Leading Lady : Amber Bradshaw

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the Next Leading Lady for March 2019: Amber Bradshaw

Where do you work and what do you do?
I am the Managing Artistic Director of Working Title Playwrights. Some of my daily tasks include: Overall Management, Daily Admin, Hiring, Casting, Program development, EDI workshop training for the theater community and the WTP board, Training, education and advocacy of our playwrights, Play submissions and the gathering of professionals to those panels, Branding and marketing, Mentoring and outreach for and with new development theatre artists, National outreach, Moderation and facilitation of dialogue, Directing and dramaturgy for our members as part of our programs, and Developing collaborations with theaters across Atlanta.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I asked my mom for acting lessons when I was 10 years old. It just so happens I was in a class facilitated and run by Atlanta’s Pamela Turner! I never stopped acting, but I lost interest during my teen years. I began writing in high school. I followed my love of creative writing to college, and discovered theater again when I took my first beginning acting class with the woman who would become my mentor. Elizabeth Carlin Metz. I was hooked and she was very supportive. She encouraged me to direct in our student theater. I did. There was no turning back. By the time I graduated I had directed 3 times, assistant directed 4 times, and was a teaching assistant for acting classes. I knew this was what I wanted to do.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
No IDEA. Seriously. It felt limited as a girl. I was not sure where I belonged.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Josephine Baker. I would ask her to tell me the story of her life. I would want to talk to her about what it was like to be a spy during WWII and work for the French Resistance. I would ask her about Frida Kahlo and Bricktop and all the women she loved. I would make sure she knew how many women she has inspired, influenced and advocated for simply by being her infinitely talented and complicated self. I would ask her to teach me her favorite dance, her favorite song. We would speak French together. It would be dreamy.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

My parents. My dad taught me to dream big and never let anyone stop me. He taught me that change and adapting is the only way to live. My mom showed me how a woman can stand on her own two feet. She showed me how to have a room of my own. Without the courage to take risks and the privilege of finding a room of my own, I don’t believe I would be where I am today. Elizabeth Carlin Metz has been the greatest artistic influence in my life and I am grateful for her mentorship every day.

How is art a passion for you?

I HAVE to do it. I NEED to do it. I have to find a way to occupy my mind, to create something that I think is authentic and truthful. It’s something I’m deeply drawn to – and in love with. Collaboration is my drug. I love the work. I love the people I work with and the amazing audience that supports artists in Atlanta. Telling the stories of the South has been part of my goals since I started writing as a teenager. I am proud to get the chance to do this work.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
I think we have a lot of growing to do. Systemic bias is still a driving force in our society and in our workforce. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and challenges to address the deeper issues. I am deeply inspired by the leaders that are pushing initiatives forward to feature and hire women, but we can do more. I think there needs to be a special emphasis on hiring women of color and people who identify as lgbtqia.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
New work is the cornerstone of this community. It is cherished and upheld. Risks are taken. It’s pretty incredible to see. There’s a lot of exploration in the work done here.

The queer art world is pretty big and bold. Low budget, high budget, performance art, drag, dance, aeria, etc.l – you can find it all. I love Atlanta. I love how we celebrate our Southern culture and find that place for ourselves. It’s empowering.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
New stories, artists that have confidence in their voices, equity and inclusion in all facets of what we do, a perception shift in the moderation of dialogue, and of course, new work!

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?

                                                                            Facebook: Working Title Playwrights

Leading Lady : Heather Infantry

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to introduce the Next Leading Lady for March 2019: Heather Infantry 

Leading Lady – Heather Infantry

Where do you work and what do you do?
I am Executive Director of Generator, a nonprofit start-up whose mission is to bring people together to generate ideas that shape the future of cities.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
It started with a 7th grade drama class. I was such a shy kid, it opened me up. When it came time to apply for college, pursuing a theater degree was the only thing that made sense. Art has been central to life personally and professionally ever since.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?
I come from a line of educators, so teaching was something I always gravitated towards.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
I’d want to have a conversation with Queen Nanny of the Jamaican Maroons on the repercussions of slavery throughout the diaspora.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Art, music, literature, theatre and film/tv have and continue to produce profound epiphanies that shape and guide my life. Second to that is my husband who is always there to listen to my ever evolving understanding of my place and duty in the  world.

