09 28 2016
  10:05 am  
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African American performance artists in King County are getting some support from the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas and the National Endowment for the Arts. The two entities have funded a new program called The Creation Project to support the professional development of local Black performance artists.
The yearlong Creation Project will support distinctive African American voices in the performing arts community of King County.
A panel of professional artists and managers will select up to six participants representing a range of artistic performing arts disciplines. Each participant will get a $1,000 stipend — to be used towards the creation of innovative new work — and will participate in professional development seminars and facilitated peer discussions.
Although Seattle has a rich history of raising and attracting African American artists, it has a hard time keeping them. Many have moved to Los Angeles or New York looking for more opportunities. According to members of the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Seattle is becoming a city where African American artists have "room to create but no room to be heard."
"This program is an opportunity for emerging African American artists to receive the professional development they need in the formative stages of their career and direct financial assistance for the support of developing new or existing work," said Stephanie Ellis-Smith, executive director of the forum.
This program will focus on African American artists in formative stages of their career providing them with the skills they need to navigate the cultural landscape in King County, Ellis-Smith said. It also will turn performing artists on to funding sources, train them in grant writing and provide other professional development tools. In addition to seminars and facilitated peer discussions, this program will give those artists "room to be heard" by providing direct financial assistance in the creation of their work presented in a May 2008 showcase as part of the Central District Forum's 2007-08 season.
The application deadline is Friday, May 18.
For more information on guidelines and applications, contact Denee McCloud or Jude Hill at 206-323-4032 or email judyh@cdforum.org.

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