Category: What we’re up to

C4 Atlanta Open House – Meet the Art Sale Artists

Hi friends!

We’re so excited to finally host you in our new facilitates for an open house! We can’t wait to finally welcome you into our new home at 132 Mitchell St SW!

In July 2019, C4 Atlanta moved into a new location just two blocks from our old home at 115 Martin Luther King Jr Dr SW in the M. Rich Building. This location had been home to FUSE Arts Center and the C4 Atlanta offices for nearly 7 years. Moving to a new location was something we had been planning for 2 years prior. We knew there was a need for more artist studio spaces at our new facility and more classroom spaces for our programming to grow.

After a long search, we found the perfect spot at 132 Mitchell St. And to welcome you, we’re throwing a big party to celebrate our grand opening. You can RSVP here to hang out with us in our new space on November 14, 2019.

There’s lots to celebrate, but we’re especially excited to let you know about the Art Sale we’re hosting with some of Atlanta’s best local artist talent. Work will be for sale at affordable prices just in time for the holidays. Come check out, pick up something for yourself or someone else, and get to know more about these C4 Atlanta artist members:

 

A photography piece by Davion Alston with a man holding an magnifying glass in front of his face. Davion AlstonAlston (b.1992) is a German born, Georgia native, where earth is his playground, and Atlanta is home. His exhibition and education spans from a multitude of Galleries, a handful of museums, with a BFA Georgia State University. He describes himself as an organized system of complexity, with accidental accessibility. See more of Davion’s work on Instagram at @davionalston.

 

 

 

 

A picture of a portrait painted by Angela Bortone.Angela Bortone – Angela Bortone is a Dominican-Italian painter and muralist based in the metro Atlanta region. She is also member of the artist collective Living Melody Collective. Born in the Dominican Republic, she spent nearly a decade abroad in Germany before moving to Atlanta in 2002. Her energetic works of abstract figurative realism are inspired by feelings, emotions and thoughts. Figures coexist with inky splashes that represent swirling subconscious mind.

Bortone earned a BFA in studio art from Georgia State University in 2010. Her work has been exhibited across various venues Atlanta including Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, MINT Gallery, and Whitespace Gallery and across the US. She has painted murals for the Marietta Museum of Art, the Center for Civil and Human Rights and even a painted a school bus with Living Melody Collective to promote voter engagement as a mobile civic inspiration machine. Learn more about Angela and see more of her work at angelabortone.com.

 

a piece of artwork by Rachel De Urioste

Rachel De Urioste – Rachel De Urioste is an Atlanta based multimedia artist, designer and fabricator. She works in a variety of mediums including digital design, cast resin, oils and felted wool. Her work is both playful and grotesque, exploring an imagined world of kind monsters, cynical cupcakes, and oysters with teeth.

In addition to her personal work, Rachel enjoys collaborating with individual artists and fabrication studios on a wide range of projects, including large scale puppets, costumes, miniatures, stop motion puppets, and public art installations. She loves learning new skills, and is always looking for a challenge.

 

 

A photo of a painting of hands by Krista M. Jones.

Krista M. Jones – Krista M. Jones (a.k.a. Jonesy) is an Interdisciplinary artist based in Atlanta, GA, USA. She was born to a military family in Dallas, Texas in 1973 and spent her life traveling both nationally and internationally. Jonesy has used art most of her life as a tool to express and process the human experience.

Jonesy studied Fine Art at University of Texas at Arlington and gained her BFA at Columbus State University in Photography and Painting. After taking on an internship as an Assistant Art Director she began a 13-year career in Graphic Design. Jonesy has embraced creative entrepreneurship full-time and focuses predominantly on canvas paintings and murals. She is affiliated with AIGA, Graphic Artist Guild, Alternate Roots and C4 Atlanta, where she graduated from Ignite and HATCH programs. Hatch is designed for artists working in community based public projects. Some of her clients include Atlanta BeltLine, Unscripted Way, Sustainable Wellness, Aquarius Magazine, Brandshake Creative, Precision Performance Atlanta, Expression Chiropractic, Hales Photography, Virtually Staging Properties, KGA Creative, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Third & Urban, Lake Claire Community Land Trust, MARTA, Modera Vinings, Livable Buckhead, ABV Agency, Path Foundation and Living Walls. She was a recipient of Laura Patricia Calle grant in 2017 for Living Walls in collaboration with four other women for a mural project called “In Solidarity” and assisted world-renowned artist Hopare in the creation of Atlanta’s largest mural to date. Her own murals can be seen around the Atlanta metro area and are rich with animal imagery, patterns, vibrant color and symbolism.

