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Spontaneous Combustion at CoCA

logo image for the Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WashingtonBeginning September 7, the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) will present Spontaneous Combustion, an explosion of two performative installations simultaneously critiquing power and elitism found in the contemporary (art) world. Made up of two groups of multidisciplinary artists, this exhibition explores power dynamics through performative research, institutional intervention, and an overload of sensory experiences.

Eastern Washington artists and educators, Peter Christenson and Phillip Mudd, collaborate on their project “Juried Performance,” an ongoing inquiry into the symbols, processes, and systems associated with institutionalized power and the hegemonic elite. Revolving primarily around a collection of recorded parasuicidal rituals that occurred in front of an absentee jury, the project analogizes the “juried art competition” to today’s sociopolitical climate. Videos of these performances were then mailed to nine well-known contemporary art institutions, essentially forcing review of the uncommissioned performances. The artists will perform during Pioneer Square’s artwalk.

For more information: http://www.juriedperformance.com

Also in the exhibition is Desearch Repartment, an anonymous art team from Canada that questions cultural and economic power through satire. The group appropriates the hyper capitalist world using an ever expanding universe of conceptual pieces, social practice, text-based manifestations, fake products, marketing gimmicks, famous people’s faces and more. Inhabiting the Desearch world translates into the practice of their “exercise program,” YAGA; navigating and becoming a part of an online group, “State of Exceptional (SOE) Webnation;” and integrates these in a performance experiment with costumes, movement, narration, projections and the SOE online activities and digital imagery. They aim to critically examine the relationship between embodiment and identification within digital capitalism.

“Through the various levels of YAGA, from Ground Zero to level 2001+, our Shock-Awes will awaken, we’ll free the inner artist, and we will discover Torture Compassion, a solution to the problem of world suffering through private, individual enactment of self-torture which exonerates us from unconscious guilt and responsibility. YAGA creates flexibility, especially in the neck area, so we can say yes to everything. Areas of tension are where Free Radicals congregate. Saying yes with a flexible neck creates Whi flow and makes it is possible to bend reality around your mind.” -Desearch Repartment

Public performances by both groups will occur on Thursday, September 7th beginning at 7pm. For more information on these artists’ performances visit their websites at
Left of Center: http://www.psychologartist.com/index.php/project/dsm-30182/
Desearch Repartment: http://desearchrepartment.com/

Leveraging One’s Case for the Arts: AKA Maximizing One’s Visit to Lawmakers

Read an advocacy story of upstate NY arts advocates, by Naj Wikoff

Call to Artists: Annual Betty Bowen Award

Call to Artists: Annual Betty Bowen Award

The Betty Bowen Award is now accepting applications! This award was established to honor Betty Bowen (1918-1977) who was an enthusiastic supporter of Northwest contemporary art. This is a juried award and the winner receives an unrestricted prize of $15,000 to further their career. A selection of works by the winner will be exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum. All visual artists working in any media in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are encouraged to apply. More information is available at visitsam.org/betty-bowen. Applications are accepted online at www.callforentry.org. Deadline: Tuesday, August 1, 2017.Call to Artists for the Annual Betty Bowen Awrd, August 2017

Yenom Wen at Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA)

Yenom Wen at Center on contemporary art, Seatlle WAYenom Wen explores consumerism and backward valuation systems coexisting in an atmosphere of economic disparities and mass homelessness

SEATTLE June 30, 2017 – On Thursday, August 3, 2017 C enter on Contemporary Art (CoCA) presents Yenom Wen featuring work from the Pacific Northwest artist collective, New Mystics. As a body politic, the New Mystics is a collection of degenerates from diverse disciplines: sign painting, screen printing, graffiti, performance, photography, dance, jewelry-making, street art, fabrication, tattooing, music production, painting, DJ’s & MC’s, producers and experimental musicians.

Utilizing mirrors and cast-off clothing, the gallery space will force patrons to confront their material relationships. Acid-etched by the artists, mirrors reflect found clothing hung on the opposite wall. Seen through this perspective, the exhibition title, Yenom Wen, reads “New Money,” and reflects not only the seemingly-reversed morals of materialistic consumer culture, but also highlights the ease with which we are blind to problems directly in front of us. Having a preoccupation with “money” and “newness,” consumers can easily miss the obvious disparities in our times, which cast products—as well as people outside of this consumer culture—as disposable.

