Creative Work Fund

Creative Work Fund/Walter and Elise Haas Fund

Funding Received: 2011
Multiple, CA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
July 5, 2012

Through an ArtPlace investment, the distinguished San Francisco-based Creative Work Fund has been seeking proposals from performing artists and media artists to undertake collaborative projects with community members and nonprofit organizations. The grants will provide incentives for artists and residents to work together to solve problems and renew the social and economic fabric of urban, suburban and small town communities within this distinctive, rapidly-changing region.

Frances Phillips, Director of the Creative Work Fund is thrilled to announce the recipients of Creative Work Fund/ArtPlace grants for collaborations between artists and nonprofit organizations that are undertaking creative placemaking in four Northern California counties. Each project received a grant of up to $40,000 to catalyze new partnerships and undertake new efforts to improve communities.

Recipients of the Creative Work Fund/ArtPlace funds are based in greater San Francisco Bay Area counties that receive limited philanthropic support. Two grantees are creating media works that will draw people to exhibits, screenings, and conversations about enhancing livability and local economies in Modesto and Tracy—cities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. In Hollister, songwriters and a music school are bringing together community members to write songs and form performing groups. Culminating performances and a CD will reflect residents’ challenges and resilience during the economic downturn. In Sonoma County, performing artists are creating a song cycle in conjunction with organic farming activists, and an independent filmmaker is helping a local natural history association keep a park open in the face of state budget cuts.

Selected projects are:

• Video artist Anne M. Klint is collaborating with Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, making the Grand her home base for a month while using digital video to investigate and document effects of the economic downturn and housing crash in Tracy, and to collect landscape-based conceptual videos and photographs. These works will be shaped into a feature exhibition at the Grand Galleries and throughout Tracy.

• In the middle decades of the 20th Century, the Modernist architecture of Modesto, California, was on the cutting edge of environmental and artistic design. Media artist Jessica Gomula-Kruzic and filmmaker Steve Arounsack are creating a 10- to 12-minute video with the Modesto Art Museum that documents the story of these important buildings. The film will be used as a catalyst for community conversations about livability and environmentalism.

• Mr. O’s Academy of the Arts and singer-songwriters Emiliano Valdez and Michael Annotti are collaborating with residents of Hollister to create Voices of the Community, an original music production. Through a community songwriting process, the artists are gathering personal stories of Hollister residents, focusing on the social issues affecting the economically stressed area; and they are forming a multi-generation Hollister jazz band to perform the songs.

• Vocalist John Duykers is collaborating with Occidental Arts and Ecology Center and other artists on Hand to Mouth, a song play about food that takes a humorous and theatrically vivid musical journey following the seed from the soil to the plate. The piece will incorporate farmers’ stories and text from Michael Pollen’s Food Rules, an Eater’s Manual.

• As the 100th anniversary of Jack London’s death approaches, filmmaker Christopher Million is collaborating with Valley of the Moon Natural History Association to create a 90-minute documentary on the life of the renowned California author and adventurer. The film under development will contribute to sustaining Jack London State Historic Park, which is being protected from closure by the natural history association.

IMAGE: A previous work by video artist Anne M. Klint, courtesy of the artist.