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Kranzberg Arts Residence program provides local creatives more leverage, exposure

"This is an opportunity for individual artists to build capacity and have the tools, the spaces and the time they need to manifest one of their greatest artworks"
Credit: St. Louis American
The Kranzberg Arts Foundation launched its Music Artist in Residence program in 2018, and it continues to assist local jazz artists and band leaders.

ST. LOUIS — The Kranzberg Arts Residencies for Individuals program grants local creatives the opportunity to dream a big dream. 

“We are thrilled to launch our redefined and reimagined Kranzberg Arts Residencies for Individual Artists,” Chris Hansen, executive director of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation said.

“This is an opportunity for individual artists to build capacity and have the tools, the spaces and the time they need to manifest one of their greatest artworks.”

With more than $2 million in annual regional subsidies, visual arts (five residents accepted), musicians (four), writers (two) and filmmakers (one) will have the opportunity to bring a big project to fruition.

The residencies have five pillars beneficial for every participant including workspace, presenting space, technology, tools and training. There is also marketing and storytelling support, a partner resource and stipend.

Workspace is designed to meet the needs of each resident providing them with office spaces, conference rooms, rehearsal rooms, artists studios and more.

Each resident has a chance to showcase their work in a performance or exhibition space. KAF venues feature technology, systems and staffing that help enhance productions and presentations.

Residents are introduced to KAF ‘s “ecosystem” of training opportunities that complement their use of featured venues, technology and tools. It also incorporates participation in KAF’s core principles and “Heart & Soul,” its guest experience training program.

All residents receive a 10-day block of 60-second radio spots on KDHX and/or WSIE to assist in the promotion of their work. KAF will also archive a project’s progress throughout the residency period.

Residents earn a $1000 cash stipend and they’ll also be presented with $500 in partner resource vouchers related to their desired arts discipline.

“They sky’s the limit and it just doesn’t have to be one painting or one composition, it could be anything that they could imagine,” Hansen said. “We don’t wanna put a ceiling on it, we don’t wanna put a boundary around what is possible because the spaces are really dynamic. The access they have to tools, technology, other organizations and other artists for collaboration is really significant.”

The application process operates on a weighted scoring rubric based on how the piece is defined in relation to the five pillars and how the project is influenced by the St. Louis community or deep communal interests.

Once prospects complete their application, other artists, arts professionals and educators join and assess scores. Those who qualify are added in a lottery that goes through a diverse lens to ensure representation is present across all disciplines, races, ages and genders. After that a blank lottery occurs and winners are selected.

“We want to make sure that everyone knows  this residency is for all artists that believe they have something to say and want a shot at doing this,” Hansen said.

“What we don’t want to do is for anyone to feel discouraged by the process. We’re always here to answer questions about assembling applications or give guidance to individuals on the best methods to use if they don’t have the technology that’s necessary to apply.”

The expanded program builds on the success of KAF's Music Artist in Residence Program, launched in 2018, which helped develop and support the careers of local jazz artists and bandleaders.

“We learned a lot in that process and have now expanded and redefined our artist residency program.” Hansen said.

Submissions for the 2021-2022 Kranzberg Arts Residencies for Individuals opened June 15 and will close August 1. Final selections will be made Aug. 15. Artist announcements will be September 1 and public announcements follow on September 15. The residency runs from October 1- Dec. 30, 2022.

Go to https://www.kranzbergartsfoundation.org/ for more information.