Fellowship – Art Cart: Saving the Legacy

Posted: May 26, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Fellowship – Art Cart: Saving the Legacy

Art Cart: Saving the Legacy is an intergenerational arts legacy project that connects aging professional artists with teams of advanced students to undertake the preparation and preservation of their creative work, offering both groups an educational experience that will help shape the future of our cultural legacy (See the 12-minute film at www.creativeaging.org/artcart).

Art Cart addresses these challenges by providing aging professional visual artists with direct, hands-on support and guidance to manage and preserve their life’s work, and by providing students with an intergenerational, educational experience and mentorship in the preservation of artistic legacy. Over the course of an academic year, teams of students in arts, health and aging, each working with a single visual artist, document a substantial number of works – collecting both high-quality digital images as well as relevant historical, biographical, and artistic background information, including an oral history and a life review.

We are creating a sustainable model to bring this expanding, vital project to the national consciousness, and to anchor it in communities where the prototype can be expanded both in person and online, reaching thousands of artists, while retaining the experiential learning, the personal experience and the inter-generational, inter-disciplinary, inter-professional focus.

As the only institution of its kind in the country dedicated to collecting systematic information and data on individual living artists, The Research Center for Arts and Culture is uniquely prepared to undertake this essential effort. Founded and resident at Columbia University for 26 years, it relocated to the National Center for Creative Aging in 2011. With its current data on over 200 aging artists and 30 years of cumulative data on artists of all disciplines and ages, the RCAC has collective information to help justify and determine artists’ needs, and a substantial platform of existing partnerships and resources on which to build. Please see www.creativeaging.org/rcac to know more about us.

How do I get selected for the Art Cart Program?

You fill out and return the fellows’ eligibility survey and submit a resume. Please contact Joan Jeffri for the eligibility survey. The general requirements are listed on the survey. Then an in-person interview will be scheduled to which you will bring the name and contact information of your advisor.  Once your advisor provides the necessary approvals, if you are accepted, your acceptance letter will ask you to sign your commitment from September 2015-May 2016.

Is there a stipend?

It is up to each individual school as to whether fellows are paid for their work in the spring semester, when they are documenting the artists’ work. The student MUST register for each semester. The amount of credits is to be determined by the student’s home school advisor with the student, using existing Fieldwork, Independent Study, Practicum, Internship courses.

What is the fellow’s involvement in hours?

In the fall of 2015, 20 fellows in NYC and 20 fellows in DC will participate in a 15-week, 30-hour course to learn principles of working in teams with aging artists, learning oral history techniques, documentation software, working with a partner in another discipline, one visual artist age 62+ and the visual artist’s working partner to create an environmental studio safety assessment and a plan for documentation that will take place in the spring of 2016. There will also be exercises for the fellows to get to know each other and their classmates. There may also be a public forum.

In spring 2016, the fellow will spend 4 hours a week (including travel) for 15 weeks at the artist’s studio documenting work together and participate in approximately 3 class sessions at the beginning, middle and end of the semester. The artist and the artist’s partner must be in the studio to work together during these times. The exact schedule is worked out among the 4 team members. There may also be a public forum.

What is the expectation of the fall 2015 course?

The role of the student fellows is to work closely with the artist and the artist’s partner to select and document work, to find a theme with the artist and conduct an oral history around this theme, and to develop a continuity plan so the artist can continue to document work long after the project ends. This is a team effort with joint responsibility for learning the software, documenting the work, appreciating the artist’s life review. No member of the team is working “for” any other member.

What is the role of the student fellows?

The role of the student fellows is to work closely with the artist and the artist’s partner to select and document work, to find a theme and conduct an oral history around this theme, and to develop a continuity plan so the artist can continue to document work long after the project ends. This is a team effort with joint responsibility for learning the software, documenting the work, appreciating the artist’s life review. No member of the team is working “for” any other member. The best model is when all 4 team members learn the documentation and rotate tasks. It is also advisable for the team to start each documentation session after spending 10-15 minutes deciding together the plan for that day’s work.

For more information, visit the Research Center for Arts and Culture website: http://artsandcultureresearch.org/