How is art a passion for you?
I wouldn’t say it is a passion. I would say it is like oxygen. I do not understand myself or the world around me without art.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
I think we need more time at leadership to determine what it should look like for us (as women). I think too often we replicate the examples of men because they have always dominated the industry. What are our instincts? What skills do we bring that are uniquely us? How will the sector shift as a result of leaning into a more women-centric culture? These are the questions I ask myself constantly.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
Atlanta is here for the taking. From the moment I arrived, the city has pulsated with an energy that produces art that is deeply soulful and intimate. It’s southern charm and hospitality combined with our legacy of civil rights and relative affordability attracts passionate creative entrepreneurs and as a result distinguishes us as a critical market.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
I want my work to elevate the importance of black identity and expression and advance the prosperity of black artists/creatives and black led organizations.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?

IG: @generatoratl

Leading Lady – Ibi Owolabi

Atlanta has a strong and growing creative economy. Everyday, we meet women who are on the ground working to break down barriers, build community, inspire, inform, and entertain the people of Atlanta through the arts.

For National Women’s History Month in March, C4 Atlanta will be curating a Leading Lady blog series celebrating the women in the creative economy of Greater Atlanta. Over the last several weeks, we have asked the public to nominate women in the creative sector who inspire and have positively impacted the Atlanta community through their contributions. 

We are proud to Introduce Our First Leading Lady for March 2019: Ibi Owolabi

Headshot of Ibi Where do you work and what do you do?
I am a freelance director here in Atlanta. I work on several film projects and on plays in town at wonderful theaters like 7Stages in Little 5 and the Alliance in Midtown.

When and how did you first become interested in the arts? How long have you been in your line of work?
I’ve loved the arts my entire life, before it because an option as a career, it was just my imagination and lots and lots of books, giving me lots of different lives and adventures. I’ve been formally directing since I was about eighteen, so eight years.

What did you want to be or think you were going to be when you grew up?

I used to think I would be a pediatrician, because I love kids and I’m Nigerian, so medicine is kind of the default. Unfortunately, I was introduced to chemistry in high school and medicine and I parted ways. I did find theatre in high school, however, and the love has stayed strong.

If you could have lunch with any woman from history who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Octavia Butler. I’d love to talk sci fi and incorporating POC into the genre with a woman who founded so much of it. Octavia existed in an timeline with even less women of color in the genre and flourished despite it. A glimpse into her wildly creative mind would be great.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
However cliche, my mom. I can’t even quantify how much her strength and intelligence shaped me. Watching her step through adversity, seeing her build and own her own business for almost twenty years made the idea of being self made second nature to me. Her pride in being black and an immigrant infused me with the same pride and love for who I am, even when my career forces me to look inward and take some personal hits. I am so grateful for her.

How is art a passion for you?
I am a firm believer that there is no life without art. There is no history, no foundation without art. And there within lies my passion. Art is life changing and vital to who I am and what I want to leave behind. More than leave behind, but what I want to build and Forster the growth of. There is no limit to what can sprout from a creative mind. And that is a thrilling thing.

What are your thoughts on equality and the representation of women in the creative workforce?
With everything that has happened in the last couple of years, surrounding pay inequality, the MeToo movement, and the choking over saturation of arts by white men, I have to say this: hire women. Just women. Until we figure all of this out. It may sound radical, but I believe to offset the waves of toxicity and stale ideas making major companies circle the drain, hire women and pay them what they are truly worth. And I do not think anyone should call themselves any kind of ally if they are not completely transparent with what they are being paid, even if they are not completely sure the women they work with are being paid less. I do not think anyone should feel comfortable working in a space that is not 50% women, and the work to progress an artistic space does not stop once a white woman is hired. I’ve enjoyed much of my professional work, and I can say with complete confidence that women enhance every creative experience I’ve had, and deserve to be in every room.

What most excites you about the arts in Atlanta?
The most exciting thing about Atlanta’s art is the huge shift that is happening right now. I love how many new companies and new works are churning through the city, and how much of it I get to do.