Individually and collectively New Mystics seeks to fill a spiritual void created by late capitalism and consumer narcissism thru reconnecting with mystery, myth and mysticism. They seek the beating heart of the city, the origin of poetry, and the landscape of dreams. For this exhibition, they explore what we discard, where we find value, and where we find “coolness.” The show will navigate the space between being complicit in the current homeless struggle and reflecting one’s disconnection between detritus and desire.

While art galleries in the United States are mostly interested in contemporary art that is vague and apolitical, CoCA features contemporary artists with strong views and a desire to use art as tool for social change. CoCA seeks to create community where it is needed and provide points of conversation so others can also take a stand and will partner with local activist networks to provide information on how individuals can take a more active role in their social concerns.

Yenom Wen is made possible with support from 4Culture and Elysian Brewing.

NEA Funding Approved for 2018 by House Appropriations Committee

Americans for the Arts logoLate tonight, the full House Appropriations Committee met and approved funding for the National Endowment for the Arts at $145 million for FY 2018.  While we’re still gathering details of the meeting, this completes the U.S. House committee consideration and advances the proposal to a possible action on the U.S. House floor in the coming weeks.

Although we are disappointed by this proposed $5 million (cut from $150 million in FY 2017), we are encouraged that it is not the termination proposal sought by the Administration since March. This House proposal falls short of the funding requested by a record bipartisan group of 154 members of Congress of $155 million.  Similar to the request made by members in the House, 40 Senators requested NEA funding of at least $150 million for FY 2018.

The accompanying U.S. House report notes the “broad bipartisan support” of NEA’s participation in the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military, led by Americans for the Arts.  Be sure to check out the NEA’s Creative Forces for more information about that specific program also referenced in the report.

What happens next?
Now, members of Congress are discussing how to continue work to pass these proposals before funding runs out at the end of September. Still to come is the U.S. Senate’s proposal expected after Labor Day.  With your help, we are asking the U.S. Senate to meet the request of $155 million for both Endowments. Take 2 minutes now to contact your U.S. Senators by using our easy, customizable form. Click here.

In addition, your elected representatives will be in their home states leading up to Labor Day. August is a great time to see them in your local offices at home. Use our easy Advocacy Toolkit to request meetings and equip yourself with all the latest information that can help make the case.

Americans for the Arts President & CEO Bob Lynch’s statement following the approval by the U.S. House subcommittee

Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch offered this statement in response to today’s action by the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, which proposed funding of $145 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities in FY2018:

I am pleased to see this subcommittee propose a figure in stark contrast to President Trump’s calls for full termination. This action endorses the existence for a strong public arts agency, and I thank the strong leadership of Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-MN).

The House subcommittee action today is the first authoritative step from Congress in this year’s funding cycle. Although I am disappointed to see the proposed figure be reduced from the current FY2017 budget by $5 million to $145 million, I hope that the full House Appropriations Committee, and the expected consideration from the U.S. Senate, will support an increase to $155 million, which was requested by a record number of bipartisan members of Congress this year.

The evidence of the value of and demand for the arts in America actually calls for an increase in the federal arts appropriations, and with arts advocates from all across the United States, Americans for the Arts will continue to make the case for our government to invest in the arts in America.

As arts advocates know, Congress considers their own budget priorities—and usually without much regard to the administration’s request, and this year is proving no different.

Since the Administration announced its misguided proposal to terminate our nation’s cultural institutions—including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)—thousands of arts advocates have mobilized and joined forces together with nonprofit arts and arts education organizations all around the country. Our combined outreach to these elected officials is making a difference.

Our grassroots advocacy this year has seen an all-time high with over 170,000 messages sent to Congress. With 88 national service organizations and their members, arts advocates set a new record of participation during the annual Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

Working with our state partners, we’ve run ads in newspapers across the country in key districts whose member of Congress serves on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, especially its smaller Interior Subcommittee that is responsible for making the first U.S. House proposal for funding levels for the NEA. We also ran ads in states whose U.S. Senators serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and tied these to op-ed columns published in newspapers across the country written by Americans for the Arts members to show why the arts and the NEA are vital to their local communities. So far, over 60 have been published in 37 states. Please visit our Arts Mobilization page to see the ads and op-eds.

