You’ll need a PayPal or similar online payment account, a home base (like a web site homepage or a blog), and a group that will act as an organizational fiscal sponsor so that donations will be tax deductible. In film, the Center for Independent Documentary and Filmmakers Collaborative both serve as fiscal sponsors for film projects, and the New York organization Fractured Atlas serves as fiscal sponsor for artist projects in all disciplines, and throughout the country. You can even include creative rewards and frequent updates to your donors – you’ll just have to handle the infrastructure of these actions on your own.

Best Practices
What are best practices in crowdfunding? Successful campaigns tend to…

  • Tell a compelling story. The campaign, whether through its video, description, updates, or all of the above, successfully conveys why this project is essential and why its supporters’ contributions are meaningful.
  • Tap into and cultivate an interested community.
  • Incentivize support. Rewards are part of that incentive, but even better is when the story is the incentive: the project’s storytelling convinces an interested community that this is a can’t-miss opportunity to be part of something important.

Further research:
Read How do you use online platforms as an artist? on ArtSake
Beth Kanter’s blog shares five basic crowdfunding tips
Find tips on best practices when crowdfunding an artist project on The Abundant Artist

Image: still image from THE CIRCLE by Julie Mallozzi (Film & Video Finalist ’15, ’07) crowdfunding through IndieGoGo; still image from the Kickstarter video for THE CHEMICAL WEDDING BY CHRISTIAN ROSENCREUTZ by John Crowley, illustrated by Theo Fadel, to be published by Small Beer Press; screenshot of the crowdfunding campaign for THE CLEMENTE PROJECT by James Rutenbeck (Film & Video Finalist ’11); IndieGoGo video for THE CIRCLE.

Modulating Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

We try to tailor to every style.

Museum-Led Incubator NEW INC (New York, NY), the first museum-led incubator, wants to foster cultural value, not just capital value. The incubator based at NYC’s New Museum is a 12-month program (September through August) that includes business and entrepreneurial training with seasoned experts, mentorship programs, group critiques, peer-to-peer learning, and critical discourse about the changing nature of culture, technology, and entrepreneurship. There is currently an open call for applications. Learn more.
Deadline: May 13, 2016

Proposals for New Plays Set in Boston SpeakEasy Stage is accepting proposals for The 2017 Boston Project, which includes a $2,500 commission and a year of development on a brand-new play about Boston. Playwrights should submit proposals for unwritten plays set in Boston or its surrounding areas, taking place within ten years, plus or minus, of the present day. The development process will culminate in a two-week workshop and invited staged reading in Winter/Spring 2017. Learn more.
Deadline: May 15, 2016

Residency The Ragdale Foundation is accepting applications for residencies for visual artists, musicians, writers, dancers, media artists, and choreographers. Organization provides housing, meals, and studio space in Lake Forest, IL. Learn more.
Deadline: May 15, 2016

State Dept Art Programs The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State currently has three opportunities in the arts. First, the Creative Arts Exchange, which includes funding for international exchanges through the Hip Hop Collaboration program and the Community Arts Incubator (a visual arts/based program). Second, the Arts Envoy Program is soliciting proposals to send U.S. artists and experts in all arts fields for short-term projects with U.S. Embassies and Consulates in all world areas. Third, the Communities Connecting Heritage is soliciting proposals for an exchange program focused on connecting U.S. and foreign communities around themes of intangible and tangible cultural heritage. Learn more.
Deadline for Creative Arts Exchange: May 26, 2016
Deadline for Arts Envoy and Communities Connection Heritage Programs: May 27, 2016

Emerging African American Poets The 2016 Gregory Pardlo Scholarship provides a full scholarship to attend the Poetry Seminar at The Frost Place in New Hampshire, July 31-August 5, 2016, including room and board and a featured reading slot at the Seminar. Named for Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gregory Pardlo, the scholarship is open to African American poets writing in English who have published up to one book of poetry. Learn more.
Deadline: May 31, 2016