What do you hope to contribute to the Atlanta arts community with the work you do?
My passion is new plays, and I hope that Atlanta will continue to gain national attention for the new work we are putting out. I hope through our work, more will be produced and Atlanta will thrive as a city that puts on amazing new and classic plays.

Where can I learn more about your organization/business and work (websites, social media, etc.)?

Instagram – @yungdirector



Meet our New Community Liaison

This last Sunday, C4 Atlanta’s board met to discuss a number of operational things and whatnots. Normal business stuff for a non-profit. However, we did spend some time discussing recent issues within the Atlanta arts community. These issues have ranged from sexual harassment, to racist comments, to problematic power dynamics. From this discussion, the staff and board felt that it is very important that we remain transparent and open. Here are two steps that came from our discussion:

  1. The Board appointed a board member to serve as a community liaison. This board member is not part of the executive committee nor is this person on staff. Please welcome local artist, Lauren Pallotta Stumberg as C4’s new Community Liaison.
  2. The second action is to host a member meeting this summer. This will take place at the top of fiscal year 2020. We will discuss member news at the top of the meeting and then open up the rest of the meeting to non-members for a community lunch. We are hoping to invite a special guest speaker for the member portion of the meeting. This time will be an opportunity for members and non-members to ask questions, give feedback, tell us about their challenges, and to also tell us about their hopes and vision for our city. We do plan to host a community forum this Spring. This is not the same as a member meeting that will now occur annually.

I am sincerely humbled by C4’s trust in me to represent the organization as its Arts Community Liaison. This position demonstrates C4’s dedication to servicing members of our arts community not just as entrepreneurs and advocates, but as complex human beings who deserve safe space to be seen and heard. I take this new responsibility very seriously; much of my work in the arts is about connecting community, advocating for women and amplifying voices. Let’s keep listening.

– Lauren Pallotta Stumberg

Lauren (middle) with other artists in Atlanta

More about the Community Liaison and why we created this position…

C4 Atlanta, like so many nonprofits, is not super flush with cash. We cover our bills and other financial obligations but that leaves little left over to say, employ an HR Director. While we have an employee handbook and a Governance Committee, we don’t have an HR department.

The Community Liaison is a board member. Lauren has been on our board for several years now. However, the Executive Director (my position) tends to work more closely with the organization’s executive leadership: board chair, vice chair, treasurer, and secretary. Someone who wants to be able to approach our organization should feel welcome to do so. Lauren will be available to listen to anyone who has a grievance. She will report back to the other board members for advice (and as an obligation) on the next appropriate actions should there be a complaint. Lauren’s information will be available on our site shortly.

Also, we will be adding at least one of two more community liaisons to our board. Our goal is to have multiple types of representation. Our board is not very big right now and about 4 members serve on as Executive Officers with 2 others who are founders. The board will be working on recruitment between now and June 30 (end of our fiscal year).

This isn’t going to change the world, but we hope it will at least help keep the stewards of the organization accountable, open, and responsible.

Wanna learn more about Lauren? 

Visit her site: http://www.thinkgreatly.com

Lauren’s email: Lauren@thinkgreatly.com

Lauren Pallota Stumberg

2019 Leading Ladies Nominations are Now Open!

C4 Atlanta is proud to announce that nominations for our 5th Annual Leading Ladies in the Arts Blog Series are now open! Each year during Women’s History Month, C4 Atlanta looks to recognize the women making extraordinary contributions to the Atlanta arts community.

Nominations are open to any femme-identifying persons in all artistic disciplines, including arts technicians and administrators. You can nominate yourself or another artist. Nominations may also be made anonymously, if preferred. Once nominated, each nominee will be sent information about completing their blog submission for the series.

The deadline to submit a nomination is March 15, 2019. 

Look for blogs to be released on a rolling basis throughout the month as they are submitted.

Click Here to Nominate a Leading Lady


5 Places All Artists Can Find Support for Their Work

So…you’re looking for some places to find money/jobs/grants/work? Where can you even go to research and get started?

It can be confusing to find calls, auditions and other spots for artists’ work. And like many young performers, in my early days of working I wrote off looking for grants and residencies because I didn’t think the accepted applications from artists like me. That simply isn’t true. There are opportunities to fund your work in every artistic discipline, if you know where to look.

