Year End Report 2018: A Look Back at Art Projects Creative Capital Helped Bring into the World

In 2018, Creative Capital helped artists premiere 16 projects throughout the US and across the globe. Our support doesn’t end with the premiere of the work. Artists use Creative Capital funding to do things like adapt their projects after initial screenings, respond to new venues and mediums, and translate their books to promote them in other countries.

Below we take a look at the projects that premiered this past year. These accomplishments are possible thanks to support from a robust community of art lovers and enthusiasts—join our Creative Capital Community Fund by making a donation, and ensure future projects like this are possible!



Jim Findlay
Electric Lucifer
The Kitchen
New York, New York

In this project, more than 15 years in the making, Jim Findlay revives the legacy of electronic music pioneer Bruce Haack with a rock opera starring Okwui Okpokwasili, a fellow Creative Capital Awardee, as Lucifer. “With Ms. Okpokwasili onstage,” the New York Times wrote in a review of the performance, “it’s paradise now.”

Read our interview with Jim Findlay

Jesse Bonnell
Group Therapy
Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA
Los Angeles, California

Jesse Bonnell and his theater group, Poor Dog Group, performed a metatheatrical piece that uses actual dialogue from their therapy sessions to create a work that considers the difficulties of making collaborative art. In a review, Los Angeles Times reflected, “The ensemble members… reveal the wounds of being young, gifted and avant-garde in a society that prefers its culture prepackaged.”

Read our interview with Jesse Bonnell

Heather Kravas
visions of beauty
Performance Space 122
New York, New York

Performance Space 122 opened their completely refurbished venue with Heather Kravas’s dance performance, a minimal piece created for nine dancers. “visions of beauty showed off the dimensions and potential of the new space in several ways,” said the New York Times. After premiering the work, Kravas collaborated with visual artist Victoria Haven on a catalogue inspired by the performance, entitled visions.

Read our interview with Heather Kravas

Narcissister Organ Player
Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah

In her most personal work to date, Narcissister created a unique hybrid performance, documentary, and animation work that tells the masked persona’s origin story. Known for her wild onstage performances, Narcissister’s first foray into film was a success after its initial screening at Sundance. It went on to play at SXSW and the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, and was acquired by the film distribution company Film Movement. Daily Beast wrote, “We feel the ecstasy and anguish of Narcissister as she dives headfirst into her reservoir of pain… Trust me: you’ve never seen anything like it.”

Read our interview with Narcissister

Martha Colburn
Western Wilds
Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York

For her project Western Wilds, Colburn used the story of Karl May, an 18th-century German writer—who wrote about the American west without ever having visited it—to consider her own remote upbringing and gun-worship in the Appalachians. After its premiere at MoMA, the film went on to play at many theaters in the US and abroad, including Chicago Underground Film Festival. The work was recently adapted to a live performance at Kadist in San Francisco.

Read our interview with Martha Colburn

Jesse Ball
Published by Harper-Collins

Expect to see this book on many year-end best of 2018 lists! Jesse Ball’s 8th novel tells the story of a widowed doctor facing a fatal illness on a last road trip with his son who has Down syndrome, inspired by Ball’s brother who also had Down syndrome. The book’s success in the US has been noticed abroad—Ball has used Creative Capital support to help sell the work in over ten countries. Chicago Tribune wrote, “Census is an artistic undertaking of the most sophisticated sort — richly imagined, cleverly sequenced.”

Read our interview with Jesse Ball

Sean Graney
The Aristophanesathon
Chopin Theater
Chicago, IL

Known for his marathon adaptations that revive classics, Sean Graney took every play by Aristophanes and turned them into a marathon theatrical event. The Greek dramas were meant to be viewed in all-day theater festivals, and Graney pays tribute to this through his three-act, four-hour play.

Read our interview with Sean Graney

Heather Dewey-Hagborg
MU Artspace
Eindhoven, Netherlands

Heather Dewey-Hagborg uses her education in biology and DNA science to imagine how corporations could mine our biogenetic information. Her film, T3511, combines her pioneering work in DNA analysis and 3D printing she completed with Chelsea Manning.

Read our interview with Heather Dewey-Hagborg

Sharon Bridgforth
dat Black Mermaid Man Lady
Pillsbury Theater
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sharon Bridgforth creates pieces that can be translated into performances, installations, and shows, responding to different venues. Considering the meaning of home in her life, Bridgforth even organized a workshop that helped emerging artists of color in Minneapolis, where the work premiered, work on owning their own homes. After a successful premiere in Minnesota, Bridgforth adapted the piece to a performance installation for Austin, Texas.

Read our interview with Sharon Bridgforth

Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble
The Art of Luv
Abrons Art Center
New York, New York

In their most elaborate set and performance to date, Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble consider what it means to be in love during the digital age. Using an obscure YouTube “haul” video as a jumping off point, the artists reflect on the spiritual potential when connectivity is all too common.

Read our interview with Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble

Ann Carlson
The Symphonic Body
Mountain Time Arts
Bozeman, Montana

Ann Carlson documents unconscious gestures we make in our professions, working with people across communities. In the fourth iteration of The Symphonic Body, Carlson choreographed the movements of people across southwestern Montana, from politicians, to ranchers and geologists, all considering the meaning of water in the community.

Read our interview with Ann Carlson

Paul Rucker
Richmond, VA

Paul Rucker uses his art practice to raise consciousness about systemic racism in the US. His project, Rewind, is an ongoing study on how the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s has proliferated into more subtle racist policies and viewpoints of today. The work was part of an inaugural exhibition at the new ICA at VCU, and was at the center of the artist’s TED Talk.

Read our interview with Paul Rucker

Banker White
Online through Dec 23, 2018

With Creative Capital’s support, filmmaker Banker White built a media center called WeOwnTV in Sierra Leone’s capital to teach artists how to make films. In 2014, WeOwnTV found itself at the center of the country’s ebola epidemic. Survivors tells the story of the turmoil through the eyes of its filmmaker, and others in Freetown who experienced trauma first hand.

Read our interview with Banker White

Evan Roth
Red Lines
Online through September 2019

Evan Roth has been traveling the world, exploring the landscapes where real life translates into the digital. Using Creative Capital funding, he created a video where fiber-optic internet cables rise from the sea and turned it into Red Lines, an art work accessible to anyone with internet access.

Read our interview with Evan Roth

Ligia Bouton, Matt Donovan, and Lei Liang
Art Power at UCSD
October 24-27

Inheritance is an opera that tackles gun violence in the US, through the lens of the mythical story of Sarah Winchester, the eccentric heiress to the rifle fortune. The work, a collaboration between visual artist Ligia Bouton, writer Matt Donovan, and composer Lei Liang, premiered at the ArtPower theater at UCSD.

Read our interview with Ligia Bouton, Matt Donovan, and Lei Liang

Tanya Aguiñiga
Art Made Between Opposite Sides
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Washington, DC

Tanya Aguiñiga’s work in textiles, craft, and installation is interwoven with the intimate daily stories of border commuters between the U.S. and Mexico, including her own. At the Smithsonian’s “Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018,” her work explicates the healing power of art and collaboration between communities on opposite sides of an ever-evolving border.

Read our interview with Tanya Aguiñiga

Stay tuned for 2019! Creative Capital will be announcing new awardees, a new open call to apply for the Creative Capital Award, and we look forward to more project premieres.

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