In her studio practice, she is currently working on a large body of work called “Pulling Light from the Darkness”. This ongoing work includes several series that focus on self-expression, gender, sexuality, empowerment, LGBTQI advocacy and intersectional feminism. This body of work focuses on human form, lighting, pose and position to express emotion and illustrate aspects of the human experience. Learn more about Krista and her work at jonesyartatl.com

 

A photo of a mixed media art piece by Michael Jones

Michael Jones – Michael Jones was born in Dallas, Texas, where he attended the famed Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts. He relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in 1994 where he received his bachelor’s degree in Painting and Sculpture from Atlanta College of Art (SCAD) in 1998. His focus was in non-objective, abstract paintings. = Newer works deals with definitions which he uses mixed medium, collage, found objects in addition he operates within interior and exterior urban spaces and honor the mundane materials that filter through our day to day lives.

My new work is driven by definitions of targets. A subject can be defined in many ways given the environment it is placed, the situation it is in, or the context in which it is used. I choose a target because it is the object at which efforts are directed. It places nouns as the aim of attack. Targets can be anything, which is why I feel the need to define them. Being an artist, I too am a target, since I represent the art that will be the subject of your criticism.

The new work is process driven. The physical act of shooting the target starts this process. I’m drawn to opposing things so the controlled randomness of the bullets traveling through the background sets the perimeters for the procedures. The gun becomes the first tool for marking or changing the surface of the target which exploits the notion of where my efforts are directed or the subject of attack. In addition found objects and mixed medium is added as a way for me to get the audience involved but letting them create their own conclusion of what they see in each target. Different pieces have themes that question one’s definition of
what or who a target is or can be. Learn more about Michael and see more of his work at letter75.com.

 

A photo of a painting names Ascension by Lauren Pallotta Stumberg.Lauren Pallotta Stumberg – Think Greatly, LLC is an art + design projects incubator led by Lauren Pallotta Stumberg – an artist, muralist, designer, illustrator and creative consultant based out of Atlanta, GA.

Lauren received a 2016/2017 Emerging Artist Award from the City of Atlanta. She serves on the board of C4 Atlanta as an artist voice as well as the Arts Community Liaison. Additionally, Lauren leads beautification efforts and community arts programming opportunities as a board member at large for Fourth Ward Neighbors Association.

Lauren is represented by dk Gallery in Marietta, GA. Inquiries to purchase her paintings and sculptures should be directed to Donna Krueger, dk@dkgallery.us.

Notable projects include the Moreland Mural Project; public art funding from the City of Atlanta, Norcross Public Art Commission, Hapeville Office of Economic Development; community art events such as Forward Warrior and Little Five Arts Alive; design work for small businesses in Atlanta and beyond; retail products at local shops such as Crafted and Sugarboo. Learn more about Lauren and see more of her work at thinkgreatly.com

 

A photo of a piece called A Moment of Transformation by Bree Stallings.Bree Stallings – Breanna “Bree” Stallings is North Carolina-native multi-media artist, illustrator, writer and activist.

Bree graduated from Queens University of Charlotte in May of 2013 with a Bachelor Degree in Studio Art and Creative Writing. She resides near uptown Charlotte where she works as a painter, illustrator and muralist. Currently, she teaches adults and children intermediate and advanced drawing and painting techniques at her studio called the Learning Lab.

Using art as her vehicle, she raises awareness for many causes that affect her life and those closest to her such as economic mobility, sexual health advocacy, displacement and homelessness and environmental consciousness.

Through the programs, curated art shows and fundraisers she has helped put on, Bree, alongside her creative team and partnerships with Project Art Aid, Behailu Academy, the Mecklenburg County Health Department, the Disappearing Frog Project, Pearls for Creative Healing and many more have helped raised over $500,000 for furthering development in Charlotte’s art and humanities scene.

Her works of art, poetry, and mixed-media collage have been covered and published in various print and online magazines including Creative Loafing, Charlotte Viewpoint, Indigo Rising, My City Magazine, MAYO, The Borgen Project, Society Charlotte, Charlotte Magazine and others.

In recent news, her partnership with the Mecklenburg County Health Department and students at Behailu Academy have provided the opportunity for 2 large-scale public art murals in designated “food deserts” to highlight the pressing issue of food insecurity in our communities. She is also an Artist As Change Agent Fellow of 2019 as sponsored by EmcArts, Artists Campaign School of 2017 Fellow as sponsored by Fractured Atlas, the 2018 GOLD Alumni Award Winner from Queens University of Charlotte and the 2017 Outstanding Leader In The Arts Award Winner from The Arts Empowerment Project.