Here’s some of our favorite places for artists to find more work (or ways to fund it!):

  1. Opportunity Arts: A local platform for artists in the Greater Atlanta area.

    Opportunity Arts – If you haven’t already checked out C4 Atlanta’s new opportunity board, you add it to your bookmarks immediately. Listings change daily, with upcoming jobs, contract work, RFPs, auditions, grants and more. Listings are also referenced by artistic discipline and opportunity type. Currently free to list and always free for artists to browse. Looking for a space for an upcoming show? Check out the “Spaces” button, which links to Spacefinder Georgia, where you can search for spaces by location, size, event type and budget.

  2.  Foundation Center AtlantaThe Foundation Center Directory Online is an incredible database of grant opportunities. If you search their database from your house, you have to pay a fee. However, Atlantans are incredibly fortunate to have a local chapter of the Foundation Center in Downtown. If you visit the Center, you can use the Directory for free from their office, as well as access other available online fundraising tools. Additionally, the Foundation Center offers classes and training about fundraising, so it’s worth checking out their training calendar of upcoming programs, too.
  3. CAFE (Call for Entries) – CAFE lists calls from all over the world. You can find lots of listings for awards, upcoming grants, and public art in particular. Though the platform is probably already familiar to those looking to find opportunities for public visual art, performing artists and artists of other disciplines can also find plenty of opportunities for grants, residencies and other opportunities to make or fund work. CAFE allows you to upload your own artist portfolio and submit to opportunities directly through the platform. This makes it easier to submit to more opportunities.
  4. Creative Capital – Creative Capital publishes a new list of artist opportunity deadlines every two months. Additionally, there are links to other directories of artist residencies and opportunity boards. There’s always a wide variety of listings among all artist genres, with hyper local opportunities to international calls.  Creative Capital also provides training for artists through in person and online opportunities. Creative Capital also awards their own grant every two years with awards up to $50,000 of support.
  5. Your Local Municipality’s Facebook (or other social media) Page – Ok, this is a little vague. But depending on where you live, your local arts council may be sharing lots of other calls online through Facebook. Georgia Council for the Arts, Fulton County Arts and Culture, Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and many others all share calls for artists on their Facebook pages regularly. Often, calls are also shared through their monthly email newsletters, too. Like and Follow your town, county or other local arts council’s social media to get access to what their sharing.

There are other spots you can look to for finding funds. Feel free to share you favorites with us!

Lastly, if you’re looking for grant support for the first time, check out our upcoming program with Atlanta Contemporary on Saturday, January 26 from 10-12 AM called Grant Writing 101. During this workshop, we’ll cover the basics of getting started looking for grant support including gathering and preparing your grant materials, finding grantors, building a case for support and more. This is a great introduction to the grant writing process for folks who are working on their very first grant or with limited grant experience. Register Online Here.

Talk Art to Me: You’ve Got Mad Skills by Vito Leanza


Vito in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a costume he designed and built.

“Any acrobatics? Tell us more about your rope spinning.”

How many of you have gone to an audition and have been asked similar questions by the folks behind the table at your audition? For me, personally, it happens all the time.

When I first moved to New York City in 1995 to pursue a career in Musical Theatre, the buzz word flying around was “Triple Threat.” For those who don’t know what that means, it refers to being a Singer, Dancer and Actor. What more could Producers and Directors want? That was the whole package!

Back then (and still true today) many dancers, were strictly dancers, some could sing, but their forte was dance. They were known as Dancers who
sing. Singers on the other hand, same scenario, were Singers who could dance or Singers Who Move Well. No one really asked you if you could act, they just assumed you could. They would know more if they handed you sides to study.

In todays competitive world of Musical Theatre, Film and Television, its almost demanded that we have a special skill to make us stand out, to land that role. This is true especially in Musical Theatre where shows are much more flashy, technical and exciting! Take the recent revival of Pippin! You get the picture? Our special skills are just as important as our singing/dancing and acting lessons.

Before I found my way into musical theatre, I just happen to have many special skills. I learned because I was interested in them, not because I needed them for my resume. Here’s my list of special skills that I love to rattle off to folks for fun, but they are all true.