To bolster these efforts with the latest data, we released our Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study at our June convention before 1,200 arts leaders from 50 states. This is the fifth study of its kind produced by Americans for the Arts of the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy—a $166 billion industry supporting 4.6 million jobs. It also documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The fact is advocacy works and is making an impact. I am proud of the work that arts advocates have already accomplished together and the work to come, and I thank arts champions in Congress, including Congressional Arts Caucus co-Chairs Louise Slaughter and Leonard Lance, and supporters on the subcommittee under the leadership of Chairman Ken Calvert and Ranking Member Betty McCollum, and the work of Americans for the Arts Action Fund in building a pro-arts majority in the U.S. Congress.

 

Source: Americans for the Arts, 2017

Cultural Advocacy coalition Celebrates $12M in New Funding!

cac logo online cultural advocacy coalition

As a member of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition for more than a dozen years, I have seen how the Coalition’s dedication to our future has made a difference in protecting funding and reinvesting in culture and preservation in Oregon.

This session, through the hard work of your Coalition and the tenacity of engaged advocates, the legislature approved over $12 million in support for arts and culture organizations and projects statewide–$12,295,000 to be precise!

The work supported by these public funds will restore historic landmarks, expand access, strengthen community engagement, support innovation and fuel the creative economy.

In honor of the legislature’s investment in culture: let’s invest in cultural advocacy.

Starting today, through the end of this month, I am going to match the first $1,229.50 of new or increased membership donations to the Coalition in celebration of this investment, which represents a renewed commitment to the work of cultural nonprofits across Oregon and a clear indicator of growing legislative awareness of the value of arts, heritage and the humanities.

I believe that the potential for greater success lies ahead. But we need your support today to take the next steps and build on this session’s achievements. Will you help?

You don’t have to double your gift to take advantage of my offer. Just increase your membership by any amount, invite a friend or colleague to join the Coalition for the first time, or join as an individual if your organization or business is a member but you aren’t. Take advantage of my offer today! Let’s strengthen cultural advocacy and celebrate this shared achievement together.

If you joined us for Advocacy Day this year you know the interim is the best time to strengthen relationships with legislators. The final gavel just dropped to close out the 2017 Session–and the Coalition is already at work reaching out to legislators to thank them for their investment and build the case for more support for culture in 2018 and renewal of the Cultural Trust Tax Credit in 2019.

The end of session is the beginning of the work still ahead. I hope in this moment of celebration, you will hear your own call to action and give generously for this work that is so vital to all of us.

John Tess
President, Heritage Consulting Group
Member, Cultural Advocacy Coalition
Trustee, Oregon Cultural Trust

PS. The legislature’s investment of $12,295,000 comes at a significant moment for arts and culture across our state and nation. I am excited to celebrate this accomplishment with you. I hope you will take advantage of my offer to match your new or increased gift to the Coalition before July 31, 2017. Join the cultural community in celebrating this accomplishment—and help strengthen cultural advocacy with a gift today!

Update on NEA Federal Funding; Creative Forces Military Healing Arts Program Threatened

Dear Hannah,

Today, the U.S. House Interior Appropriations Committee advanced a bill to provide funding for our nation’s natural and cultural resources, proposing $145 million to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY2018. This is a $5 million cut from current levels and $10 million less than the request supported by a record number of members of Congress this year.

The good news is that this proposal counters and fully rejects the Administration’s call for termination of our nation’s cultural agencies that arts advocates have been fighting against since March when the Administration budget proposal was initially released.

This subcommittee action is even more relevant since this is the first authoritative step from Congress in this year’s funding cycle. It is a clear endorsement acknowledging the importance of the work of our nation’s cultural agencies. But there is still more to come.

Interior Subcommittee Members met today to advance a bill to the full Appropriations Committee for FY 2018
Next week, the full House Appropriations committee will likely meet to consider the bill. Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) stated in today’s meeting that he “strongly supports” the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

Following the House appropriations process, the Senate Appropriations committee may advance their own proposal this fall. Funding for key arts education programs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are being considered in a separate appropriations bill. Track all of this with us in our Arts Mobilization Center.

Take two minutes now to urge your congressional delegation to pass a budget that invests in our nation and supports access to the arts in America for all. Thank you for taking action.