Toy and Lo-fi Photography The Somerville Toy Camera Festival seeks entries for its fourth annual celebration of toy and lo-fi photography. Images of any subject matter, made with a “toy” camera – a low-tech camera with plastic lenses and a lack of reliable exposure control – are eligible. Selected work will exhibit at Brickbottom Gallery, Nave Gallery Annex and Washington Street Art Center September-October, 2016. Learn more about eligible cameras and call details.
Deadline: June 15, 2016

Biology and Art Art+Bio Collaborative integrates art and life sciences through research, innovation, and education. The organization has two immersive field programs to provide hands-on experiences blending biology and art: DESERT LIFE: Field Studies of Art+Nature in the Southwest in west Texas/southwest New Mexico and ISLAND LIFE: Tropical Field Studios of Art+Nature in Puerto Rico.
DESERT LIFE Dates: July 10-16, 2016
ISLAND LIFE Dates: August 15-20, 2016

Call for Art The Principle Gallery (Charleston, SC) is now accepting application for their exhibition Root to Bloom: The Places Artists Call Home. The exhibition will feature paintings representative of where the featured artists call “home”. This theme can be applied to a range of views, from a studio interior to a street scene, from a rural landscape to an aerial view of city or countryside. Learn more.
Deadline: September 28, 2016

Image: LET’S TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT from the GIF Artists Collective.

How Do You Approach the Business of Art?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Periodically, we pose a question to artists about an issue they face in their work and lives.

It can be challenging to balance artistic creation with the financial, marketing, or other career aspects of artists’ work. Artists are encouraged to see their art career as a “business” – but how does that translate into practice? We asked artists in different disciplines, What is your approach to the business of art, and how has it changed over time?

Part one of a two-part discussion.

Wall mural by Caleb Neelon in Somerville, MA (basketball court is by Maria Molteni)

Caleb Neelon, international public artist
Last year while on a mural project in Sarajevo I passed a funny milestone: first time out at some bar (legally) downing beers with people half my age. I was 38 then and the guys were 19. They were eager young graffiti writers and they were taking the chance to grill me with nerdy graffiti history questions and ask about their favorite international graffiti writers that I had met or painted with over the years. They wanted to do their own individual version of what I had done, which was to make a career out of the doors-of-possibility-blowing-open passion of my youth. And one thing that I realized, and said to them, was that while I had been in some way a professional artist since I was their age, and those 20 years feel like forever, I’m consumed with how I positively navigate the next 40, or however long fate has in store for me. In many ways, the goals for me have shifted from a list of specifics (show here, sell for this much, publish this, paint a mural there, etc) to the end goal of doing good work up to the time I’m done here on Earth.

Crystal King, novelist, writer, and marketing/communications professional
Over the last few years, I’ve taught many classes to artists and authors on how to use social media. Many of them are there to learn only because someone, usually an agent, has told them that they need to be on Facebook or Twitter. Often, they are not happy about it. Some people do their best to engage with and build their audience. Others start social accounts but let them languish a month or so after their show or their book comes out, then bemoan the fact that no one is interested in their work.

To me, the business of art is just as important as the art itself. This is a world in which anyone has the chance to be successful. But unless you’ve managed to get lucky, you have to pay or play for your art to be noticed. If you can’t pay for publicity, then you need to learn and work for it. I’m always baffled when people are unwilling to promote themselves. If you believe in the work that you do, why on earth wouldn’t you do EVERYTHING you can to help others see your vision? This is more important than ever for me, as I prepare for my own book to come out in 2017.

Mariko Kusumoto, metalworker and textile artist
My artistic choices have changed over time, and the business side has followed the creative. Metal constructions had been my main focus since 1995, but in 2013 – after completing a very involved and technically challenging metal piece – I felt the need to move away from using purely representational imagery and do something more abstract, organic, and in a different material; the result has been fabric work. Fabric is completely opposite metal, and I like the softness, gentle texture, and atmospheric quality of the fabric I use.

