At the end of September, we announced that we would be receiving funding from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation to launch a new program called Hatch. This program was not conceived last month, or even last year. Hatch is a program that has been in development for a little over two years. The original program (explored three years ago) was not intended to be a program about community-based art. The decision to focus on “working in community” came from hours and hours of research, noticing trends locally and nationally, and exploring new challenges facing artists in our professional development courses–as many of them were already navigating this field.
The political and economic climate has changed over the last decade…heck, even over the last two years. We can’t ignore it. This program seemed, well, like the right thing to do. We have focused in the past on arts-entrepreneurship and because we are working with artists, that began to look little more like social entrepreneurship.
It is written into our core values that we believe in the power of the individual artist to help transform communities–with communities.
Hatch will explore the many facets of working in community: from the “soft” skills of budgeting and planning to leveraging assets to community organizing. We will talk about equity, inclusion and privilege.
The definition of “community” will be deconstructed. It isn’t limited to social activism, or public art–although, those will not be excluded. Community may include: k-12 audiences, healthcare, neighborhoods, working with planners and more.
The first phase of the program is building the curriculum. The first cohort of artists have agreed to be apart of the “pilot” phase. We don’t want Hatch to be created in a vacuum. This group of very talented and dedicated artists will help us explore what learning/teaching models work (and don’t work), what content artists really need to fulfill their artist goals, and to create a support network for artists working in community.
So. Without further ado, It is my honor to introduce the 2015/16 Atlanta Hatch artists:
Angela Davis Johnson
Shelia Pree Bright