Bree Stallings has been asked to speak, live paint, read poetry, present and facilitate workshops at the Community School of the Arts, Get Ready With Words, ImaginOn Library, C3 Lab, Blumenthal Arts and the Knight Theater, Discovery Place, the Sandra and Leon Levine Jewish Community Center, The Levine Museum of the New South, the Liberal Arts College Symposium, Industry Charlotte, the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, UNCC Higher Education Symposium, the Foundation for the Carolinas among many other private and public events. Learn more about Bree and see more of her work at breestallings.com

 

A picture of a work by Anita Stewarts called NZ Lacy Lady with Attitude. Anita Stewart – Her parents would never have guessed that the red bearded Santa in kindergarten and the art lessons at the “Y” in junior high would have lead to this. She graduated from the University of Memphis in 1977 with a major addiction to art and a minor one to art education. After moving to Atlanta in 1983, with her family, she advanced as both artist and art teacher. As an artist she achieved awards in national, international and local juried competitions. Her work has graced the walls of universities , art museums and private collectors. Her work has aired on TV on numerous occasions. Her Anita’s ArtsCool founded in 1998, was recognized as one of the “crown jewels of Buford,(Georgia).” (Gwinnett Daily Post)

Her passion is traveling and painting solo in different countries :South Africa, Italy, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Australia ..Where next? These resulted in series that sing “Celebrate the Differences”.Many of her pieces were done on site in different countries.Such a wide scope of wonderful experiences for anyone!

She has drawn,painted while sitting on the ground next to cathedrals and lemon trees in Italy.She painted in the presence of a glowing sunset in South Africa and combined it with nearby mysterious ancient rock art .She painted the emotional responses witnessed in the faces of pilgrims doing penance in Panama .She painted a life size diptyct of a little girl in Equador confronted by an iguana longer than she was tall!! .

Her latest honor was to reside in Beverley, Australia for a month as their first international artist in residence.

Patrons connect with her crazy real life stories that inspire her art. Many can’t wait to bring a piece of her international adventures into their home or business to inspire them to reach for adventure as well. Learn more about Anita and see more of her work at anitastewartgallery.com.

 

A watercolor painting of a landscape with city buildings, a river and a cruise ship.Diana Toma – Diana Toma is an award winning Romanian visual artist currently teaching and creating in Atlanta, Georgia. Influenced by the European culture in which she was raised and enriched with American flavor, her style arrived at a unique cross that blends traditional techniques in a contemporary approach.

Diana has been engaging with the art community since 1995 showcasing her work in over a hundred international group exhibitions & eight solo art shows. Holding a Master Degree in Fine Arts from the prestigious Romanian University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Diana is often invited to judge and jury art shows, and to speak on behalf of the working artist on open panels, such as The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and at The Contemporary museum in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2015 Diana became the grand prize winner of the Michaels Springtime in Paris, a national contest with over 11,000 submissions. Between 1995 and 2019 Diana won an array of awards, on state level, nationally and locally. Her artworks have been showcased in art magazines, billboards, and acquired by her county and corporations to be displayed in public spaces. Diana has recently completed a one year artist residency at Anne O Art gallery in Buckhead. Diana is the demonstration chair for Georgia Watercolor Society. Diana also teaches painting classes for adults in Atlanta area as well as at other art centers within US and abroad. Her teaching approach focuses on fast, free-flowing painting release, and creative un-blockage. Learn more about DIana and see more of her work at artbydianatoma.tumblr.com.

 

C4 Atlanta Art Sale 

Featuring works by Davion Alston, Angela Bortone, Rachel De Urioste, Krista M. Jones, Michael Jones, Lauren Pallotta Stumberg, Bree Stallings, Anita Stewart and Diana Toma

Part of C4 Atlanta’s Open House and Mural Unveiling with WarnerMedia

Thursday, November 14, 2019

6:30pm – 8:30pm

FUSE Arts Center

132 Mitchell St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303 – Third Floor

FREE, but you must RSVP

RSVP ONLINE HERE

C4 Atlanta Welcomes Sara Montijo!

We are excited to announce that C4 Atlanta has welcomed a new member to our team. Meet Sara Montijo! Sara joins the C4 Atlanta team as our new Program Assistant. Get to know our newest addition to the C4 Action Team below:

 

   

Tell us about your education!

I graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where I received an Honor’s BA. At Gallatin you don’t just go to class, write a paper, get a grade. You craft an argument wielded by curiosity. You sign up for whatever classes on whatever topics interest you. You aren’t expected to know why, you just follow some innate urge to understand. Prior to graduation, it’s required to put your class choices, urges, and ideas (however expansive, however conflicting) into coherent conversation. You make a text list, sit at a roundtable for a few hours with faculty, and argue a rationale of study while they quiz and prod you into enlightenment. Something like that.

I positioned philosophical questions about agency around possibility for healing and resistance to hegemonic formulations. I combined coursework in political science, history, creative writing, and media studies, wrote poems, studied abroad in Buenos Aires, helped lead a poetry club, and received grant funding for postgraduate exploration in multimedia storytelling. I arrived at agency—which I understand as our individual and collective ability to imagine and to make choices about our life and lives—as a starting point after realizing how much I still had to unpack regarding my father’s suicide, which happened when I was eight.