In a formal manner, the financial aspects of my work are completely managed by my gallery although we work in unison to establish pricing. My metal pieces are quite expensive. But in developing smaller-scale fabric pieces, I felt that a wider audience/collector would find them more accessible, both aesthetically and financially. The public exposure for this new work (e.g., print, websites) has expanded audience interest as well.

What else has changed over the course of my career are opportunities and invitations that require an increasing amount of time to attend to thus removing me from the necessary concentration needed to make my work. I am flattered and grateful for the interest, but I have to politely refuse certain requests.

Metalwork by Mariko Kusumoto: RYOUNKAKU (2007), board game, metalworks, 27x9x1-1/2 in, photo by Dean Powell
Top: metalwork by Mariko Kusumoto from 2007; bottom: Mariko’s recent textile work
Recent textile work by Mariko Kusumoto, photo courtesy of the artist and Mobilia Gallery


Related reading: Getting More Out of Getting Online by Jessica Burko, and What Decision Most Impacted Your Career?

Crystal King ( is a 20-year marketing and communications veteran who has directed global social media programs for companies such as Pegasystems (were she currently works), Keurig, CA Technologies, and Sybase. Crystal is also a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. Her first novel, Feast of Sorrow, will be published by Touchstone Books in 2017. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, and UMass Boston. At Grub Street Writers’ The Muse and the Marketplace Conference (April 29-May 1), she will present workshops on electronic tools to streamline writing and self-promotion using social media.

Mariko Kusumoto ( is a metalworker and printmaker who is now working in fiber. Her intricate metal box sculptures have exhibited at Fuller Craft Museum, Morikami Museum, Racine Art Museum, and Society for Contemporary Craft, and her fiber creations have been featured in American Craft and Fiber Art Now magazines. She is represented by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, which has a Spotlight Exhibition of her work thru April 16, 2016.

Caleb Neelon‘s ( wall murals and other works have exhibited in dozens of countries and in many galleries, museums, hospitals, and educational settings. Along with his artist monograph Caleb Neelon’s Book of Awesome, he is the co-author of The History of American Graffiti, Street World, and Graffiti Brasil, among other publications. His most recent projects, the documentary film Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence and an accompanying art book from Ginko Press, are forthcoming.

Images: wall mural by Caleb Neelon in Somerville, MA (basketball court is by Maria Molteni); Mariko Kusumoto, RYOUNKAKU (2007), board game, metalworks, 27x9x1-1/2 in, photo by Dean Powell; recent textile work by Mariko Kusumoto, photo courtesy of the artist and Mobilia Gallery.

Artist Travel and Mobility

Monday, March 7th, 2016

ArtSake editor Dan Blask recently attended the TransCultural Exchange Conference in Boston. Here, he shares observations about the experience.

Christy Georg, CIRCUMNAVIGATING (2007), wood, steel, and cotton, 16x3x11 ft

The TransCultural Exchange Conference (TCE) took place February 25-27, 2016, the fifth such event since 2007. TCE focuses on international opportunities for artists in all disciplines.

At the 2016 conference, I moderated a panel discussion called “Funding Artists Mobility.” We talked about how to find, what to expect, and best practices in applying for U.S. and international travel experiences for artists that include financial support.

A Global Perspective
Why seek out international opportunities as an artist? One of the speakers on the panel, Dr. Frank Hentschker of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the City University of New York, spoke eloquently about the reasons why. He observed that the vast majority of books published or plays produced in the United States are by U.S. writers, a dynamic that extends to most if not all artistic disciplines. Limited exposure denies artists and audiences the diverse perspectives of a more global creative experience – something the Segal Center seeks to correct through its programming and publications. Dr. Hentschker discussed the Segal Center’s work with the Belgium-based organization On the Move, which supports cultural mobility by collecting and sharing information about funding opportunities for artists travel. The Segal Center and On the Move worked together to create the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide, a compendium of funding opportunities for international exchange for dance and theatre artists traveling to and from the USA.

