Fostering Creativity: Artistic Residencies at The Cultch

Here at The Cultch, we’re all about fostering creativity. Whether it’s music, theatre or dance on our stages, or visual art in our gallery, we want to see artists succeed and do what we can to give them a hand. Of course, one of the greatest ways we help by seeking out incredible local, national and international shows that we know our audience will love. But we also do a lot behind the scenes as well.

What a lot of people don’t know is that we offer residencies to performing artists in our local community. Residencies at The Cultch offer artists free rehearsal space – often in our Vancity Culture Lab – to focus on developing a project they are working on.

At The Cultch, our residency program is quite informal. Contemporary performing artists from the community get in touch with Executive Director Heather Redfern by sending her an outline of their proposed project. Heather then looks at their proposal and if it piques her interest, she sets up a meeting with the artist to take a deeper look at the intended project.

Each residency e is different depending on the needs of the performer and the work they are creating. Sometimes the residency lasts only for a week. Other times they can be several weeks spread over the course of a few years. Whether it’s dance, theatre, music or any other genre, The Cultch is happy to support a wide range of different art forms.

This coming season we have artists Marie Clements, Tara Cheyenne Performance, Alley Theatre, Blackbird Theatre, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Pound of Flesh Theatre and Carmen Aguirre (Nightswimming & Neworld Theatre) participating in Cultch artistic residencies.

Right now it’s Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg: dancer, choreographer, actor and what Heather calls an all around “imaginative genius”. Known for blending her love of theatre and dance in performances that are often simultaneously tragic and downright hilarious, Tara makes a major contribution to the Vancouver artistic community. How could we not be there to support her as well?

At the end of the day,  The Cultch offers artistic residencies to local artists  to foster performances, especially if they come from a local artist. We want to give these shows a chance to become even better so that we can one day turn around and give back to the community by presenting them on our stages.

In fact, Tara’s new work, based on what she is currently workshopping here while in residence, will be performed in The Cultch’s 12/13 season. Watch for an interview with Tara in an upcoming post on The Cultch blog!

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