Day Ten – artists and civic dialogue

Posted in Uncategorized | April 8, 2011 | by emilyharney | (1) Comment

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MAPP’s relationship with Samita Sinha goes several years to when she began working with Sekou Sundiata on the 51st (dream) state and its multi-faceted community engagement component, The America Project.

Now, we are lucky to have her as our Lead Artist Partner on The People’s Potlucks, a new program which continues Sundiata’s America Project methodology in a series of artist-led dinner conversations that explore– through personal stories, group readings, creative activities and honest dialogue– the idea of living as citizens of conscience in an interconnected, global society.

Our long and continuously evolving relationship with Samita demonstrates our commitment to long-term engagement with artists as well as our belief in artists as important voices in civic culture.

If you believe in the value of creative process and public engagement in service to imagination, civic dialogue and critical citizenship, please support the MAPP Artist Challenge.  Every little bit counts!

Day Nine – the value of artists

Posted in Uncategorized | April 7, 2011 | by emilyharney | Leave a Comment

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For the Urban Institute’s 2006 study, Investing in Creativity: A Study of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists, citizens across the country were asked whether they valued art. While an impressive 96% of respondents said art is essential to their lives, astoundingly, only 27% indicated that they value artists.

This disconnect is caused in part by our society’s tendency to commodify art, putting an overriding emphasis on product, rather than creative process. There is scant understanding of the rigorous day-to-day work of artists, and the physical, mental, emotional and financial demands of artistic creation, which require vulnerability and resilience. Without knowledge of the education and expertise that contemporary artists bring to their work, the public does not see them as cultural thinkers, workers and leaders. Without a sense of artists as visionaries and activists, the public places little value in the societal insights, new perspectives, and community vitality that artists contribute. Nor are artists recognized for the complexity of their lives, for in addition to making art, they are often small business owners and educators as well.

MAPP, in all its programs, aims to address this disconnect. If you support ARTISTS as well as art, please donate to the MAPP Artist Challenge.

Day Seven – Listening to the new voices

Posted in Uncategorized | April 5, 2011 | by emilyharney | Leave a Comment

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Chinaka Hodge, Associate Program Director of Youth Speaks and frequent collaborator of Marc Bamuthi Joseph, is an emphatic young voice in poetry and theater.  She says:

“MAPP’s tireless efforts to put on new work from risk-taking artists inspires me to be bold in the theater I write. I’m not yet a MAPP artist, but have already benefitted from their vision, as both an audience member and a collaborating partner. They set an exciting, unprecedented standard in the work they present and represent — creating paths to artistic success where there were none.”

Like we inspire her to be bold, she too is an inspiration to youth to raise their voices.  Reminds me of a project we did in collaboration with Marc Bamuthi Joseph, filmmaker Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi,  Hip Hop Theater Festival and Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School two years ago called break/s beyond the ballot. These messages still carry weight today.


Day Six – toward a more cognizant humanity

Posted in Uncategorized | April 4, 2011 | by emilyharney | Leave a Comment

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Bora Yoon, an experimental multi-instrumentalist, composer and performer who was a member of the cast of  Sekou Sundiata’s 51st (dream) state, says:

“As a cross-disciplinary artist, I am inspired by MAPP’s remarkable dedication to bringing together, presenting, and producing ground-breaking hybrid artists and works.  Their commitment to artists and work that dares to cross boundaries is remarkable:  building cultural bridges worldwide from the ground-up; creating a platform that is essential and vital; and encouraging the civic discourse that’s necessary for a better and more cognizant humanity.”

If you support the role of the arts in developing civically engaged communities, please join the MAPP Artist Challenge with a donation of any amount!​donate


Day Five – Our family of artists

Posted in Uncategorized | April 3, 2011 | by emilyharney | Leave a Comment

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MAPP considers its artistic family to be made up not only of the primary, originating artists that we work with, but also all of the collaborating performers, lighting, set and sound designers, composers and visual artists that come together to create a work. Not the least of those contributors are stage and company managers, whose task is an art in and of itself!

Recently, we had the good fortune to work with Kate Danziger, Stage & Company Manager on the tour of Ralph Lemon’s How Can You Stay. About MAPP, Kate says:

“After touring with Ralph Lemon and the MAPP produced How Can You Stay U.S. tour at age 27, the bar has been set very high for future work.

Ralph and the performers pushed themselves to physical and emotional extremes while exploring how to put grace, truth, and love onstage.  I could not help being moved and changed through watching them and working with them everyday for almost three months.  Now, back home, I continue to ask myself, “What next?”  “Where does one go from here?”

I am grateful that MAPP  gives artists, designers, and even managers the opportunity to investigate, to delve deeper into life’s questions, and touch hearts across the country, all in the profound experience of live performance and art.”

Your support for the MAPP Artist Challenge means we can continue to develop complex and groundbreaking international performance in collaboration with this broadly defined family of artists and create opportunities for all kinds of people to connect with powerful art.