Financial Support
In general, funding for artists mobility primarily falls into two categories: first, independent grants that help defray costs of travel and residency opportunities arranged separately by the artist; and second, travel and residency opportunities that include “built-in” financial support. The first – the independent travel grants – can be a bit tricky to find. Down below, I’ll share some resources that might be helpful. But it really behooves artists to consider funding at the very beginning of the process of researching and applying for opportunities. One funding opportunity to explore early on in your planning is the Lighton International Artists’ Exchange Program (LIAEP), which was presented at TCE by LIAEP Exhibition Director Michael Schonhoff.

LIAEP supports artists by offering unique opportunities for travel and exchange of ideas, with a focus on dedicated artists who have not yet worked in a foreign country and on residencies to countries that are less Westernized. The grants are competitive and support most costs directly connected to the travel and residency, with a maximum request of $6,000. Past awardees include Christy Georg (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Finalist ’11), whose Arctic Circle Residency received a LIAEP grant in 2012.

In the second category – opportunities with built-in funding – is the Fulbright Program, presented at TCE by Fulbright’s Andrew Riess.

Fulbright, a U.S. government program, offers grants each year to students, scholars, teachers, scientists, professionals, and artists for international educational exchanges. For most artists who are not students, the Scholars Program for travel abroad to lecture/conduct research for 2-12 months is likely the best fit. But there are a range of Fulbright Programs. Reiss pointed out that scholars/artists who, due to family, work, or other circumstances, can’t spend an extended period abroad can apply for the Fulbright FLEX Award to propose multiple stays of one to three months in the host country over a period of two to three years.

Thinking about applying for a Fulbright as an artist? Reiss suggested this excellent and informative blog post by Shawn Lent, which offers a step-by-step breakdown of the information gathering and application process. (Representative quote: “Remember, Fulbright loves weird. Be specific and bold.”)

Have further questions? As a grants administrator myself, I always suggest that you contact that organization’s staff for clarification. It’s always appreciated – of course – when you do your homework first so your questions are targeted.

Generosity of Spirit
At the beginning of the post, I mentioned Dr. Frank Hentschker’s compelling case for global experiences in the arts. Inherent to that concept is generosity. It’s in the spirit of generosity that many of these programs are initiated. The Lighton grant program referenced above was founded by Linda Lighton, a sculptor who was impacted by her own international experiences and wanted to make such experiences possible for others. And Dr. Hentschker shared that he was in the process of converting a family home that he’d inherited, in Germany, into an artist residency space. The notion of accepting an artist from abroad into your country, into your community – what could be more generous than that? Artists, I’d argue, can only benefit when they carry that spirit of generosity forward during their own travel journeys. Share advice, resources, tips, and successes with fellow artists; help create a more global creative experience for all.

As promised, here are some resources on finding travel, residency, and artist mobility funding opportunities:
Follow TransCultural Exchange’s Facebook page

Find opportunities
Alliance of Artists Communities
Res Artis
Trans Artists

Find funding
Lighton International Artists Exchange Program
On the Move
The Cimetta Fund
NYFA Source, a searchable database of grant opportunities
Cultural Mobility Funding Guide (performing artists)

Find tips
Shawn Lent’s So You’re an Artist Who Wants to Apply to Fulbright post
ArtSake’s Artist Residencies and Travel post, created following the 2013 TCE Conference
NYFA Current’s Travel Grants Tips and Opportunities post

Image: Christy Georg, CIRCUMNAVIGATING (2007), wood, steel, and cotton, 16x3x11 ft.

Artist Opportunities Knuckleball

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Dreams renewed on April 4, 2016 (opening day)!

Of Note: The New England Foundation for the Art’s online directory CreativeGround, allows artists of all disciplines to create free profiles.

Summer Studio/Exhibition Residency Room 83 Spring in Watertown, MA is accepting proposals for their July/August 2016 summer studio/exhibition residency. The space includes 750sf storefront studio/gallery, a/c, parking and T accessible. Sliding scale rental. Submit a proposal describing your project or need, website link and 5 images. Candidates will be asked for an interview and references.

