Keshet invests in Albuquerque’s creative economy with a series of programs supporting arts entrepreneurs and audience engagement this spring!

This spring, Keshet will support over 40 visiting and local artists creating new work, engaging in arts business workshops, offering dynamic arts education programming to movement professionals locally, facilitating community conversations exploring the intersection of arts practices with relevant contemporary issues, underwriting cross-disciplinary collaborations, and presenting contemporary dance performances and events at the Keshet Center for the Arts. These robust programs fall under the umbrella of the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Community, which champions the creative economy, valuing both the artists and the dedication to their artistic practice, along with the powerful economic impact of the arts on our community. Keshet brings together emerging and established professional artists into a space of collaboration and learning, providing artists with makerspace, funding, deep dive business resources, and a direct line to powerful conversations and connections with our vibrant New Mexico community.

Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6), recently released their sixth national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industry, providing compelling evidence that “the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in New Mexico—one that generated $740.9 million in total economic activity during 2022. This spending—$267.5 million by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and an additional $473.4 million in event-related spending by their audiences—supports 9,381 jobs, generates $363.2 million in household income for local residents, and delivers $106.1 million in tax revenues to local, state, and federal governments. This study sends a strong signal that, even in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting recession, the nonprofit arts and culture is a formidable industry.” Further, the study reveals “a deep appreciation for how the arts and culture impacts the development and well-being of communities and their residents,” AEP6 demonstrates that when we support the arts, we are investing in New Mexico’s economic and community well-being.

From February through April 2024, Keshet’s Makers Space Experience once again brings national and international artists to Albuquerque. The Makers Space Experience is a ten-day cohort-based residency program at Keshet, intended for choreographers, dancers, and movement makers of all kinds to connect, create, and collaborate at Keshet Center for the Arts. These incredible professional artists hail from around the country – and globe – and present an exciting opportunity for Albuquerque artists to connect with the visiting artists’ dance styles, impressions, and creations. All Makers are provided with daily arts business classes, portfolio development resources, makerspace, and an opportunity to bring their art to market at the culmination of their residency period in one of Keshet’s Choreographers’ Showcases.

The Choreographers’ Showcases are only one avenue for the broader community to engage with these dynamic visiting artists. Throughout each cohort period, the Makers offer movement classes open to the public across varied dance styles and disciplines, offered on Keshet’s sliding scale of $0-$20 to ensure financial access to the entire community. This model allows local emerging artists direct resources to professional development which would otherwise be out of reach, financially and geographically.

Overlapping the Makers Space Experience Residencies, Keshet is pleased to announce the return of the Hear Here Festival, in partnership with the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts and Culture. Supporting six local artists, and somewhat akin to a 48-Hour Film Fest, the Hear Here Festival pairs choreographers with musicians or poets in a two-week deep dive residency to create new works which will be presented at the Keshet Center for the Arts on April 6, 2024. The artists are paired together “blindly,” meaning creative partners are unknown until the two-week creation process begins. Artists are contracted for their work on these new creations, retain all intellectual property rights to the new works, and develop lasting creative and business relationships through the process, stimulating the creative economy and rewarding the creation of interdisciplinary, diverse, and innovative art in Albuquerque.

Expanding upon the short-term residency model, Keshet’s Presenting Voices Series engages artists in longer term, durational residency periods with multiple return visits from a single artist or company, to nurture deep and meaningful relationships with the New Mexico community.  The Presenting Voices Series in 2024 focuses primarily on artists who intentionally explore the topics of systemic racism and carceral systems through the lens of dance and embodied arts practices. Throughout each Presenting Voices residency, visiting artists offer community conversations, workshops, and performances open to the public.  In early 2024, Presenting Voices welcomed Everett Company (Providence, RI) with their New Mexico premiere of Bliss Body, and a powerful presentation of Parables from Prison. This spring the Presenting Voices Series continues with, Helanius J. Wilkins (Boulder, CO), returning for his third visit in his durational residency process via his nationally-expanding work entitled The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging. Wilkins’ residency is followed by Leslie Parker Dance Project (Minneapolis, MN / Brooklyn, NY), in her first visit to Keshet, beginning her community connectivity endeavors via her award-winning project Call to Remember.

In addition to the Presenting Voices Series, Keshet is honored to support local professional artists once again through the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund Resiliency Residency. This multi-month residency allows for a thoughtful and lengthy artistic practice for the local artists with the support of a wide range of mentors, resources, and champions.

Throughout the Spring, Keshet’s Ideas and Innovation Community offers a series of arts business workshops which are free and open to the public. These workshops are designed to teach the ‘business of art’ in areas such as budgeting, financial management, grants and investments, intellectual property law, marketing/branding, contract management, and much more. Working artists are often not able to easily access these critical business resources. Therefore, Keshet prioritizes making these opportunities easily accessible to all artists, both those in visiting residencies and local members of our creative community. The Spring Series of Arts Business Workshops can be found HERE.

“Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6) changes the conversation about nonprofit arts and culture organizations from that of a charity—worthy of funding in prosperous economic times but hard to justify in challenging times—to that of an industry with an economic and social impact. Arts and culture organizations are businesses. They employ people locally, purchase supplies and services from nearby businesses, and produce the authentic cultural experiences that are magnets for visitors, tourists, and new residents. Their very act of creating, presenting, exhibiting, and engaging has a positive economic impact on the community. Arts and culture is a fundamental component of livable communities—beautifying cities and towns, bringing joy to residents, and celebrating diverse cultural expressions and traditions. It powers the creative communities where people want to live and work, where entrepreneurs and innovation thrive, and where businesses and nighttime economies flourish. Shared cultural experiences strengthen a sense of belonging and community pride. Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 delivers a clear and welcome message: when communities invest in arts and culture, they are not investing in community development at the expense of economic development. Rather, they are investing in an industry that stimulates the economy, supports local jobs, and contributes to building healthy, vibrant, and more livable communities. When we support the arts, we are investing in both New Mexico’s economic and community well-being.” – AEP6, 2023

Keshet is honored to play a role in strengthening and uplifting New Mexico’s creative economy. The impact of the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Community programming reverberates beyond an individual artist or a singular experience. The collective work stimulates collaborative and interdisciplinary growth through multiple industries and economic opportunities. We invite the New Mexico community to engage in any and all of the upcoming program offerings at Keshet:

Schedule of Movement Classes, Feb-April
Schedule of Arts Business Workshops, Feb-April
Choreographers’ Showcase Tickets, March
Choreographers’ Showcase Tickets, April
Hear Here Festival Tickets

Keshet is grateful to the many funders who have invested in this important programming, championing the value of the arts, the artists, and the arts economy, and the intersection of arts practice and difficult conversations about critical contemporary issues. We acknowledge the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New Mexico Humanities Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Fund, the City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts and Culture, the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, the Meow Wolf Foundation, and the PNC Foundation.

The Keshet Ideas and Innovation Community (KIIC) was launched in 2013 and is operated through Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts. KIIC provides arts business resources, residencies, and community mentorship for arts entrepreneurs at all stages in their careers and/or organizational development. By providing makerspace, business training, mentorship, community connectivity, and art-to-market support, KIIC supports and strengthens arts entrepreneurs on their path of sustainability, championing the value of the artist and the arts economy, by equipping creative industry businesses with the tools for success. Nurturing a community of local and global artists/entrepreneurs creating, growing, collaborating, learning, teaching, stumbling, enjoying, exploring, and flourishing, KIIC supports the whole artist and the holistic business endeavor of making a living as an artist.

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