I left the world of internet startups to begin making films in 2000, just as Creative Capital was launched, and I immediately aspired to work with them; their startup-like model that provided a network of professional community and in-kind support in addition to project funding seemed like an immediately obvious, logical win. As it happened, I never pursued funding from Creative Capital for any film projects, but they kept my interest and respect. [They had it even before I was awarded an Art Writers Grant for the blog, which Creative Capital administers alongside the Warhol Foundation.]
So I was psyched to be asked to look back and write about a year of operation for their 20th anniversary–and not just because it was a chance to write for the LA Review of Books, which I also admire. But it was, and I did. And now it’s out, and you can read it.
I think my penchant for archive diving and deep reads was one of the reasons they asked me, and it was enticing to study the 38 wildly varied projects Creative Capital funded in 2005. I came to see the exceptional impact of Creative Capital in supporting a specific grouping of proposals: ambitious, genre-defying projects by somewhat unproven artists, which ended up having an outsize influence on the trajectory of those artists’ careers. The artists I focused on–filmmaker Natalie Almada and artists Liz Cohen and Pablo Helguera–all made work that I cannot imagine getting funding from any other source, and it made a difference. Kickstarter later changed the funding environment, but Creative Capital still stands out for its deep in-kind support system. But that is all a different story, and I look forward to seeing who else is going to say what else next.