Grin City Collective
How is the project operated?
Grin City Collective is a program of the Grinnell Area Arts Council, a 501(c)(3).
How long has it been in existence?
7 years. The program began in 2006 as a 1-month residency in the summer. In 2011, it expanded to include a Spring and Summer session as well.
What was your motivation?
Grin City Collective began as an artist residency that supports emerging artists. It has since expanded to work with artists at all stages of their careers with a focus on collaboration and community outreach.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
2: Co-directors Joe Lacina and Molly Rideout.
How are programs funded?
Private contributions, grants, business sponsorships and program fees (residents pay $100/week to be in residence).
Who is responsible for the programming?
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
3 residency sessions: Spring (6 weeks) Summer (2 x 4 weeks), Fall (6 weeks).
What kind of events are usually organized?
During each residency there are an assortment of events including pop-up galleries, readings, performances, weekly potlucks, and fundraisers. Artists participate in community outreach 3 afternoons/week.
How is your programming determined?
Grin City is an artist residency and volunteer corps dedicated to fostering new types of creative thinking. Programming consists of our residency program and outreach projects that connect the artists to the local rural community.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Artists can apply for any of our 3 residency sessions.
See our website for more information.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
We combine contemporary visual art, performance art, writing and music with agriculture, service work and collaboration with artists and non-artists alike. We look for artists who are interested in social practice art and engaging in interdisciplinary conversations. If your goal is to disappear into your studio until your residency is over, Grin City is not for you.
What’s working? What’s not working?
Artists are genuinely interested in our melding of agriculture, art and outreach, and word is spreading! We had 6 applications for Fall 2012, 25 for Spring 2013 and 65 for Summer 2013. Meanwhile, we are still stabilizing funding streams and trying to figure out how we can pay our staff.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
Engagement with the community in one of the most crucial aspects of Grin City. Artists participate in community outreach 3 afternoons a week. This can take the form of public events, teaching workshops, working in our CSA garden, or doing odd projects needed in the community. Every Friday, Grin City opens its doors to the community for a potluck and open studio. We strive to make our residency and the projects we do as public as possible. We are not a retreat residency and it’s important that the community is as involved in the residency as the residency is in the community
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
What aren’t we excited about? We are doing so many cool new things. Building our first portable “Nano Hut” studio; doubling our residency capacity (studio expansions set for completion by the end of 2013). It’s always great to see what type of collaborative projects emerge from each group of artists. We’re especially excited about our ½ acre organic CSA garden, which the artists work in in exchange for a CSA share.
Images courtesy of Grin City Collective.
Sarrita Hunn is the managing editor and co-founder of Temporary Art Review. Over the last decade, she has worked with many artist-run and alternative spaces and projects across the globe including recently at Koh-i-noor (Copenhagen, Denmark) with sponsorship from the Danish Arts Council. www.sarritahunn.com