I’d also like to celebrate non-traditional education modalities:

I have learned from the service industry—how to be calm, how to be quick, how to ask questions, how to notice, how to think ahead and prioritize, how to describe complex flavors simply, how to connect. I learn everyday from the everyday. From the wind! I’m learning from repetitions of the mundane and the transcendent to enjoy life-as-process, life-as-journey. Also, my sisters!

 

Where are you originally from and why are you in Atlanta (if you aren’t originally from here)? 

I’m from Tucson, Arizona. Grew up at the base of the Catalina Mountains. Here in Atlanta due to a confluence of factors. Mainly, there’s a point around the near-decade mark living in NYC where you start to crave fresh air and quiet, living alone or nearby family, where you start to imagine that beginning again is more challenging, and possibly more rewarding, than staying.

 

What is your favorite food?

I love this question because I used to be a fabulously picky eater. Now, it’d probably be easier to give a direct answer to what foods I don’t like.

But! for favorites… I like food that satisfies, preferably food that’s been made with love and care and time and food that’s sharable. Mmmm so many international food favorites! Food that’s made (and packaged) in sustainably friendly ways is also a turn on.

Maduros is one of the foods I will never turn down.

 

Favorite Artists?

Clarice Lispector, Anne Carson, James Baldwin.

Marina Abramovic, Agnes Varda, Lola Arias.

Billie Holiday, Bon Iver, Ani DiFranco.

Mary Lacy, Rhys Tivey, Elena Mudd.

 

Favorite Quote?

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is;
nor how valuable it is;
nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly,
to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
of the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.
No artist is pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction;
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than the others.

A Letter to Agnes DeMille : Martha Graham

 

Dogs or Cats?

That’s Charlie (orange) and Jetson (black) and me (8?). We snugs together. And have our own lil language. Jetson chews cords for a living, and is ultra assertive. Charlie was a Brooklyn stray who would scurry under the bed/couch as a kitten totally afraid of everything. I’m the person who dug him out and held him til he purred. He’s now a charming lil lap cat who has learned it is very effective to wake me up in the morning by pawing my face.

 

What is C4 doing in 5 years

Fiscally sponsoring the opening of my bookstore/cafe/venue! No. But. Really.

 

Weirdest dream?

I think it’s pretty weird how often I dream about lightning, about being the cloud out of which the bolt begins.

C4 Atlanta Welcomes Morgan Carlisle!

We are excited to announce that C4 Atlanta has welcomed a new member to our team. Meet Morgan Carlisle! Morgan joins the C4 Atlanta team as our shiny new Membership Services Manager. Get to know our newest addition to the C4 Action Team below:

Morgan dancing; arms out with one knee up.

Tell us about your education!

I graduated with a degree in Dance at Kennesaw State University waaaay back in the day, but I like to think of myself as a lifelong learner. I love hands on learning and the best way is by showing up and getting those hands dirty! The past decade, I have emeshed myself in the nonprofit arts community, by serving on multiple boards and committees. I’m nosy, and ask a lot of questions, because Atlanta is constantly changing and it’s important to keep up with what’s up.

Where are you originally from and why are you in Atlanta (if you aren’t originally from here)? 

I grew up in a small rural farming town outside of Paris, Tennessee (yes, there is a Paris, Tennessee).

I’m here because Atlanta Influences Everything. Also the food.

What is your favorite food?

Nachos, chocolate chip cookies and chicken livers! Eaten separately of course!

Morgan sitting next to her husband Carlos.

Favorite Artists?

My friends. I’ll see/hear/read their works all day long.

Favorite Quote?

“Give control to gain control” and “it’s not that serious”.

Dogs or Cats?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback named Brick (aka, Brickypoo, Poobear, Poobelly or Pooberrypumpkinpie).

Dog "Brick" in a sweater, sitting in front of a bookshelf.

What is C4 doing in 5 years

Getting ready to celebrate its 15th anniversary as a thriving organization.

Weirdest dream?

I dreamt I was in a zombie apocalypse every night for 4 years straight (I no longer do that).

Morgan power posing in China making a sad face.

C4 Atlanta Forums on Power in the Arts – Part 2

A photo of Brea Heidelberg at the event.
Dr. Brea Heidelberg

C4 Atlanta is committed to the needs of a thriving arts community in our city. To that end, we’ve been working over the last few months on exploring power dynamics and distribution within our own arts ecology and within the organizational cultures of our arts organizations. Inequality in our city is well researched and well-documented. A Bloomberg study in 2018 found that Atlanta had the worst income inequality of any major city in the United States. But wealth is only one form of power. In an industry where so-called “diva” behavior is not only accepted, but even encouraged, we wanted to see what other organizational pressures and disparities our community had faced. What had Atlanta artists, arts administrators and arts organizations experienced, and what resources existed to help us create the arts environment that Atlanta deserves?

