New City Arts Initiative
PO Box 1293
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
|Primary Contact||Maureen Brondyke|
|Executive Director||Maureen Brondyke|
|Primary Focus Area||Arts and Humanities|
Believing in the life-giving and community-building work of the arts, the New City Arts Initiative exists to encourage the vocation of the artist locally by resourcing artists with the connections they need to sustain a living in Charlottesville. As a collaborative arts non-profit, New City Arts fosters engagement with the arts in Charlottesville by providing a range of educational forums for artists as well as arts enthusiasts and advocates; physical, financial, institutional, and relational resources to help artists learn, work, and make a living; and a supportive network for artists and community members by building bridges among different audiences. We value our common humanity and the good of our city, embracing a diverse community of faith and vocation and advancing the arts in dynamic partnership with other local organizations and institutions.
|Description:||Charlottesville SOUP is a public dinner series to support creative projects and artists right here in our community. At each Charlottesville SOUP public dinner, attendees pay $10 at the door for soup, salad, bread, pie, and a vote. During the meal, four creatives (vetted by an arts committee) make short presentations about their projects in need of funding. Attendees participate in a thoughtful dialogue with the presenters and with one another about the proposed projects over a delicious meal made from local ingredients, followed by a ballot vote, resulting in a crowd-funded award for the winner with the most votes. At its core as an arts event, SOUP is “an opportunity for civic engagement; an opportunity to meet your neighbor to ask what the arts in Charlottesville need,” – Victoria Long, SOUP facilitator.|
|Examples of Program Success:||Founded in January 2013 by a group of three artist collaborators, Charlottesville SOUP was inspired by a national network of micro-grant funding dinners for the arts. These dinners were initiated in the Midwest by InCUBATE, a Chicago-based research group dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding, and received national positive press from The New York Times, Good, and Dwell, with the rise of Detroit SOUP, founded by former Charlottesville-based artist and co-founder of The Garage, Kate Daughdrill. |
Each of the five Charlottesville SOUP dinners have sold out in a number of hours, and the most recent dinner sold out in 15 minutes. These five successful Charlottesville SOUP dinners held between January 2013 – May 2015 awarded a total of $7,425 in micro-grants to five local artists including a Charlottesville textile co-op, photographer, string quartet, a theatrical community organizer, and a fashion designer.
In-kind support from over 100 volunteers and more than 20 community sponsors have allowed New City Arts to host Charlottesville SOUP on a very small program budget. City Clay members facilitated a bowl marathon to make soup bowls for every attendee. SOUP received positive press from the Newsplex, NBC29, Cville Niche Magazine, C-Ville Weekly, Beyond the Flavor, and more.
SOUP fosters the kind of community we hope to facilitate in Charlottesville. An attendee of our third SOUP reported months later that the then-stranger sitting next to her at the dinner has become one of her best friends. Our second SOUP grantee was new to Charlottesville when she was chosen as the grant winner, and when she reported on her project’s success at our third SOUP event, she burst into tears, reporting that the financial gift from the SOUP community was the most meaningful act of hospitality she had received in Charlottesville.
A recent NEA report concluded that 22% of people surveyed perceive “no one to go with” as a primary barrier to arts participation. This same report concluded that people surveyed are motivated to participate in the arts in order to socialize with friends or family, to learn new things, to experience high-quality art, and to support the community. Charlottesville SOUP fulfills many of these needs, advancing New City Arts’ hope to cultivate new constituencies for the arts.
|Total Program Budget:||$22,235 (including in-kind support value)|
|Description:||Located at 114 3rd St. NE, Welcome Gallery is a downtown, storefront property that houses NCAI staff offices, a gallery with monthly art openings and weekly open hours, a studio space, and a downtown venue for small arts performances. The gallery is located at 114 3rd St. NE and is dedicated to providing a platform for Charlottesville artists to exhibit, work, and gather. |
In addition to The WVTF and Radio IQ Studio Gallery, where New City Arts has exhibited more than 150 local artists since 2010, New City Arts opened Welcome Gallery in September 2015.
|Examples of Program Success:||Through a 2015 crowdfunding campaign, New City Arts engaged 300+ individuals in supporting the effort to establish a new gallery for local artists on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. Since opening in September 2015, Welcome Gallery has generated more than $43,00 in artwork sales for exhibiting artists, and welcomed over 1,600 visitors through our gallery doors.|
Adjacent to Welcome Gallery is the New City Artist-in-Residence studio. The residency provides an artist with free studio space for five months and regular connection to community stakeholders, while our audience is simultaneously introduced to the daily work of a Charlottesville artist. Our current resident artist is Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz, and Tobiah Mundt is our incoming resident artist, beginning in March 2016. Our resident artist reports that this residency has provided new connections to community stakeholders, access to a workspace with co-workers, and the space and time to pursue professional goals.
|Total Program Budget:||$50,282|
|Description:||Over 25% of the residents of Charlottesville, VA live in poverty and over 700 are homeless every year. Despite increased government support for housing and rental subsidies, formerly homeless clients of The Haven express feelings of social isolation in their new homes and find it difficult to adjust to their new communities. |
Through Housing2Home, The Haven and New City Arts facilitate artist-led design consultation sessions with newly housed clients to create a more positive home environment that reflects each client’s needs. From wall color to art to furniture, recently-housed clients are making creative choices to create a more positive home environment. Housing2Home is a collaborative, cross-sector, Charlottesville initiative supported by ArtPlace America.
|Examples of Program Success:||New City Arts and The Haven have been community partners since 2010. Together, through The Haven Residency Program, we turned the second floor of The Haven into studio space in order to provide affordable working space for artists and integrate creative programming into the resources available to Haven guests during the day. This residency built social capital in many ways; bridges were developed between the arts and the social service community, relationships developed between individuals who might not otherwise connect, and the conditions of homelessness and poverty directly and indirectly informed creative expression and thoughtful examination of the world.|
Over the course of the Haven Residency Program, nine resident artists maintained their own studio practice and facilitated creative initiatives in the Haven Day Shelter that were client-responsive and collaborative including a community mural for The Haven Dining Room, collaborative sumi ink drawings, memory maps of Charlottesville, a Haven playlist, and a Haven community quilt for The Haven Dining Room.
In addition to providing respite care through the Day Shelter, The Haven has implemented a Housing-First approach to ending homelessness in our community. In order to support this new approach, New City Arts adapted our model of artistic engagement into an innovative, collaborative, client-responsive program called Housing2Home, which integrates artists into the housing stabilization process through creative interventions around place-making.
Formerly-homeless, newly-housed clients have worked with a Creative Coordinator to purchase local art, commission furniture pieces, and make personal choices about their residences. Housing2Home will serve 65 clients from August 2015 - January 2017.
|Total Program Budget:||$200,000|