I am a Singer/Dancer/Actor/ Acrobat/Puppeteer/Stilt Walker/Unicyclist/
Juggler/Improv Actor/Writer/Costume Designer. In fact at one point, below
my special skills on my resume, I was bold and wrote “Creative Beyond

Vito as an acrobat in Joseph and the
Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

I learned all these skills bit by bit as time went by. I learned how to ride a unicycle at age 9 because a unicycle club came and performed at my elementary school. As a kid, I was also a springboard diver. I competed in high school and was a scholarship athlete in college. I had always been acrobatic and one day, while hanging around my church gym, I took those diving skills and transferred them into tumbling skills, which lead me to being a Varsity Cheerleader for 3 years. After college, I worked at Walt Disney World where I learned how to be a puppeteer and stilt walker, which were jobs within my job as a character performer and dancer. Eventually that lead me to dance classes and Musical Theatre.

When I moved to NYC and had a real resume, I would be at auditions and the producers would glance down and look at my special skills and almost always ask about my acrobatics. In fact, I got 90% of my jobs because of my special skills.

In 1997, I auditioned for the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I went in and sang and they asked me to return for a call back. Before I walked away, something compelled me to speak up about being an acrobat. It’s important that when you have the opportunity to sell what makes you unique, you do it! The folks behind the table lit up and said when I returned for my callback, I could tumble for them. The next day at the dance call, they asked me to tumble and I did a few tricks for them. I got the job and spent 15 months on the road.

I am now in the Atlanta Gay Mens Chorus and currently working at Stone Mountain Park during their Pumpkin Festival. I was called in to audition at Stone Mountain Park after I was seen at Unifieds. I was asked to prepare a comedic monologue and a song. I did my monologue then sang my song. They (and there were 4 folks behind the table that day) looked down at my special skills and began to ask about each special skill one by one. One director literally said “Stop, I didn’t hear a word after you said Costume Designer.” He was still trying to process that when the others where already asking about my circus skills and my puppeteering. Clearly I got the job. But I actually got 3 separate jobs from that one audition. I was hired as a Puppeteer, an Improv Actor and a Costume Designer. Here’s the kicker, I am also riding my Unicycle in a parade as well as Juggling. 5 skills utilized!

Life is a journey. We learn new things that lead us to other new things. As performers, we have a world of opportunity to learn new special skills.
Atlanta has more and more quality theaters opening all the time, plus more tv shows and movies filming here. I encourage you to seek out a
Puppeteering class, an acrobatics/tumbling class, a circus skills class. Make yourself more marketable. There’s a reason it’s called a Play.

Vito holding a Shrek Dragon Puppet that he made.

Connect with Vito:

Email: vitoworld@yahoo.com
Website: http://vitoworldproductions.com/

Talk Art to Me: Dancers – 5 Things To Do Today to Keep You Injury Free By Yenwen Kuo

The notion of a high injury rate in dancers has been established within the dance medicine community. An injury can be devastating to a dancer, whether you are in a full-time dancer in a company, a freelance artist who is always hustling and on the run, a pre-professional student, or a vocational dancer. Injury prevention has been a top priority in dance science research.

 Here are five ways based on scientific research to help dancers stay healthy and injury free (as much as possible):

  1. A proper warm-up.

         It’s a no-brainer, and I’m sure everyone knows this one. However, not everybody does their warm-up correctly. The goal of the warm-up is to prepare your body for the activity that you are about to do both physically and mentally. 

We want to increase our core temperature, the flow of the synovial fluid in the joints, and prepare the muscle for the movements that you will be doing. A good example would be doing some jumping jacks or running in place to get your heart rate up, then mobilizing joints from a small and control manner and gradually increase to larger movements. Last but not least is dynamic stretching, which you would move through a challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly, usually 10 to 12 times.

    While you are doing the warm-up, you should also mentally prepare yourself to focus on the upcoming dance activity, whether it is an audition, a class, or a performance. A distracted mind could also be a contributing factor to an injury.

    So dancers: sitting in a split on a cold floor as the first thing you do and playing your phone doesn’t count a warm-up.

  1. Cool-down after dancing.

      Very often after classes, rehearsals or performances, we pack our bags and rush off to the next place. I get it, you are tired or have places to be. However, a cool-down after dancing helps prevents lactic acid from building up in the muscle and you will be less likely to experience Delay Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) the next day. It is also the best time for you to do static stretching if increasing flexibility is one of your goals. Be sure to avoid prolonged stretching more than 20 minutes.