Choreographers aMaSSiT, a choreographic development course at The Dance Complex, was introduced in Fall of 2013. The focus continues to be on skills-building for dance-makers- either those early in their choreographic ventures or for those wishing to refresh earlier choreographic studies. Learn more.
Deadline: February 22, 2016

Short Plays, Musicals The Midtown International Theatre Festival Short Subjects in New York is seeking short plays and musicals. Learn more.
Deadline: February 22, 2015

Call For Self-Portraits  JanKossen, a contemporary art gallery in NY, is now accepting entries for their second annual juried group show FRESH! 2016: 50 Faces, examining contemporary portraiture. The gallery invites artists to demonstrate their artistic approach in the presentation of self-portraits to be exhibited from July 7-August 13, 2016. All visual media accepted. Learn more.
Deadline(s): March 17, 2016

Classical, Contemporary Composers Chamber Music America, the national network of ensemble music professionals, offers support to U.S.-based classical/contemporary ensembles, presenters and festivals for commissioning American composers to create new chamber works. Learn more.
Deadline: April 1, 2016 (11:59 PM E.S.T)

Call for Art In recognition of its 175th Anniversary, the Lowell Cemetery invites entries for the Monuments, Memorials and Memories: Images of the Lowell Cemetery Art Exhibition, to be held on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at the Lowell Cemetery, Lawrence Street, Lowell, MA, 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. The Lowell Cemetery, founded in 1841, is one of the first garden-styled cemeteries in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more.
Deadline: May 20, 2016

Call for Art The Post Office Gallery in North Truro on Cape Cod invites all visual artists to submit to any of their four annual summer themed, juried exhibits. Selections will be based on artistic and creative quality and space allotment. No entry fee. Retail price assumes a typical 50% gallery commission. All medium considered. Up to three high quality jpeg submissions may be made for each event. Include your name, the title, medium and dimensions of each work in the body of the e-mail to Learn more. Deadline for All Aboard, May 20, 2016 (Opening: June 26); deadline for Rhythm and Blues, June 10, 2016 (Opening: July 17); deadline for Broken, July 1, 2016 (Opening: August 7); deadline for Outta’ Sight, July 22, 2016 (Opening August 28)

Image credit:  Drawing of athletes trying to hit a baseball. Animated by rotating in steps of 1/13 rotation (according to Muybridge’s instructions) at a frame rate of 10/sec. In public domain.

TransCultural Exchange 2016

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Director Mary Sherman speaks at the 2013 TransCultural Exchange Conference, photo by Xiadong Wu

Artists are natural explorers. The good news for local creators is that one of the leading conferences on international travel and residencies for artists takes place in Boston: the TransCultural Exchange Conference. Through panels, events, and discussions, the event focuses on international opportunities for artists of all disciplines.

Mary Sherman, founder/director of the conference, wants to share the following details with artists who might be interested in attending this year’s event (Feb. 25-27, 2016):

1. More than ½ the attendees in the past can cite a tangible outcome, such as an invite to exhibit or to a residency program – within 6 months of the Conference’s end.

2. We have more than 150 speakers (critics, curators, residency directors) from around the world attending, meaning about 2 speakers per attendee! You can’t get much more personal attention than that. Speakers include:
Ute Meta Bauer (Co-Curator of the American pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale and Founding Director of NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore), Jean-Baptiste Joly (Founding Director of Akademie Schloss Solitude), Damien Hebron (Director of London Arts in Health Forum), Johan Pousette (Director of Sweden’s IASPIS), Marie Fol (Program Manager of TransArtists at Dutch Culture), Marie Le Sourd (Secretary General of On-the-Move), Pieranna Cavalchini (Curator of Contemporary Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), Susan Hapgood (Executive Director, ISCP (NY’s International Studio & Curatorial Program)Caitlin Strokosch (Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists Communities), Andy Riess (Assistant Director for Outreach for the Fulbright Scholar Program), Dr. Gaël McGill (Director of Molecular Visualization at the Center for Molecular and Cellular Dynamics at Harvard Medical School), Yannick Franck (Artistic Director of Belgium’s Les Brasseurs), Margaret Shiu Tan (Founder of Taiwan’s Bamboo Curtain Studio), Andrei Siclodi (Director of Austria’s Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen), Sarah Tanguy (Curator at the Art in Embassies program), Kira Simon-Kennedy (Co-Founder of China Residencies), Crispin Weinberg (Biomedical Modeling Pioneer), Lanfranco Aceti (Leonardo Electronic Almanac Editor), Sandeep Bhagwati (founder of the research-creation lab, the matralab) and Kelly Krause (Creative Director of Nature magazine) and on and on.