Our second part of this series focuses on our second program around power in organizational culture. On August 22, 2019, C4 Atlanta held Arts and Leadership Forum: Diversity Equity and Inclusion with Dr. Brea Heidelberg at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Dr. Heidelberg is an arts management educator, consultant, and researcher focusing on the intersection of the arts and other fields of study. She joined the Entertainment & Arts Management faculty at Temple University in 2017 and currently serves as Assistant Director of the program. Dr. Heidelberg is a respected expert in organizational culture in the arts, and a sought after speaker on this topic. We were honored to welcome her to facilitate the day’s activities. Organizational leaders and arts administrators gathered with individual artists to consider how toxic organizational culture manifests both in our organizations and in our Atlanta arts ecosystem. This program was once again presented in partnership with our friends at Alternate ROOTS. Here is a summary of what was discussed, what came out of this conversation, and what are the next steps.

Event Summary:

C4’s Executive Director, Jessyca Holland welcomed participants and set a general expectation for the overall day. Lauren Tate Baeza, Director of Exhibitions for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, shared with us more about the Center and the work they are currently doing to help ground us in place.

Jessyca then introduced Dr. Heidelberg, who both shared information and facilitated conversation throughout the day regarding how organizational culture can affect diversity, equity and inclusion goals within organizations and the Atlanta arts eco-system. Organizational culture is the values and behaviors that shape the dynamics, practices and psychology within your workplace. Organizational culture is different from organizational policy, although some organizations may have policies that help shape their culture. For instance, policies about how folks are expected to dress and what happens if they are late may shape the attitudes that folks have about their workplace. But often many aspects of organizational culture are more informally shaped by whom is in leadership and the behaviors and attitudes of those who work for the organization.

Organizational culture manifests in behaviors such whether everyone gathers in the break room to discuss a TV show, how guests in your work space are treated, and even attitudes regarding what is appropriate behavior within the organizational environment (i.e. are weekends sacred or do your co-workers email outside of work hours?). An organization’s culture can also shape who is attracted or repelled from working there. If employees do not feel welcome or respected within the organization’s culture, they may look elsewhere for a place that feels more comfortable. This can work against the stated diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of an organization, and can lead to employee turnover. Simply creating policies for greater equity isn’t enough. Dr. Heidelberg underscored that organizational culture can either undo intentions or keep us accountable.

The purpose of Dr. Heidelberg’s presentation was to provide an opportunity for arts leaders and individual artists in the community to have a place to discuss how organizational culture manifests and how we can disrupt models that work against a more equitable system. Dr. Heidelberg explained the many ways that organizational culture can manifest and what it can look like for folks to feel like outsiders within the organization. Toxic organizational culture is culture that can breed unhealthy work behavior, psychology or habits. Dr. Heidelberg mentioned that she is also a consultant for organizations looking to diagnose why their organizational strategic shifts aren’t working, and this is often related to organizational culture.

Organizational culture is strong, and individuals are the culture bearers of their organizations. It is up to individuals within the culture to be accountable for culture shifts, and this can be difficult if you are the only individual within your organization working to change the culture within. Many participants expressed stress and feelings of hopelessness when working within a culture that they felt actively stifled the changes they were trying to make within to become more equitable. Dr. Heidelberg stressed that changing inequity within the arts required both a well stocked “toolkit” of resources and a penchant for self preservation. Sometimes the appropriate response to certain situations requires nuance and finesse, while humor can sometimes more effectively convey a sensitive message. But above all, she stressed that folks not be accept being abused or taken advantage of.

Dr. Heidelberg facilitated a few group discussions throughout the day. In one, participants were asked to identify indicators of the nature of organizational culture within the Atlanta arts community. Some of the following were identified as indicators:

  • Artist and administrator pay.
  • Attitudes towards the arts.
  • Money allotted by foundations and government for arts and culture.
  • Attitudes towards individual artists.
  • Professional development opportunities available for younger arts professionals.
  • Who is involved in conversations that pertain to individual artists and to arts organizations? Who is regularly given a seat at the table, and who is never given a seat at the table?
  • Public commitment or policies for diversity, equity and inclusion with no femme-identifying senior leadership or employees of color.
  • Staff turnover rates.
  • Board leadership.

After this initial discussion, Dr. Heidelberg lead participants through an understanding of how to consider their own organizational culture. Steps to diagnose and change culture included:

 

Dr. Heidelberg stressed that policy and action plans aren’t enough. Plans are only as good as the folks within an organization that hold themselves accountable for change. Organizational culture is pervasive and stubborn. There is a REASON why that was the default culture prior to trying to shift. It’s important that EVERYONE be on board for the cultural shift. It is not one person’s job to be accountable for the organizational culture change for the entire organization, but everyone’s responsibility. Without accountability from all who experience it, previous organizational culture will not change.

To that end, Dr. Heidelberg stressed that at times that can also mean that organizational culture WILL NOT change until those who actively oppose the change or passively block change from happening end up leaving that culture.