    Start practicing cool-down if time allows and your body will thank you. To find out more info on stretching, check out, the resource paper “Stretching for Dancers” by International Dance Medicine and Science.

  1. Eat and Hydrate.

    Dancers are artistic athletes. Dancing is a physically demanding activity and fueling a dancing body requires a delicate balance with dancers’ busy schedules. Also, for the younger dancers who are still growing, a healthy balanced diet is even more critical for them. The energy in a dancer’s diet should be composed of about 55%-60% carbohydrates, 12%-15% proteins, and 20%-30% fat.2 

    Hydration is also important. Water accounts for 60% of the total body weight, and dehydration could result in fatigue and injury. Have you heard about the pee test? A well-hydrated body will produce a moderate volume of urine that is pale in color and does not have a strong odor.2

  1. Cross-training.

     To be a well-rounded dancer you should not only take different styles of classes but also do cross-training to keep your body strong and less prone to injury. Dance classes prepare you for dance techniques, performance quality, artistic expression, and more. However, it doesn’t provide everything for a dancer to be prepared for the physical requirements. Everyone’s body is unique.

Some people may be naturally flexible and require more strength training to perform the beautiful extension. Some people lack flexibility and need a personalized program for stretching. There are many options for cross-training; you could do weight lifting, Pilates, Gyrotonic, running and more, depending on your goal. Sometimes it is difficult to prioritize which goal to tackle first. I suggest visiting a physical therapist, who specialized in performing arts medicine, to do a screening for you, and the therapist will be able to help you customized a program for you.

  1. Rest.

    Aside from dance classes, work, school work, performances, rehearsals, social life with friends and family, going to the gym to keep fit, and oh yeah, more rehearsals, who has time to rest?! A dancer’s schedule can get crazy real fast, however not having proper rest can cause adverse effects on the body. Fatigue is a result of overtraining and insufficient rest, and is one of the contributing factors to injury. When you are scheduling your day, don’t forget to schedule rest into your calendar. Your mind and body deserve some time to breathe and relax.

Connect with Yenwen:

Instagram – @yenwenkuodance


  1. Critchfield, B. (2012, February 19). Stretching for Dancers. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from https://www.iadms.org/page/353
  2. Challis, J., Stevens, A., & Wilson, M. (2016, May). Nutrition Resource Paper. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from https://www.iadms.org/page/RPnutrition
  3. Simmel, L., & Michael, J. (2014). Dance medicine in practice anatomy, injury prevention, training. London: Routledge.
  4. Edel, Q., Rafferty, S., & Tomlinson, C. (2015). Safe Dance Practice. Human Kinetics.



Talk Art to Me: Writing A Winning Proposal By Angela Bortone

The main difference between winning and losing proposals is clarity. Panel reviewers read dozens, sometimes hundreds of applications, often with a short amount of time to review each proposal. If it is unclear what your project is, what it will look like, or why it matters, then it is unlikely your project will make it to the top. This doesn’t mean you need to have everything perfectly spelled out before you’ve even started the project, but it does require giving the grant-reviewing panel a strong idea of your proposed direction.

If you were to sit down with me to brainstorm a direction for a grant proposal, after you’ve determined the general project idea and reviewed the questions, I would ask, “What’s the story here?” Each answer is an opportunity to pull the reader in through storytelling. Does the project or idea stem from a particular incident that can form a unique hook? Differentiate your project from all of the other proposals by making it as unique as you are.

What I mean by story is start with a clear idea that you build and expand. Use structure to keep your writing on topic. Remember in high school when they taught you the three paragraph essay? At the time, I honestly thought this was something I would never need to use again. I actually used to copy my introduction paragraph in the conclusion spot to make it seem like I had written more because I’ve always thought I was a slow writer. Now, I just skip the conclusion paragraph altogether for brevity. The general structure though, I use all the time. Write a conceptual thesis, and then break it down into supporting paragraphs, and then support each of those paragraphs with specific evidence.

