Living Treasure Films Series
The Arkansas Living Treasure recipients documented in the films: (back row, from left) Doug Stowe, Jim Larkin, Leon Niehues, Peter Lippincott, J.R. Cook and Larry Williams; (front row, from left) Robyn Horn, Irma Gail Hatcher, Dallas Bump, Violet Hensley and Winston Taylor. Photo by Shelby Brewer, Arkansas Arts Council media and communications manager
No matter the medium or discipline, crafts develop through contemporary practice as much as preservation of tradition. The Arkansas Arts Council (AAC) realizes this through its Arkansas Made Living Treasure Films Series, through which it collaborates with the Historic Arkansas Museum and filmmakers to produce documentaries about the artists and craftspeople who have received AAC's Arkansas Living Treasure Award. Over the past year, six filmmakers have been creating short documentaries about the lives of 11 recipients of the award, which recognizes lifetime contributions to traditional craft forms and culture in the state. The films premiered in May at the Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock. Some of the artists and champions of Arkansas traditions featured in them are a 94-year-old chair maker who uses the century-old techniques of his French ancestors and a 97-year-old fiddle maker who carves her instruments primarily with a pocket knife. To find out more, contact AAC Artist Services Program Manager Robin McClea.
New Pathways | Alaska
Recognizing the growing challenges facing nonprofit arts groups, the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) is partnering with the Rasmuson Foundation and the Foraker Group (a private foundation and a statewide nonprofit association, respectively) to launch an EmcArts program to help arts organizations chart their course toward resiliency. New Pathways | Alaska will provide free "adaptive assistance" to 20 arts groups over the course of four years. In two cycles, staggered one-year apart, each cohort of 10 organizations will participate in nine virtual workshops and three peer-to-peer forums before working one-on-one with nonprofit-sustainability experts. Each group then will design, prototype and implement an innovation strategy with the help of a $20,000 grant. A limited number of multiyear capital grants of about $75,000 each will be available on a competitive basis for scaling these strategies. Participating groups will share what they learn to help each other and, ultimately, to guide the evolution of the arts and culture sector in Alaska and across the country. Learn more from ASCA Executive Director Shannon Daut.
Visual Arts Ecology Project
Since 2010, the Oregon Arts Commission's (OAC) partnership with The Ford Family Foundation (TFFF) has yielded direct support of Oregon's artists—through Opportunity Grants for midcareer artists and the Art Acquisition Fund—as well as indirect support via the Visual Arts Ecology Project. The goal of the Visual Arts Ecology Project is to document and recognize Oregon's visual arts community, and OAC has supported research about and interviews with more than 45 artists, curators and collectors from across the state. This work led to OAC's publication of a book about Oregon's visual arts community, Why We Work Here, which is a joint project of artist Tad Savinar and writer Jon Raymond. In July, OAC begins the second phase of the Visual Arts Ecology Project with a new grant from TFFF. Through it, OAC will collect and commission writing and other documentation of Oregon's visual artists, and it will convene a series of gatherings across the state for artists, arts presenters, funders and other cultural stakeholders to talk about the issues most critical to their success. For more information, contact OAC Visual Arts Coordinator Meagan Atiyeh.