Earlier this year we were very excited to break the story that an arts organization was taking on the woeful lack of funding for difficult projects and in particular alternative spaces with $75,000 in grants funded in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation
. This Precipice Fund
is incredibly well placed since Portland's alternative spaces are perhaps the best cultural incubators and producers we have
It was also especially interesting because PICA (like most arts non profits) is usually scraping for funding themselves. They even have a Kickstarter campaign for next year's TBA festival so devoting energy to this is... well, outlandishly broad minded of them.
This year 18 recipients and teams will each receive up to 5k and the list includes many key players in the alternative space scene. I'm especially happy to see 12128, Patrick Rock and False Front who are 3 of the most crucial and accomplished presenters in town. Here's the list:
MICRORESIDENCIES at 12128: Caitlin Ducey, Kyle Thompson | The Cosmic Serpent: Julia Calabrese, Emily Bernstein | False Front: Jason Doize, Amber Corneliuson | AMUR: Rebecca Peel, Jonah Porter, John Knight, Brian Echon, Zachary Davis, Lia Griesser | Weird Shift Storefront: Adam Rothstein, Rosalynn Rothstein, Carl Diehl | Multiplex: Felisha Ledesma, Alex Ian Smith | Safe and Sound?: Julie Perini, Erin Yanke, Jodi Darby | Resident / Residency: Sara Asher, Ariana Jacob, Khris Soden, Cyrus Smith, Linda Wysong, Mack McFarland | Container Corps: Gary Robbins, Zoe Clarke | Portland Museum of Modern Art (PMoMA): Libby Werble, Eric Isaacson | SENSINGFEELINGPERCEIVING: Tahni Holt, Linda K. Johnson, Linda Austin | EFF Portland 2014: Ben Popp, Hannah Piper Burns, Kiri Hargie, Lena Munday | Conceptual Oregon Performance School (C.O.P.S.): Patrick Rock | EIGHTS: Lisa Radon, Emily Henderson | M.A.S.S.: Van Pham, Matthew Henderson, Chris Spencer, Jessica Cole, Ian Paige, Caitlin King | FRONT: Tahni Holt, Danielle Ross, Noelle Stiles, Robert Tyree | Not Too Distant Futures: Garrick Imatani, Anna Gray, Ariana Jacob, Ryan Wilson Paulsen | Random Access Tape: Dominic Billand, Dana Paresa, David Fleming, Tomas Tello
Perhaps this will activate other funding and institutional support or at least spur them to pay pay closer attention to the most dynamic aspects of scene in their own back yard? This is personal to me. Not to sound like an oldster but over a decade ago (closer to 15) Cris moss and I started doing very alt-warehouse and popup style exhibitions when everyone thought it was a lost cause to attempt such things in Portland. Now is is rather common and the Warhol Foundation is stepping in to fill gaps that will likely only generate more of such activities. Let's hope because most of Portland's local awards seem to favor artists who aren't always our strongest, industrious or most adventurous (yet they are the ones that often show up internationally).
True, some of it is bound to be completely underdeveloped, and the list has a certain clubby "them again" quality that happens in any art scene but that is the point here. True... 12128, Falsefront and Rock seldom make these lists and it is deeply lame. Still certain things need repetitive follow through to allows artists to stay and grow here while generating international interest. Precipice certainly breaks new ground in this respect and it would have been so helpful in the scene's younger days. Grown'n up Portland!