At the end of our time together, Dr. Heidelberg asked us to come together to think about some of the aspects of organizational culture that we wanted to change within the Atlanta arts ecology and some ways to make change Some of the suggestions were:

  • Nurture and provide support for employees even if it means they may eventually leave for more pay or more opportunity at other organizations that you are not able to provide. Instead of worrying about losing good people, be the best training ground possible for administrators and artists in your community.
  • Where you can’t provide improvement in wages, provide training and other benefits. Examples: a seat at the table in important conversations, a fantastic work culture, opportunities to learn new skills, etc.
  • Pay people a livable wage.
  • Create standard procedures for exit interviews conducted by staff who are not in supervisory roles over the person leaving. Make exit interviews a part of your culture and a way to learn more about the reasons why people leave your organization.
  • If you haven’t done so already, create procedures for complaints.
  • As an individual, document complaints or problems in work culture that drive you to leave for your predecessor and yourself. You can share these with those who come after you to share the burden of responsibility for change with them. Additionally, you can also choose to keep this for yourself to document what you are not willing to tolerate moving forward.
  • Refuse requests to operate in an inequitable way, and explain your choice to your colleagues should they request that you do so.
  • Know what tool is appropriate to point out toxic behavior when necessary. Sometimes a hammer is necessary, and sometimes humor is necessary.
  • Take care of yourself and your needs.

Thanks to all who attended!

Photos by Krista M Jones

A picture of the crowd at the event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C4 Atlanta Celebrates the 2nd Annual Spark Awards!

WOW. We just finished up our second year celebrating local artists at the C4 Atlanta Spark Awards yesterday, April 17, 2019. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Midtown in the Georgia Ballroom.

For those of you that came out to support our mission, know that we cannot do this work without you! We love you and we know you love artists.

If you missed it, check out these awesome event photos below by the talented Cindy Brown.

Thank you to all of the local artists and arts groups that participated: Tasha LaRae, Soul Food Cypher, Havoc Movement Company, Kimberly Binns, and the artists of TILA Studios who’s gorgeous work was displayed in our registration space at the event. All of the artists that participated in this event with us, including our event photographer, have been a part of programming offered by our organization. We’re really proud of their accomplishments with their individual arts businesses and we expect great things from all of them.

Jessyca Holland, our Executive Director, announced that we are fundraising for our new space at the event. If you’d like to be a part of our legacy at 132 Mitchell by adding your name to an artist paintbrush or pallette, you can donate online here.

Thanks to all of our sponsors, friends, table sponsors and event vendors that made this event and our pre-event cocktail hour possible: Crown Plaza Atlanta Midtown, ChooseATL, Atlanta Downtown, City of Atlanta Department of City Planning, Whitespace Gallery, Provenance Media, Chef Melissa Allen Foltz, Specialty Wines Georgia, Synchronicity Theatre, Dad’s Garage, The Bitter Southerner, Binders, Blick, Alternate Roots, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts and Janke Studios.

Please feel free to comment below if you would like to share your experience at the event!

 

Board Members and Volunteers help make this event possible! Our Board Co-chair Ashley Walden Davis and Volunteer Yun Bai make sure everyone gets checked in.
Board Members and Volunteers help make this event possible! Our Board Co-chair Ashley Walden Davis and Volunteer Yun Bai make sure everyone gets checked in.

 

Board Co-Chair Shannon Price chats with local artists about their work during registration.

 

Vocalist Tasha LaRae dazzles the crowd with her performance.
Vocalist Tasha LaRae dazzles the crowd with her performance. Tasha is an internationally renowned singer, songwriter and vocal coach.

 

2019 Artist Champion of the Year Katherine Dirga of the MARTA Artbound program shows off her award. The awards were created by local glass artist Matt Janke, of Janke Studios.

 

Eyedrum Board Member Grace King enjoys the entertainment.
Eyedrum Board Member Grace King enjoys the entertainment.

 

Mistress of Ceremonies Odetta MacLeish-White reminds participants why donating to C4’s mission is so important.

 

 

Performers Havoc Movement company are pumped about the festivities!
Performers Havoc Movement Company are pumped about the festivities!

 

Havoc Movement Company excites the crowd by sharing a new work in progress. The performers first demonstrated their rehearsal process and then performed the piece in it’s entirety.

 

Keynote Speaker Jamie Bennett shares why artists are an essential part of every community.
Keynote Speaker Jamie Bennett shares why artists are an essential part of every community.

 

The crowd goes wild as we announce that we met our fundraising goal for Text-to-Give!
The crowd goes wild as we announce that we met our fundraising goal for Text-to-Give!

 

C4 Atlanta Executive Director Jessyca Holland shares a joke about Futurama to educate folks about how professional artists are viewed by the public in the City of Atlanta.
C4 Atlanta Executive Director Jessyca Holland shares a joke about Futurama to educate folks about how professional artists are viewed by the public in the City of Atlanta.

