We've done it! Thanks to you all, we've surpassed our Kickstarter goal and we are well on our way to making our Headquarters dreams come true. We have until Thursday 11:08 AM CDT to keep the good vibes going, and Kourtlyn, the Court 13 Arts spokesperson, is just the person for the job. Every dollar given beyond our $68k goal will go directly to putting on our annual Always for Pleasure Festival. You can help get artists and projects to New Orleans, support performers and provide materials for makers, and help us provide staff for the whole shebang. We've now got the building, and you can help us throw the opening party! Watch our video below to learn more and hear our spokesperson's only birthday wish.
Court 13 began as a small crew of friends—filmmakers, artists, craftspeople, and builders—who were drawn to Louisiana. We had a goal to make a new kind of movie, one crafted from collaboration. The four-time Academy Award nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild was the result of those labors.
Beasts was successful because we met new people (a baker, musicians, fishermen, children) and together worked to create something beautiful. Court 13 Arts is our big effort to expand this process and grow our family. And this effort needs your help to make it happen.
Court 13 Arts, a nonprofit arts engine, will work to remove barriers to innovation, equalize access to resources, and support artistic collaborations across disciplines and identities. We are acquiring a permanent headquarters to help artists realize their ideas by facilitating creative partnerships; providing channels of support through access to exhibition spaces, materials, and tools; and creating a global platform that will bring their adventurous art directly to the public.
We envision the Court 13 Arts Headquarters as a place where connections form across disciplines; where dynamic venues showcase innovative art; where artists work, projects develop, and emerging talents gain access to opportunities and resources; and where this expanded Court 13 Arts family comes together to experience the results.
Whether you’re a local supporter or a far-flung kindred spirit, an emerging artist or a creative dabbler, or just someone who believes that the world would be a better place with more uncategorizable experiences, more astonishing places and spaces, and more art that shakes and surprises, we ask for your support. With your help, we can purchase a 25,000-square-foot property in New Orleans that will function as a permanent, non-profit-owned, artists-operated headquarters for community-based art.
WE ARE SO CLOSE!
After 12 months of fundraising, Court 13 Arts is $68,000 away from the funding we need to purchase our future home outright, with no mortgage. By fully owning the property, Court 13 Arts is shielded from more traditional development interests, affording us the freedom and flexibility to pursue our mission unfettered by financial constraints. Inspections are finished. Projects are imminent. We are ready to move in and get to work!
Now we just need hundreds of people like you to carry us to glory.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY-BASED ART?
We know first hand the creative power and wild possibility that can result from working together: not just other artists who are similar to us, but communities wholly unlike the ones we come from. We have experienced the direct path to groundbreaking art that results from working with our neighbors and engaging the deep well of artistry that surrounds us. We want to nurture collaborations between working artists and undiscovered talents.
We believe that the most spirited work comes from having active and engaged participation. As important as it is for us to develop and encourage artists, we are also committed to supporting audiences.
Our vision of community-based art has, at its foundation, year-round programming and a physical headquarters that will attract residents of New Orleans, the greater Gulf South, and beyond. It will serve as a center for adventurous art.
- Identifying artists and creatives through programming and providing the resources and opportunities needed to pursue ambitious work.
- Fostering collaboration between artists—we have a track record of nourishing and inspiring unpredictable work that is generated from the collective energy of creative people working together across disciplines.
- Providing space for artists to produce work and a space for artists to show work.
- Building a communal workshop of raw materials recycled from past projects, found objects, and existing artistic creations—a Materials Library that will offer access to supplies and dramatically reduce waste.
- Developing dynamic and unconventional venues for folks like YOU to enjoy and experience art, music, film, festivals, performances, and more.
- Creating a headquarters that is, in its own right, a work of art—not just a functioning workshop for artists, but also a creative landmark.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE HEADQUARTERS?
