City Council Meeting

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Meeting Date: 01/04/2022  
Submitted For: Kathy Jones Contact: Brandon Wright, City Manager

Presentation and discussion of artist awardees and projects from the Art Commission's DeSoto Artist Lab grant process
Following the City Council’s 2021 adoption of Imagine DeSoto – A Cultural Plan for the City of DeSoto, the DeSoto Arts Commission affirmed the following goals and commitments toward implementing the City’s Cultural Plan: to strengthen DeSoto's creative capacity by providing its residents with diverse opportunities to meaningfully engage with the arts; to develop the capacity and stability of DeSoto-based artists and organizations to create, perform, and present works of artistic excellence and innovation through organizational support and program funding; and to create an environment that supports individual artists, organizations, and other entities in the creation, performance, and presentation of high-quality works of art. The DeSoto Arts Commission employs a variety of methods to effectively and efficiently deploy City resources that provide accessible arts and cultural services to the resident and visiting community. The DeSoto Arts Commission, under the guidance of the City Council, provides support annually to local artists, area non-profit arts organizations, and creative entrepreneurs through a competitive granting process in four categories designed to enable the growth and development of strong arts and cultural system. 
The DeSoto Arts Commission is pleased to announce the finalists for one of those four grant programs, the DeSoto Artists Lab.  The DeSoto Artists Lab (DAL) is a pilot program, designed as a collaborative effort between City Council, the DeSoto Arts Commission, and City departments that identifies artists who will work together with City staff and community partners to co-design a residency that will culminate in at least six distinct projects. The DAL encourages artists and communities to collaborate at the intersection of community building, art, and creative expression while exploring new ways to utilize and animate public spaces. Artists will be in residence for five to six months working in public facilities, community centers, parks, and private spaces that are open to the general public. Residencies may include, but are not limited to, dance, choral/instrumental music, spoken word, visual arts, technology, environmental art, music, and theater. They will focus on children, teens, young adults, and/or seniors depending on the interests and needs of the community. Each residency will conclude with an onsite celebratory event, which can take the form of a performance, exhibition, project unveiling, or community festival. The DeSoto Arts Commission is pleased to announce that the following artists will be offered residencies in the DeSoto Artists Lab:
  • Felicia Fischer 
  • Dana Proulx-Willis
  • Carol Simmons
  • Tony Vinto
  • Michelle Pryor
  • Alexandria Morris
  • King Shakur
  • Jonathan Foster
  • Justin London
The grant disbursement for the DeSoto Artist Lab is just under $50,000. The amount provided to each individual artist is $4,600 to $5,000. Funding for the DeSoto Artist Lab comes from funds budgeted in the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund. 
This agenda item is being presented for discussion and feedback purposes only. No action will be taken by the City Council during the Work Session. 
Artist Lab Presentation
Artist Lab Award Plan & Budget


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