 

MCs from Soul Food Cypher close out the afternoon.
MCs from Soul Food Cypher close out the afternoon.

 

Soul Food Cypher uses their "Nice Bars" rap battle format to complement attendees and performers.
Soul Food Cypher uses their “Nice Bars” rap battle format to complement attendees and performers.
2019 Arts Entrepreneur of the Year Daniel Flores accepts his award.
2019 Arts Entrepreneur of the Year Daniel Flores accepts his award.

 

And that’s a wrap! See you all next year for the 2020 Spark Awards Luncheon.

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

C4 Atlanta Welcomes Somalia Ra-min

Somalia Ra-min
Somalia Ra-min

We are excited to announce that C4 Atlanta has welcomed a new member to our team. Meet Somalia Ra-min! Somalia joins the C4 Atlanta team as Administrative Assistant to the Membership and Education programs.  Though still early in her arts career, Somalia is already killing it as a performing artist in Atlanta. Get to know our newest addition to the C4 Action Team below:

 

Tell us about your education!

Performing in the cast of Six Flags’ “Because It’s Christmas”

I’m currently a senior at Spelman College, studying Women’s Studies with a concentration in performing arts. I’ve been involved in the performing arts since I was in elementary school. My areas of training include voice, dance, and drama. Some of the highlights of my career include performing back up for Jazz Vocalist Kathleen Bertrand, performing in Six Flags Over Georgia theater shows, and performing at the 2017 Taste of Soul music festival.

Where are you originally from and why are you in Atlanta (if you aren’t originally from here)? 

I’m originally from Jersey City, New Jersey but I grew up in Lithonia, Georgia. I’m in Atlanta because the majority of my family lives here, I attend college here, and Atlanta influences everything!

Performing backup for jazz vocalist Kathleen Bertrand.

What is your favorite food?

Any type of southern comfort food!

Dre the Cat enjoying some down time with his mom.

Favorite Artists?

Jill Scott, Nao, Marvin Gaye, Maxwell, Erykah Badu, and Beyonce.

Favorite Quote?

I will experience many defeats in life but I will never be defeated.

 Dogs or Cats?

I have a cat named Dre!

What is C4 doing in 5 years

In 5 years C4 Atlanta will be throwing it’s first conference, creating a platform to spread the knowledge to a wider audience and to showcase the art of  their passionate members.

Weirdest dream?

That I lived a life with no bills lol.

In concert at the Music Room.
In concert at the Music Room.

 

Fireside Chats: Artists Thrive!

C4 Atlanta’s work has always been focused on the needs of the arts worker to carve out a career in Atlanta. Beyond skill and talent, there is a lot necessary to sustain a career as an artist, arts technician or administrator. Our scope of service has been based on providing a platform accessible to any artist of skills, resources, and tools for professional development regardless of educational level, previous experience, discipline or demographics.

This is a constant conversation in our office: what do artists need, and how are they receiving it (or not receiving it) in Atlanta? Recently, we’ve been focused on the way that our organization is able to connect artists to causes, issues and resources. Our advocacy efforts over the last year focused on the Presidential and Local elections have centered on providing more connectivity and access between our community to policy makers and the community systems that influence how, where, and why we are able to work. As we’ve worked over the last year on this specific initiative, we’ve seen how this work has been beneficial to artists in other, unexpected ways. We’ve seen culture workers who would not know each other otherwise as collaborators and activists for causes and visions of change.

We’d like to continue and incubate these connections to grow and flourish, without agenda or expectation that we are “here to get it done” – in an hour and a half. While we always wish to move the needle toward goals and ideals that can help the creatives in this city have stronger careers, sometimes, idea sharing, a chance at greater understanding and place to congregate is the most important tool we could provide. In this way, our goal is to provide the tools and get out of the way to allow artists to organically utilize them in a way that is most beneficial to their own goals.

With this in mind, we present our newest initiative: Fireside Chats. Fireside Chats are essentially a series of conversations, lead by the issues identified by artists as most important and in need of discussion. Our goal here is not to promise problem solving – though if consensus was reached or an action agreed upon, great. Rather, we are focusing on curating a space where artists can talk about things that they care about or that affect them, learn and share with other artists and have a space to meet one another. We plan to hold these conversations monthly in our space. And while we don’t promise to solve all of our issues in an hour and a half, we do promise to provide snacks!

C4 Atlanta held the first of these conversations on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Our future goal is to theme the discussions based on topics chosen by attendees at previous Fireside Chats. But for this first conversation, we decided to focus on a national initiative for organizations that work with artists to measure whether their operations help artists to flourish or quit: Artists Thrive.

Artists Thrive includes a website with a rubric measurement tool of both artists and organizations that work with artists. Visit artiststhrive.org to learn more.

