YBCA Creative Dissent Fellows | Application Can we make CREATIVE DISSENT matter?
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is the Bay Area’s creative home for civic action. We believe that culture is an essential catalyst for change, and it is the responsibility of arts organizations to spur and support societal movement. The YBCA Fellows program brings together creative citizens from across the Bay Area to engage in facilitated inquiry, dialogue and project generation. This fellowship will be a joint collaboration between the California College of the Arts, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University, the University of California at Berkeley, Associación de Arte Útil and the Fellows Program at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA).

The Escuela de Arte Útil is a commissioned art project for Tania Bruguera’s survey exhibition, Talking to Power / Hablándole al Poder, organized by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Based on the model of her earlier pedagogical artwork, the Cátedra Arte de Conducta (2003–9), Bruguera and YBCA will create a new curriculum for the fellows that uses Arte Útil to address the challenges facing the market-oriented production of the art world, as well as the socio-political role of art in society.

This cohort will focus on the concept of Arte Útil, which roughly translates into English as “useful art,” while also suggesting that art can be a tool or device. Studying the shifting role of contemporary art, the fellowship will consider factors of the practice of Arte Útil such as institutional self-criticism, active hyperrealism, a-legality, reforming capital, beneficial outcomes, sustainability, intersection with other disciplines, and modes of creative collaboration. We will have weekly guest lectures and case study presentations, as well as access to ongoing Arte Útil projects in the Bay Area.

The Escuela will be divided into lectures and workshops, and will end with an exhibition of Arte Útil projects generated by the students. Classes will be taught by Bruguera and other prominent artist-educators, on topics such as systems of power and creative dissent. Classes will convene as a summer school course three times per week for four hours over the eight-week period from June 20 through August 10. Fellows will be expected to participate in the class and generate a new project that will be shown at the end of the exhibition. Enrollment in the fellowship requires familiarization with the Arte Útil archive (http://www.arte-util.org/projects/) and lexicon (http://www.arte-util.org/tools/lexicon/).

Who We’re Looking For

YBCA is interested in working with changemakers who live in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is not just an opportunity for artists; but rather, for all creative, socially inclined individuals. This is a place for makers, thinkers, and provocateurs to collaborate, research, and explore topics such as systems of power and creative dissent.

Benefits of Fellowship

· The opportunity to delve deeply into the intersection of cultural and social responsibility.
· An illuminating program of tools and ideas driven by Tania Bruguera, YBCA culture makers, and thinkers.
· Up close and personal access to world-renowned artists and lectures by: Jeanne van Heeswijk, Alistair Hudson, Debt Collective, WochenKlausur, Women on Waves, and Rick Lowe.
· The opportunity to connect and collaborate with an expanded network of Bay Area changemakers.
· A public platform for the presentation of final projects, as well as production support.
· $500 project stipend

How it Works

This cohort of Fellows will explore the question: "Can we make CREATIVE DISSENT matter?" Can art have “use” or be “useful”?

Classes will convene three times per week for 4 hours from Tuesday to Thursday, with an optional studio day for students on Fridays, and the course will last eight weeks. The intensive part of the program will start June 20 and will run until August 10; followed by monthly gatherings from September 2017-June 2018. YBCA fellows will bring a variety of experiences and perspectives to the research process. This is an environment in which all participants should be open to, at times, being both influencer and influenced. The program will introduce ideas and tools to help Fellows refine and evolve ideas.

Project Stipend

Each Fellow will be give $500 for the materialization of their project idea

How to Apply

Applications for this cohort are being accepted digitally. The application period begins Friday, March 31st, 2017 and will close at midnight PST on Monday, May 1st, 2017.

Selection Process

YBCA Fellows will be notified of their selection for this cohort group on Monday, May 22nd, 2017. Fellows will be chosen by a panel of YBCA staff and Tania Bruguera. We will select Fellows based on their responses to the application and their ability to commit to the entirety of the Fellowship program.


Creative Dissent Fellows Structure:

Course dates:
June 20– August 10
Tues-Thurs, 4-8 PM
Fri, 2-6 PM, optional critique/studio/drop in time

General course schedule:
4-5:30 PM: readings assigned by/about weekly lecturer
5:30-5:50 PM: Case study
6-8 PM: public lecture

4-5:30 PM: work time
5:30-5:50 PM: Case study
6-8 PM: work time

4-5:30 PM: work time
5:30-5:50 PM: Case study
6-8 PM: work time
8-10 PM: weekly party

2-6 PM: drop-in/studio/instructor feedback time

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