3. And not only do artists get to hear these people speak, but there are informal receptions to have a drink with them, or to have a portfolio review with them, and/or to attend a round-table discussion for them to meet other artists working in similar fields of interests so they can expand their network locally and globally.

4. Typically, for artists the Conference is tax-deductible.

5. The director of the London Biennale David Medalla states the conference is “one of the best things in the art world today.”

Learn more and register.

Related reading: ArtSake’s post on artist travel/residencies, written after the 2013 conference.

Creative Space Resources

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Making art is challenging enough, but finding the space to create, rehearse, perform, or present that art can be daunting. Luckily, there are MCC-supported resources to help you navigate the search.

Performance space from SpaceFinder Mass

SpaceFinder Mass

SpaceFinder Mass is like an Airbnb for cultural spaces. It’s a discovery tool for anyone looking to rent a creative space in Massachusetts.

Artists can find – at no-cost – available, affordable, and alternative spaces for performances, rehearsals, readings, meetings, and more. It’s a really useful site for finding info on the spaces you know, but also for learning about alternative spaces, such as the Newton rug store that holds cultural events in the evenings.

SpaceFinder Mass was developed by Fractured Atlas, a non-profit technology company serving artists, and is a project of the Arts & Business Council of Boston in partnership with the MCC.


Studio Space at Waltham Mills Studios

ArtSake’s Creative Space Classifieds

If you need space longer term, like if you want to rent or buy an art studio or live/work space, or if you have a work studio or live/work space you’d like to list for rental or sale, check out ArtSake’s Creative Space Classifieds. It’s ArtSake’s version of CraigsList, minus everything that’s not a Massachusetts creative space opportunity (sorry, no Missed Connections!).

If you want to rent or buy a work studio or live/work space, or if you have a work studio or live/work space you’d like to list for rental or sale, check out ArtSake’s Creative Space Classifieds.


Logo for



If you’re looking for gigs or to connect with venues, presenters, and/or collaborators, check out CreativeGround. A project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), CreativeGround is an online directory for the New England cultural sector. As an artist, you create your profile so venues and presenters can find you. Also, you can use CreativeGround to find profiles for cultural nonprofits like libraries and theaters, creative businesses like recording studios and design agencies, and more. Bonus: creating a profile on CreativeGround and taking some additional steps makes you eligible for NEFA’s New England States Touring grants. MCC is a state partner in CreativeGround.


Guide for Developing Artist Space

Finally, if you’re looking to develop, create, and preserve artist space, read MCC’s Guide for Developing Artist Space, filled with tips, resources, and questions to consider.

Artist Opportunities Turkey Trot

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015


With her feathered friend guiding the way, an ArtSake staff chooses the path less traveled!

Of Note An Artist-in-Business training will be held on Saturday, January 9 – Sunday, January 10, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm at Greenfield Community College. This training is a project of the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service’s Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative in partnership with Greenfield Community College. Learn more to register.