Artists Thrive is a national initiative, organized by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, researched and crafted by a leadership team from across the United States. C4 Atlanta’s own Executive Director was part of the leadership team and recently helped with an unveiling of these tools and resources at a summit in Berea, Kentucky this fall.

At the Fireside Chat, Jessyca Holland shared the goals of the leadership team and invited participating artists and arts workers to share their thoughts about what needs they had and their impression of the Artists Thrive tools.

Before we showed local artists the tool, we asked, “what do you need in Atlanta to thrive”? Here is what they said:

  • Time – artists need collaborating entities to understand how much time in really takes for the production of art. This is not a time-management issue. It is a communication issue between artist and contractor/patron/employer. Artists need time for the full cycle of creation and production.
  • Money – we got into a discussion about value and price but the conversation seemed to center around the need for money to support (once again) the full cycle of creation and production–not just output. For example: grants that fund process as well as product (yes, we know that word but language is hard).
  • Fair wage for fair time.
  • Vocabulary to be able to express fair value.
  • Transparency.
  • Relationship building opportunities.
  • Peer networks.
  • Shared vision with those who work with artists. An understanding of expectations.
  • Capacity resources.
  • Greater tolerance for risk – allow artists to create interesting work that pushes thought and/or boundaries. An environment that fosters innovation and new works.
  • More supporters.
Artists thrive
Artists discuss fair wage, time, and other resources they need to thrive.

We also asked artists about topics they would like to discuss at future fireside chats. Here’s what they said:

  • Artists & Developers – space
  • Artists as tools of gentrification
  • Artists at the table
  • Artists as freelancers
  • Entertainment vs. design vs. fine art vs. folk art
  • Tangible value vs. intangible value
  • Art as a public good. Is art for everyone?

What else? Email us at actionteam@c4atlanta.org with your ideas!

C4 Membership Drive

C4 Atlanta is please to announce our launch of the 2017 Member Drive.


Lisa Pellegrino shares: “I am a C4 Atlanta member because staying in touch with my artistic side is deeply important to becoming the best version of myself. Thanks to C4 not only do i have health insurance through the KP bridge program, but I also gained the skills and confidence to launch my website for my craft pesto sauce business.” {Image credit: Familiar Roots Photography}

Between now and June 30, 2017 C4 Atlanta has a goal of adding 50 new artist members to our creative family. 

Through our membership program C4 Atlanta connects artists through classes and member gatherings, amplifies artistic voices through advocacy work, and fosters a thriving and healthy arts community.

C4 Atlanta memberships help keep our training classes affordable for all, and insure that we can continue to provide vital services and programs to our community.

Membership begin at only $40 for the year and include many different benefits such as access to apply to KP Bridge health insurance, discounts to C4 Atlanta classes, cross membership with Fractured Atlas and so much more. See the full list of benefits here

Consider a membership for yourself or for a creative friend today!

Already a member of C4 Atlanta? Then help us by sharing your testimonials here.

 

 

First Amendment Rights with Georgia Lawyers for the Arts

Street musician with guitar
Image by artist Coffee.

In Atlanta, there has been a lot of interest lately in art in the public realm. What is and is not allowed in the public sphere has been brought further to the forefront as the interest in public art, political art, and performance in public space grows.

I would be remiss not to mention several very visible controversies over an artist’s rights to freedom of expression lately that prompted an interest in sharing this topic. One of the most well known examples in the city are the two murals painted in South Atlanta by international artists Hyuro and Roti that sparked interest in Atlanta’s mural art permitting process in Atlanta. C4 staff also learned anecdotally through our personal circles of musicians arrested for playing in public spaces. And within the last month, artist Kyle Brooks (Black Cat Tips) posted an account on his blog of the citations he received as a result of displaying his own work on his privately owned property. All three of these instances deal with artistic expression in the public right of way and in some way relate to the artist’s ability to exercise freedom of expression.

For artists confronted with these issues, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA) is a tremendous resource.  If you aren’t familiar, GLA provides everything from general education on issues of relevance to artists to low/no cost legal council for artists. They are an incredible resource to the artistic community, and one that every artist should know about.

C4 Atlanta recently partnered with GLA to offer a free workshop to the arts community around First Amendment Rights when working in the public right of way. GLA Executive Director Meredith Raigins, Esq., and Director of Operations Matthew Goings, Esq. presented the free workshop at 7 Stages Theatre on May 9, 2017. The contents of the presentation are available for download in the PDF below. Additionally, we have included other helpful links for more information.

Download 1st Amendment Rights Presentation by Georgia Lawyers for the Arts

**Disclaimer: The resources provided are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal council. They should not be viewed as a substitute to working with an attorney or law professional.

Additional helpful links:

Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Information (includes information on permitting for public art)

A Guide to the Visual Artists’ Rights Act (VARA)