2013 was a busy year for us at Artist Reformation. We finished all of the stories for “The Long Road Home: Aging Out of Foster Care” project we have been working on with Salaam Garage. We moved offices from Rene Garzona’s second bedroom to Kevin Klevjer’s garage. We filmed, edited, and posted 47 These Faces videos. We got a weekly rhythm of posting new blogs going and now have nine writers contributing. We have seen our community grow, expanding into multiple states. People getting married, and children being born has been a consistent theme this last year. We have a regular weekly Bible study now, as well as a twice a month themed potluck event, in which we get to hang out and enjoy each other and listen to all the things going on in our lives. It has been a blessing to gather regularly just for community's sake.
We also took a break from a few projects we have been working on consistently, namely, Surrender Dance, and Art from the Streets (a project we will be continuing next month through our partnership with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission). We have also slowed our partnership with The Be Side, but we are hopeful that we might get more involved soon. Additionally, Joel Fariss stepped down from the board of directors which now consists of Dave Carter, Natalie St. Martin, and Jeff Bettger.
2014 has a ton of new things already in the works. It looks to be a promising new year. Cole and Luz Bratcher are joining the board of directors, and we have a few other people who are interested as well. As a result, our board is growing, making it more dynamic and diverse than it ever has been. We hope to have a retreat once we get all of the new board members solidified.
We have started a few new projects and partnerships that will be taking off this next year. Here are a few highlights. We are working with the Overflow Project and Sam Stubblefield on an art instillation that is in conjunction with the Overflow Project’s clean water campaign. We are shooting to have an opening to show the work at the campaign launch Easter weekend.
We began working on a modern dance piece about a woman who survives a life of sex trafficking and ends up getting out of that lifestyle. We are working on the piece with the non-profit REST|Real Escape from the Sex Trade. REST is helping us get an accurate picture of what that life is like and all the complexities around exiting that sort of lifestyle. The artists we are working with to execute this project are dance troupe DASSdance, musicians in the band Suffering and the Hideous Thieves, and film maker duo Dana Jill, and Irene Yung. We are shooting to perform it this fall. We will also be launching a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds needed for executing this kind of event in the next few months.
Another project we began working on is a video arts zine called Technicolour Noise. A great director, Vincenzo Fratarola, pitched this idea and we jumped at the chance to work with him on it. We hope to launch the first episode by March.
We plan on our ongoing projects taking some strides this year as well. Our goal is to have 100 These Faces videos posted this year. We are partnering with Art Institute of Seattle to have an art exhibition for “The Long Road Home: Aging out of Foster Care” project we have been working on with Salaam Garage. This will also include a fund raising campaign so we can print and frame the photos and present the entire body of work in gallery form. We hope from this initial showing that we can get more exhibits of the work in galleries, coffee shops, churches, and wherever it would be a good fit to show.
We are revisiting Art from the Streets and trying to solidify some new volunteers and get it going again. We took a break from it for the fall to give the volunteers who worked so hard on it a break and figure out some new rhythms to the program to enhance its reach and diversify the relationships we have with the community at UGM and pioneer square. There are a few more things in the works that could come together this year that we will gladly tell you about when and if they do.
In addition to our projects, two other big items we are working on right now is looking for a new space in which we could work, create, gather, eat meals, and study together. We are also looking to apply for a grant that would make sense for us and that would help expedite our 501(c)(3) approval process as the IRS is backed up. If you know of anything or have any ideas that might help in either of these ventures, please let us know.
Thanks so much to all of you for being a part of our community.