We have pulled off magical endeavors while headquartered in an abandoned squash court, an egg factory refrigerator, a bayou gas station, and a defunct school building. But at the end of each project, we’ve had to dismantle our workshops, sell off our tools, store or scrap our creations, and send our team scrambling until the next project is up and running.
Having a permanent headquarters is the cornerstone of realizing our mission and offering year-round support and workspaces. The prospective property, located at 2801 Franklin Avenue in New Orleans, will be accessible to the public and is situated such that it can be designed with neighborhood input and concerns in mind. The property includes nearly 12,000 square feet of indoor space and a 15,000-square-foot enclosed yard. This large and flexible space will allow Court 13 Arts to move between hosting and supporting artists-in-residence, building and fabricating for large-scale film projects, while still providing space for events, film screenings, and our annual Always for Pleasure Festival.
Here are some of the projects and initiatives we are ready to work on RIGHT NOW. Click on the link to read more details about each.
- Cinema Recycling: Waste in independent film is rampant. We will address this with a program to conserve, preserve, reuse, recycle, refurbish, and reimagine the raw materials and singular works of art that accumulate on a film set.
- Court 13 Arts Residency Program: Our residency program will seek and identify artists, performers, and makers and provide them with the resources, opportunities, and platform to develop into emerging creative talents. As a commitment to Louisiana and the Gulf South, every round of our residencies will include at least one artist who is a native resident of the Gulf South. Our residencies will push us to continue including innovative, diverse voices in our community
- Always for Pleasure Festival: Our annual November showcase, highlighting work from the preceding year of Court 13 Arts-supported programming, is a singular celebration combining elements of film and music festivals with the bacchanalian spirit of Carnival. Always for Pleasure (AFP) is our vehicle for bringing artists together and will be developed in close collaboration with the neighborhood to be a celebration that has broad appeal.
- Adventure Playground: A permanent art installation that mixes large interactive sculptures, repurposed sets from our films, alternative architecture, and urban farming. The communal space will provide opportunities for adventure and education for children and adults alike.
- An innovative model for independent filmmaking: We are developing a sustainable infrastructure for independent filmmaking outside of major film centers in New York and Los Angeles—a new paradigm for a filmmaking process that provides support for the people, materials, spaces, and art to create films as powerfully distinctive as Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Our Kickstarter rewards reflect the Court 13 Arts mission. Through collaborations with artists, we have curated a collection of homemade wonders, one-of-a-kind mementos, beautiful curiosities, and never-before-seen memorabilia from past projects.
Mega thanks go out to Lindsey Sipes for design work (lindseysipes.carbonmade.com), Cooper Rogers for illustrations (http://www.cooperrogers.com/), Terri Simon-Coleman, Theo Elizer, Collier Myerson, David Ramsey, Susan Sakash, Dacus Thompson and a gazillion others for language, and everyone else who we will continue to thank in the coming weeks.
Risks and challenges
A project of this scale involves many moving parts, and requires the participation of many people. Issues will arise we weren’t able to foresee. We’ve identified some big potential questions and are committed and ready to tackle new ones as they appear.
The most important and obvious risk is creating an entity that is in a neighborhood. The Court 13 Arts headquarters should be an asset, first and foremost, to the community in which it functions. The partnerships we form with our neighbors are every bit as important to the success of the headquarters as the physical infrastructure we build. We have a lot of work to do making these connections and creating strong and effective channels for communication, criticism, and collaboration. Until these partnerships are built, we won’t consider the renovation and construction of the headquarters complete.
We are excited to start artist residencies and large scale cinema recycling and materials sharing in 2017. These are important and ambitious parts of our vision, and will require us to organize space, budgets and time in new and unexpected ways. As part of that learning process, we are looking to inspiring examples here in New Orleans (The Green Project, Strike It Green, The Joan Mitchell Foundation) and actively soliciting advice from past partners, mentors, and folks further afield.
One of our favorite parts of the Court 13 Arts mission is that we are aiming to facilitate projects that we cannot yet imagine. The seeds we plant will grow in ways we cannot fathom. We have succeeded only if we are astonished.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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