Composers Julian Terrell Otis, Tomeka Reid, and Kurt Rohde are among the 42 individual artists involved in 35 projects which have been selected to receive 2021 Creative Capital Awards. These projects will receive up to $50,000 in project funding, supplemented by additional career development services. The 35 projects, by 42 individual artists, were drawn from nearly 4,000 applications and selected by an eight-member, multidisciplinary panel composed of expert curators, producers, other arts professionals, and past awardees. In a departure from traditional awards panels, Creative Capital’s multi-step review process is not delineated by genre—the panelists deliberated together to select the awardees regardless of field.
Julian Terrell Otis was awarded for Resolved: Critiquing Contemporary Music Through Improvised Performance. Inspired by the artist’s experience on the high school forensic debate team and its use of critical race theory, Resolved is a performance that facilitates dialogue and musical expression by convening the music and debate communities in knowledge sharing, rehearsals, and performance.
Tomeka Reid was awarded for Women of the AACM, a performance which celebrates the contributions of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians’ female practitioners who have been an important part of the organization and its history through interviews, scores, photographs, and new visual art, poetry, and documentation.
Kurt Rohde is a member of the creative team (along with Marie Lorenz and Dana Spiotta) awarded for Newtown Odyssey, a floating opera set on barges in New York City where performers sing aboard moveable stages, as the audience pass by in boats. The score of the opera can be experienced in phases, reshuffling the narrative, giving each audience an entirely different experience of the work.
A complete list of the 2021 awardees is available on the Creative Capital website.
As stated in Creative Capital’s press release, “The projects that earned 2021 Creative Capital Awards are based in 12 different states and territories. Of the 42 artists, 76 percent identify as being persons of color, 55 percent as female, and 10 percent identify as having a disability. They range in age from their 20s through their 70s. The Creative Capital Awards are designed not as a one-time infusion of cash, but as the beginning of a long-term partnership between Creative Capital, an artist, and a broader artistic community. Creative Capital supports these projects in the long term, offering connections to expert advice on everything from the law to finances, and to the perspectives and expertise of other artists. The goal is not just the successful development of the project, but more stable and sustainable practices, on which artists can build.”
The panelists for the 2021 awards were: Ali Momeni, Senior Principal Scientist, AI and Robotics, Shield AI (2013 Creative Capital Awardee); George Lugg, Consulting Producer, CalArts Center for New Performance; Jennifer Lange, Curator of the Film/Video Studio Program, Wexner Center for the Arts; Karen Farber, Vice President for External Affairs, Buffalo Bayou Partnership; Ken Chen, writer; Lucy Mukerjee, Senior Programmer, Tribeca Film Festival and Co-Founder of the Programmers of Colour Collective; Naomi Beckwith, Manilow Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and Ryan Dennis, Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Applications for the next cycle of Creative Capital Awards will open February 1, 2021.