Friday, September 26, 2008

September 30 Creative Capacity, Racism and the Staff of Life

No one would argue that art in Portland couldn't use more money. Three interrelated questions are left to you to ponder. To whom, from where and for what.

The Creative Capacity initiative is organizing the art community to develop a consensus and lobby for a tax to create the funds.

That means you.

You can bet that well organized large cultural institutions are in line. The tax concept means gathering and spending funds in the Portland suburbs. Art it schools will no doubt be an apple pie ingredient to any plan. If you want money, you have to speak up!

My interest is how can we grow economically sustainable careers for the next generation of artists. That means making enough money from artmaking to support a family. Personal branding help, mentoring, sharing networks, coaching and mastering getting your art out into the world through the gallery system, web sales and commissions - public, corporate and individual. Out in the world means outside Portland.

Visual art is not the only Portland creative capacity. Independent fashion here operates in an ecosystem of design cotravelers. The Fashion Incubator was a great model for assisting designers in their careers. Similar principles apply to music, product design and performing arts.

A likely component of any plan is an expanded RACC, so understanding how they work is a good start if you are interested. Also recommended, get on the Creative Capacity mailing list.

There is plenty of information on the Creative Capacity site. The first public - you - town hall for the project is tonight. Free pizza for hungry artists. Bring friends! At PNCA, NW Johnson and 13th 5:30PM-8:30. Free

One artist who has created a career is Portlander Damali Ayo. Ayo makes visual art, installation, writes and performs around our intimate relationship with racism. And she has a sustainable clothing line, CROW. Ayo is much more articulate than I can be about her creative projects. She speaks about what she has been up to - “Shut up and change: A life as a social change artist” - tonight in the first of a series by Bitch Magazine. At Portland State University, Smith Memorial Center Ballroom 7PM $30 series of four talks or individual tickets at the door.

After all this if you are stilled bored, see an underground butoh dance performance. Carlos Ivan Cruz Islas of La Comedia Humana, creates ritual performance theater focused on social issues. His piece tonight, Arbol de Maize, Tree of Corn, explores changes adversely affecting Mexican life such as privatization of water and land, once cultivated in common, toxic contamination, deforestation, and genetic tampering with corn, Mexico's staff of life. Joining tonight is Portland Mexican Soriah. Soriah is a noted Tuvan throat singer, recently winning third place a worldwide competition for throat singing in Tuva. This will be an intimate performance at a new space, Headwaters, in the Disjecta complex, 8371 N. Interstate Avenue. Reservations please: 8PM $10-15