With my collective Living Melody Collective, we use meetings to discuss personal and collective opportunities we want to pursue as well as brainstorm strategies.

What that looks like in the form of a grant proposal is a broad overview of what the project is, that becomes increasingly more specific as you write. Supporting paragraphs can expand what it will look like, how you will make it, and even connect your theme to contemporary events. I’m of the opinion that every sentence of your proposal should be purposeful, focused point. If you go in too many directions, trying to nail down every possible interpretation, you risk clarity and possibly the readers interest.

It is better to write it simply, the way you would explain it to a complete stranger, than it is to is to veer into vague art speak. Then elevate your proposal with a dash of poetic language used sparingly for feeling. Ask your peers to describe your work and then keep that language in a document “word bank” that you can refer to when writing proposals for that added flair.

Once you have a solid project written out, look for ways to expand projects by re-using said applications. I call this recycling, and I do it because it’s sustainable. For example, if you get the a project funded, then perhaps look for a residency that can provide the studio space and solitude to get it done. Finding multiple streams of income is not only financially responsible, it’s a good way to be productive and efficient. I keep everything I’ve written in a searchable repository like Google Docs or Evernote for this purpose.

Here’s the entire collective on site with our most recent project, painting a school bus for the upcoming midterm elections. From left to right: Angela Davis Johnson, Haylee Anne, Jessica Caldas, Angela Bortone and Danielle Deadwyler.

Connect with me:

Instagram: @angela_bortone

New Voter Engagement Initiative Using Art

C4 Atlanta collaborates with local artists to encourage people to vote in the 2018 Midterm Elections
DATE: Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Atlanta, GA – C4 Atlanta is excited to collaborate with sound artists, Meredith Kooi and Floyd Hall on Vote With Your heART, a civic engagement project designed to encourage people, especially the under-35 age group, to vote in the 2018 Midterm elections. This project is nonpartisan. Vote With Your heART is generously supported by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta through a $5,000 award from their Civic Engagement Fund. Part art project, part civic intervention, Vote With Your heART is an invitation to the citizens of Atlanta to vote on November 6, 2018.

Vote with Your heART seeks to encourage Atlanta citizens, particularly young voters, to participate in the voting process
through a simple invitation to join the process. Floyd and Meredith have captured the stories of local residents’ experiences with civic participation. Through our public art instillation and website, passersby can listen to these compelling stories from Atlantans of diverse backgrounds and points of view. The temporary installation will be located at two local universities this fall and in Woodruff Park during Atlanta Streets Alive.
During the in-person events, students and other participants are invited to record their own stories and reactions
with local artists Floyd Hall and Meredith Kooi. Participants will have the chance to share their stories inside Meredith Kooi’s Buckminster geodesic dome, known as the Bucky Dome. These stories will be broadcast over an internet radio channel during
Atlanta Streets Alive. All interviews are housed on the site c4atlanta.org/voteart
Additionally, research tell us that many people do not participate in the voting process because no one asked them. C4 Atlanta will be literally inviting people to participate in their community through voting. Designer and printmaker Lennie Gray Mowris is designing an actual handmade letterpress invitation to be a part of our democratic process.

“The website serves as a repository for stories about voting and civic engagement,” said Jessyca Holland, C4’s Executive Director. “But it also serves as a place where anyone in Georgia with internet access can learn about voter registration, polling location, and it links to information about the candidates. By setting up the listening dome we hope to engage with as many people as possible. Maybe this project will give us better insight into how people in Georgia feel the  political process.”
Vote With Your heART web address:https://c4atlanta.org/voteart
Atlanta Streets Alive – Activity PartnerWoodruff Park, Downtown September 30, 2018 Free & Open to the public
About C4 Atlanta:
C4 Atlanta Inc. is a non-profit arts service organization whose mission is to connect arts entrepreneurs to the people, skills and tools they need to build a successful artistic career in metro Atlanta. The organization was founded in July 2010 in response to a growing need for business services for Atlanta’s arts community. C4 Atlanta fulfills this mission by offering professional practice classes for artists, fiscal sponsorship, co-working space, and advocacy for arts workers. C4 Atlanta’s program offerings are geared toward creating a new foundation of sustainability for arts and culture in the Atlanta region. For more information, visit c4atlanta.org.