Elsewhere Studios, located in Paonia, CO, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Arts in Society Program, a collaboration between Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, and Hemera Foundation in partnership with RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Elsewhere was chosen as one of 23 recipients from a field of over 265 applicants.
Grant awardees were selected based on the applicant’s ability to illustrate artistic excellence, broaden the understanding of the role arts play in society, demonstrate cross-sector work, exhibit cultural relevancy, foster community engagement, and present opportunities for shared learning.
Gary Steuer of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation explains:
“This initiative responds to the growing desire of artists and arts organizations to use their creativity and talents to make a difference in their community. At the same time those engaged in issues like education, poverty, public safety and health increasingly are looking to the arts as a partner in their work. We embrace this opportunity to support this work in our community."
Elsewhere’s project, INSPIRED: Art at Work, will bring artists to Paonia in summer 2018 for a two-month residency. Working closely with local artists, five local partner organizations (Citizens for a Healthy Community, Western Slope Conservation Center, Farm and Food Alliance, Solar Energy International, and the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition), scientists, and policy makers, they will create socially-engaged artworks that address issues such as: preservation of culture and environment, creation of a resilient economy in rural Colorado, and values under threat by fracking, development, and loss of jobs. These collaborations and a final symposium are designed to broadly engage the community and promote dialog about concerns vital to the future of this rural area.
Through a series of meetings/discussions, the artists and community members will define a particular issue or set of issues (such as, the impact of energy development, Gunnison River health, air quality, changing energy resources, the loss of coal mining jobs, changing cultural norms, etc.)
Using creative practices and community engagement they will target and address selected environmental, cultural, social, and economic issues vital to preserving the natural world and the quality of life and sense of place in the North Fork Valley. Although these works will address a unique geographical and cultural landscape, the issues are universal with national and international pertinence.
These community-based or social action art projects will culminate in a symposium featuring the artists and local and national speakers. The work produced during the collaboration will be highlighted along with readings, films, music, live art, and tours of the valley to visit art installations, farms, and wineries. The artists will also have the opportunity to speak about their work and engage in public discussions about the ideas and process of making socially-engaged art while they are in-residence at Elsewhere—a great benefit to local artists and community members.
Please email Karen Good at email@example.com if you have questions about this project.
November 15, 2017 Deadline for Application & $30 application fee
January 1, 2018 Notifications to artists
January-March 2018 Introduction to partners (via Skype or in-person depending on distance)
April 2018 Preliminary project press release due, with headshot and image of past work
July and August, 2018 Artists in-Residence at Elsewhere Studios (two months)
August 24-26, 2018 (TBC) Symposium held (artists participate)
*It is possible for residency to take place earlier (between May and August) as long as artist is able to return to participate in the symposium the end of August.
Two artists will receive a 2-month fully-funded residency at Elsewhere Studios (which includes living and studio space) with $500/month stipends and a $1000 materials budget.
In addition, one local artist will receive a $500/month stipend for two months and a $1000 materials fee.
Previous experience working collaboratively with community members
Previous artwork involving civic practice or social action
In-residence two months in Paonia
Attendance at Symposium in August
Paonia is a unique town, settled by farmers, ranchers and miners, now home to artists and outdoor lovers as well. Paonia is naturally air conditioned by warm air flowing up the valley at night and cool air from the mountains during the day resulting in optimal conditions for growing cherries, apricots, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, nectarines, and apples. Paonia is a real hotbed of organic farming, sustainably raised meats, value added products, organic hops, and a truly remarkable wine industry. You will eat some of the highest quality, cleanest food in the world when you visit this Valley.
Paonia is a focal point of back roads and trails leading into the forest, attracting hunters, hikers, bicyclists and cross-country skiers. The art scene is alive and well in Paonia. The North Fork Valley is a “Certified Colorado Creative District,” and home to many creatives, including painters, writers, jewelers, dancers, actors, composers and musicians, and health and culinary artisans.
Elsewhere Studios is an artist residency program in western CO, hosting artists from around the world to have time and space to focus on their work.
Since its inception in 2011, the Elsewhere Studios Residency Program has hosted over 160 artists from 28 states and 12 countries (Argentina, Iran, Columbia, Mexico, Canada, England, Japan, Switzerland, Bangladesh, India, Ireland, and Finland). The program is open to visual artists, writers, composers, and performing artists. Artists are supported in the creation of new work and new ideas through dedicated time, a space conducive to focused work, and an environment that is both stimulating and nurturing. The artists are selected through a competitive application process. The residency program includes housing, studio space, and utilities. The staff is dedicated to making this a positive experience and to finding resources and networking with the local community and resources as needed. Each resident is assigned a “Community Liaison” to help them get established in the Paonia community. The multidisciplinary resident artists interact, share, and often collaborate with each other. They participate in weekly critiques and discussions that help take their work to new levels.
The artists also share their work and processes with the community through bimonthly events—Meet and Greets, artist talks, open studios, exhibitions, readings, performances, and presentations. In addition, they often give demonstrations and teach classes or workshops open to local community members. They frequently do interactive projects with community members. The artists living in our community are exposed to new and exciting work and find inspiration from engaging with these visiting artists. KVNF, our local community radio station, airs interviews with the visiting artists—reaching a potential audience of 10,000 regional listeners. Articles in local and regional papers, as well as coverage on eZines and arts residency websites also have a regional and national reach.
Elsewhere residents expose our small community to contemporary art from around the world and serve as ambassadors between Paonia and their communities. Many develop lasting relationships with members of the community, returning to share the progress of their work years after their Elsewhere residency.