Filmmakers Entries are being accepted for the Independent Film Festival Boston 2016 (April 27–May 4, 2016). They are considering both feature-length and short subject in narrative, documentary, animation, and experimental. Learn more.
Deadline: November 30, 2015

Poetry Entries are now being accepted for the Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Competition which includes a prize of $500, a week-long residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts, and letterpress publication by the Center for Book Arts. Submit a poetry manuscript of up to 21 pages. Learn more.
Deadline December 16, 2015

Short Plays The Florida Studio Theatre is seeking compelling short plays and sketches for inclusion in their annual New Play Festival during the spring. These scripts will be reviewed and used to develop long-term relationships with new writers for future programming. Learn more.
Deadline: December 16, 2015

Short Fiction Lascaux Review Prize in Short Fiction — A prize of $1,000 and publication in Lascaux Review is given annually for a short story of up to 10,000 words. Learn more.
Deadline: December 31, 2015

Image credit: Photograph of turkey and woman in public domain.

Hoofing for Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015


Grants for Artists With Financial Need The Pollack Krasner Foundation is accepting applications from visual artists (painters, sculptors, and artists who work on paper, including printmakers) with genuine financial needs. Grants are intended for a one-year period of time, with the size of the grant to be determined by the artist’s individual circumstances and professional exhibition history. Artists applying for a grant must be actively exhibiting their current work in a professional artistic venue such as a gallery or museum space. Learn more.
Deadline: Ongoing

Of Note Getting By in Boston in conjunction Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism will host a free, public forum for artists and creative professionals of all disciplines to discuss the crisis in creative industries: expenses are only rising, but making a living is increasingly difficult. Thursday, November 19, 2015, 7-9 PM, at the Community Church of Boston. Learn more.

Flux Factory Residency Flux Factory in Queens, NY, is currently accepting applications for residencies from visual artists, builders, curators, community organizers, chefs, activists, musicians, writers. They offer professional development opportunities, including one-on-one studio visits, group field trips, and monthly salons. Includes 14 studios, a gallery, silkscreen studio, woodshop, co-working office, communal kitchen, library, and rooftop garden.  Learn more.
Deadline: November 15, 2015 (midnight)

Artist Residency The MAM16 is a 3 week residency program in Marrakech, Morocco which will occur during the Marrakech Biennale 2016 from 21 March – 10 April 2016. It will be an intercultural exchange for interdisciplinary performance and live art. All work presentation will be site specific. The theme for MAM16 is VISION TRACESLearn more.
Deadline: November 20, 2015

Playwrights Residency The Scripps Ranch Theatre’s New Works Studio is accepting applications from emerging and established playwrights for residencies to develop new work. SRT’s New Works Studio will be a group of up to five playwrights that meet twice a month to read and critique plays in progress. Over the course of nine months, writers will be offered peer review, as well as feedback from a dramaturg and other invited theatre artists, with the goal of completing a production-ready draft of their play by the end of the development period. NWS Playwrights will have an opportunity to present their completed drafts to theatre professionals in the San Diego area, as well as to general audiences, at the culmination of the residency in an as-yet-to-be-named festival reading. Learn more.
Deadline: November 30, 2015

Call for Art Creative Living Works in Somerville, MA, is currently accepting entries for a juried exhibition with cash awards to be hosted at the Washington St. Gallery. Works should challenge the traditional boundaries of art making and involve multiple mediums. Applicants are invited to submit work that crosses one or more creative disciplines. Unique and experimental art is encouraged. The collaboration of creative fields may be in the subject matter, the medium or a combination of both. Learn more.
Deadline: December 15, 2015

Artist Residency The MacDowell Colony in provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. There are no residency fees. Accepts applications from artists working in the following disciplines: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. Learn more.
Deadline: January 15, 2016

LGBTQ Themed Plays  The Rainbow Theatre Project in Washington, D.C, seeks full length submissions which deal directly or obliquely with the LGBTQ experience. Learn more.
Deadline: Ongoing

Artist Residency The Emmanuel College Art Department offers an eight-week artists residency to four artists each summer. The residency supports a diverse group of artists, providing time and space for established and emerging artists to develop their work. However, the Art Department specifically aims to award a residency to one individual from each of the four categories: ceramics, photography, printmaking and social justice. Learn more.
Deadline: February 1, 2016

Image credit: Illustration of goat teaching dance in public domain.