Artists and Organizations, Experimenting Together


Ruby Lerner, Erika Blumenfeld, Mark Shepard and Pamela Z at IdeaFestival. Photo by Bill Wine, Louisville Voice-Tribune.
Welcome to The Lab, Creative Capital’s new blog exploring the creative process! Since artists and arts organizations thrive on experimentation, our blog will delve into the work-in-progress of the artists we support and share the evolution of Creative Capital as a laboratory for artist services.
Part of my job as President of Creative Capital is to spread the word about what we have learned from working with groundbreaking artists over the past 12 years and to share ideas about how we can enable the creative process to flourish.
In September, I had the pleasure of presenting at IdeaFestival in Louisville with an inspiring group of Creative Capital artists: Erika Blumenfeld, Shih-Chieh Huang, Richard Pell, Mark Shepard and Pamela Z. IdeaFest draws together speakers from all sectors of society to talk about innovation and creativity. We were thrilled to have a forum for these grantees to speak about their artistic processes and foster a dialogue with attendees and fellow presenters.
Speaking at IdeaFest was also an opportunity to share how we as an organization have learned to innovate to better serve our boundary-busting artists. I believe that working in an organization or business can be a dynamic art project of its own through embracing the creative process. Creative Capital has been supporting artists since 2000, and we have come to see ourselves as a permanent laboratory, constantly evolving as new challenges arise for artists.
To see the big picture in reaching our goals, arts organizations and artists alike need to pull back and ask themselves, “How do we keep evolving? What actions will get us to where we need to be?”
We devoted a lot of time last year to think about how we could make our services for grantees even better. Our artists are crossing more boundaries, often working in multiple creative disciplines and outside of the arts sector. We have created more ways for Creative Capital to serve each project strategically and individually—such as phone-in clinics for financial, tech, PR and business advice; project teams and toolkits tailored to fit each artist’s needs; organizational partnerships for crowdfunding and fiscal sponsorship; and focused gatherings for peer-to-peer interaction.
As we continue to roll out new artist services for our grantees, we look forward to the process of trial, response and re-jiggering to reach exciting (and sometimes unexpected) results! One of the joys of experimentation is that you never know where the creative process will lead you. It’s even more thrilling if we can experience it together.
On The Lab, we’ll post dialogues, stories and ideas on the Creative Process, featuring interviews and profiles of our artist-grantees at work; offer a window into our Permanent Laboratory for ever-evolving artist services; explore issues impacting the larger art community in The Field; and share Tips & Tools from Creative Capital staff, artists and workshop leaders from our Professional Development Program.
Follow us on Twitter (@creativecap), Facebook or our RSS feed to keep up with our latest reports from The Lab!


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