Creative Capital announced its first round of grants to individual artists, totaling $563,700. Seventy-five artists from 1807 applicants were awarded grants from $3200 to $20,000 in support of projects in five different areas: emerging fields, media, performance, visual arts and interdisciplinary projects. Another $336,300 has been set aside for complementary renewal funding for these projects for a total commitment of $900,000. Awardees include nationally and internationally known artists as well as mid-career and younger artists.
Proposals were reviewed by program staff and outside evaluators. From the initial pool of applicants, 220 were invited to submit additional materials that were reviewed by panels comprised of five separate peer groups. The panelists for the emerging fields were Carl Goodman, Curator of Digital Media at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York, NY; Carol Stakenas, Associate Director of Creative Time in New York, NY; and Mark Tribe, Creative Director and founder of Rhizome.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering communication and community in the field of new media art. The panelists for the media grants were Dorothy Thigpen, Executive Director of Third World Newsreel in New York, NY; Ted Hope, co-founder of the New York City-based production company Good Machine; William Horrigan, Media Curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH; Marcus Hu, founder of Strand Releasing in Los Angeles; and Barton Weiss, an independent film and video producer, director, editor and educator based in Dallas. The panelists for the visual arts grants were Greg Cameron, Chief Development Officer of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; Steve Henry, Director of Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, NY; Ron Platt, Curator of Exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Eugenie Tsai, Senior Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art; and Irene Tsatsos, Director/Curator of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. The panelists for the interdisciplinary grants were Barbara Courtney, Executive Director of Artists Trust in Seattle, WA; Andrea Miller Keller, independent curator in New York City; and Pepon Osorio, a multi-media installation artist based in Bronx, NY. Creative Capital Director Ruby Lerner sat on all of the panels; Ken Chu from Creative Capital sat on the emerging fields, the visual arts and the interdisciplinary panels; and Esther Robinson, also of Creative Capital, sat on the media panel.
Creative Capital was founded in January 1999 by a group of 22 business leaders, arts professionals and foundation executives to support individual artists creating innovative new work. Twenty-nine foundations and individual philanthropists have contributed more than $5 million to Creative Capital. These supporters include the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Peter Norton Family Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Joe and Emily Lowe Foundation, Catherine and Jeffrey Soros and Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro. Although the idea for the project originated from a concern for artists following the 1995 dissolution of the National Endowment for the Arts' funding of individuals, the Creative Capital grants function slightly differently than traditional grants: they function more along the lines of an investment model. Not only is there completion money set aside, but Creative Capital will provide the grant winners with marketing consultation in order to find audiences and further sources of funding. Each artist is also required to return a small portion of any profits derived from their projects to Creative Capital, which will reinvest the money into new grants. Finally, Creative Capital not only offers grant applications on-line but has designated a funding category for new media projects, a commitment to the field that is entirely unique. …