More Details

Faced with a smaller overall allocation, the House appropriations subcommittee is proposing a 2.5 percent cut overall in its bill, with some agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeing more severe cuts. The NEA and NEH would be cut 3.3 percent under the current proposal to a level not seen since 2008.  Due to these cuts and other policy disagreements, the subcommittee Democrats voiced their opposition to the bill.

This proposal falls short of support for important environmental and cultural resources programs. It would reverse the past two-year trend of increases to our nation’s cultural agencies that have supported the expansion of the NEA’s Creative Forces program, which increases access to therapeutic arts activities in local communities for military members, veterans, and their families. These sites, located mostly at military bases in 10 states, have begun launching their programs this year.  The Creative Forces initiative could be in jeopardy due to the proposed $5 million cut to the NEA.  

Take two minutes to write to your member of Congress. We know members have been hearing from you. And, it is making a difference. Our grassroots advocacy this year has seen an all-time high with over 170,000 messages sent to Congress. Messages have been sent to all U.S. House and U.S. Senate offices. Thank you for helping to take that action and make that impact.

Want to do more? Help us continue this important work by also becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today – it’s free and easy to join.


Help Pass Oregon’s First Ever “Equitable Access to Arts Education Task Force”

cac logo online cultural advocacy coalition
It has been a busy session and I wanted to start by saying: Thank you! We have asked you to show up and speak up, over and over this year. We know there are so many pressing issues right now in our communities, in our legislature and in our nation’s Capitol. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to continue to participate. Your voice, your story, your support for arts and culture in Oregon makes a difference. Which is why I am asking for your help once again– to shake a bill loose from committee that will advance discussions in support of equitable access to arts education.

The Cultural Advocacy Coalition worked with stakeholders this session to propose legislation to better understand who has access to an arts education in Oregon schools; identify barriers to access and recommend changes needed to encourage access to the arts within a well-rounded education. We are excited to report that SB 313, which creates Oregon’s first ever Task Force on Equitable Access to Arts Education has had a public hearing in the Oregon Senate and was moved to the Joint Ways and Means Committee for funding.

This is great progress, but since that time, the bill has stalled in committee. We have heard from leadership that the Arts Education Task Force may get lumped in with other, more expensive, task forces and left to languish in committee without further action. We have a brief window of time to get this legislation moving again. Please take a moment to send a pre-written note to the members of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, or send a personalized message of your own, encouraging them to allow the bill to move forward.

Access to a quality arts education is central to a well-rounded education; raises graduation rates; lowers absenteeism; bolsters test scores and improves educational outcomes for low income and marginalized students.

Oregon’s first ever Task Force on Equitable Access to Arts Education would be made up of legislators, school leaders, parents, arts education providers, arts funders and teachers. This task force represents a first step toward improving access to arts education in Oregon, but without advocacy this bill won’t make it out of committee. We need advocacy now.

If you believe an arts education is important to a well-rounded, whole child education I hope you will take a moment to send a note to Members of the Joint Ways and Means Committee encouraging them to allow the bill to move.

With appreciation,
Christine Drazan
Executive Director

P.S. The legislation which creates the Equitable Access to Arts Education Task Force can be found here. To find out which arts disciplines are offered in your school district check here.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/fj9TVWWp366YfT5-Q7R5lw


Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon   

Governor’s Arts Awards nominations due June 30

The hands of master Native basketweaver Pat Courtney Gold at work. Gold is the recipient of a 2001 Governor’s Arts Award from Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

 Call for nominations!

Governor’s Arts Awards nominations due June 30

Do you know someone who has had a dramatic impact on the arts in Oregon? Consider nominating him or her for a Governor’s Arts Award! Individuals and organizations are eligible.

A call for nominations is now posted on the Arts Commission website; nominations are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Awardees will be announced during the Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony from 8 to 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, at the Portland Hilton Downtown.

A partnership between the Office of the Governor and the Arts Commission, the Governor’s Arts Awards recognize and honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the arts in Oregon.
The Governor’s Arts Awards are open to any individual, organization or community that currently resides in or has a significant presence in Oregon and has made outstanding contributions to the arts in the state. Previous awardees are not eligible (see past recipients ).

Arts and Politics in the Trump Era

View the #AFTACON session presentation on Arts and Politics in the Trump Era