Artists and cultural organizations provide essential translation of the human experience to mediums in visual, literary and performing arts. We collectively better understand our own human story because artists make art. Join us for a discussion this Saturday about the value of artist residencies. Details in today's post.

Last week we announced the selection of the first four Alaska artists to participate in the Foundation’s new Artist Residency Program. This follows a successful first stage of the program, which brought four artists from the Lower 48 to Alaska for two-month residencies. Their residencies were at the Anchorage Museum, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Native Arts Program, Bunnell Street Arts Center in Homer and the Sitka-based Island Institute. The Alaska residencies produced a rich exchange of ideas and artistic engagement, not only for the artists and host sites involved, but also for the broader communities. A series of programs over the past few weeks have featured these artists-in-residence sharing their Alaska experiences through workshops, lectures and exhibits.

Artist Clayton Campbell will moderate Saturday’s discussion about the value of artist residencies.

The Alaska artists selected for the program will undertake their residencies in 2014 at the Zygote Press in Cleveland, OH; Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, CA; McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC; and Santa Fe Art Institute, in partnership with Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. No doubt, equally rich and engaging experiences await these artists; experiences that will hopefully challenge and inspire them in their work.

Ultimately, the goal of this new program is to provide unique and essential experiences for artists that stimulate continued creativity and help build new connections and partnerships between Alaska and the Lower 48 states.

Why do these connections and experiences matter? For Rasmuson Foundation, the answer is simple: artists and cultural organizations provide essential translation of the human experience to mediums in visual, literary and performing arts. We collectively better understand our own human story because artists make art. We believe providing direct support to working artists is essential to our larger effort of supporting the arts and culture sector in Alaska.

As the Foundation goes forward with implementing this new artist residency program, we have decided to bring the program partners and first round of participating artists together in Anchorage for a two-day convening later this month. This is an exciting opportunity for us. It will be the first time we have gathered the eight residency program directors involved, together with the first eight artists to be selected for the program. We expect to learn much from each other over these two days. We will focus in particular on documenting the residencies as experienced by the artists and the host sites. Over the next few years we plan to share these experiences through photography, video media and written material.

A public Program will be a featured event of the convening. Recently selected artists and residency program directors will share their process of engagement, and discuss the elements that contribute to successful residency experiences. This program is ideal for individual artists, arts program administrators, and all those who desire to learn more about residencies.

 Engaging Artists in Professional Residencies: How This Support Impacts Careers

When: Saturday, November 16; 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Where: Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center Auditorium

Panel Participants:

· Alaska playwright, poet and director Arlitia Jones

· Djerassi Resident Artists Program Executive Director Margot Knight

· Anchorage Museum Interim Executive Director Julie Decker

· North Carolina-based visual and media artist  Marek Ranis

Moderated by:

Clayton Campbell, a Los Angeles-based artist and writer. He is a correspondent for Flash Art, and was the Los Angeles editor for Contemporary magazine. His participatory photographic project, Words We Have Learned Since 9/11, was exhibited in Beijing at the Three Shadows Photography Art Center. He was the co-executive and then artistic director of the 18th Street Arts Center in Los Angeles for 15 years; president of Res Artis from 2002-2007; artist residency advisor to United States Artists from 2007-2012; and now an artist residency advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Program, the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion International Residency Program, and the Rasmuson Foundation Artist Residency Program.