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Arizona and Maine Selected by Creative Capital for New Initiative to Support Artists

December 7, 2005

_Two States to Partner with National Foundation on Mapping Opportunities for Artists

_ NEW YORK, NY (December 7, 2005) –– Creative Capital Foundation, an organization that provides contemporary artists nation-wide with multi-faceted support through project grants and advisory services, announces the selection of Arizona and Maine as partners for its State Research Project. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation provided a $100,000 special project grant for Creative Capital to examine the feasibility of adapting its comprehensive model for individual artist support to the state-level. For the resulting initiative, the State Research Project (SRP), 48 states (excluding New York and California) were solicited to submit proposals in June of 2005. Seventeen states across the U.S.––including those in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Gulf Coast, Southwest and Eastern Seaboard––responded to Creative Capital’s Request for Proposals.

 A team of five artists and arts professionals from around the country evaluated the 17 proposals based on review criteria that included the strength of the state’s commitment to individual artists and its openness to collaboration. The evaluators determined that Arizona and Maine are both poised at catalytic moments in terms of investing in their arts infrastructure and so would make strong partners with Creative Capital on this project. “Through our work around the country, we have come to experience the rich creativity that exists in all states,” said Creative Capital’s Executive Director, Ruby Lerner. “We’re thrilled to be working with Arizona and Maine to build a process by which all states may potentially come to better understand how artists are actually supported in their state and hopefully strengthen those systems.”

 Arizona as Partner in Support of Artists
 As one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S., many artists working across different cultures and mediums call Arizona home. The southwestern state has four thriving urban centers––Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma––where artists have founded nationally recognized art collectives, dance studios, and interdisciplinary presenting organizations. Along with its vibrant cities, a number of individuals, notably Native American and Latino and Hispanic artists hailing from rural communities, have cultivated exciting artistic practices in both nontraditional and traditional forms. “Arizona is poised to maximize the impact of the State Research Project. The SRP process and findings will further develop the infrastructure for the professional growth of Arizona artists,” said Mollie Lakin-Hayes, Acting Director of the Commission. “This recognition comes at a pivotal moment for the Commission, as we launch a bold new five-year plan, which emphasizes the role of the artist in healthy communities, and as we welcome our new Executive Director, Robert C. Booker.”

 Maine as Partner in Support of Artists
 Maine has embraced the crucial role that artists play in building dynamic communities and is looking to cultivate artists as one of the state’s many “natural resources.” Several artist-led initiatives within the New England state have focused on developing artist live/work spaces, securing free and low cost healthcare, and easing geographic isolation. “Maine is a state of artists, and we are honored to be selected to partner with Creative Capital on the State Research Project. Moreover, Maine's artist community is a central component driving Maine's growing creative economy initiative. Creative Capital's work in Maine will strengthen our efforts to define, promote and brand Maine though its cultural community and natural environment,” said Alden Wilson, Director of the Maine Arts Commission.

 The State Research Project will help Arizona and Maine to assess the programs and informal networks that assist artists with their creative practice and to identify gaps in the infrastructure. Another long-term objective of this initiative is to determine if Creative Capital and at least one of its partners can “raise the bar” for individual artist support by launching a pilot program based on the foundation’s national grantmaking model to support innovative artists in that specific state. 

 Creative Capital will share the SRP reports, which will compile information about the states’ artist support infrastructure and determine other resources that might energize support for artists, with individuals and organizations throughout the two states and across the country.Creative Capital intends to conduct the State Research Project over the course of 2006 and part of 2007, and if the state model proves feasible, the organization will look to launch a pilot program in one or both states in 2007 or 2008.

 About Creative Capital
 Founded in January 1999, Creative Capital Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that supports individual artists pursuing innovative approaches to form and content in the visual and performing arts, film/video, emerging fields, and innovative literature. To date, the organization has awarded more than $5 million to 199 artist projects and has provided those artists with a range of advisory and skills-building services. The organization will announce another 40-plus grantees in January 2006. A complete list of grantees, profiles of funded projects, and grant cycle information can be found online at the foundation’s website at 

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