From Worker to Resident
Samuel Kacala has been working with the Milwaukee nonprofit Arts@Large for years as an educator in music and now he’s been selected for the 2022-2023 Artist-in-Residence program. As a musician himself, Kacala said this residency is a chance for Milwaukee artists to gain the support they need.
“There’s so much talent in Milwaukee that are itching for these types of opportunities,” said Kacala.
Every artist in the program will receive access to studio space at the community center for three months, up to $10,000 in compensation, and more.
Six artists were selected for this year’s cohort based on the artist’s proposed vision for their residency, along with how they would interpret one of the Arts@Large Cornerstones: Technology and Innovation, Eco-Literacy, Peacemaking, and Civil Rights.
The exhibits and cornerstones rotate every quarter.
Kacala, Catalina Bayona, Jazelynn Goudy, Jovanny Hernandez Caballero, Ava Hager, and Cedar Becher make up this year’s cohort.
Arts@Large Instructional Designer and AIR Program Lead Jeff Zimpel said the organization tries to provide as many access points for artists to thrive. He also noted that the employees are all artists themselves; CEO Sean Kiebzak is a drummer.
“We know what it feels like to be in that long-term hustle,” said Zimpel.
A part of Arts@Large’s mission is to make the arts accessible for all.
Connecting the Community to Art
During the residency, artists are encouraged to spend a minimum of five hours a week in the space working on their practice. The artists also lead community and school-based field trips, master classes, and workshops.
“This residency is one of the highest-paying artist opportunities in the city. This matters to revitalizing Milwaukee’s art and creative economies,” said Kiebzak in a press release.
This year’s cohort starts with Kacala who is focusing on tech and innovation through music. Kacala’s residency has multiple components including a “wall of sound”, live performances, and community recording sessions.
He said the city needs more programs like these that provide funding and wrap-around support other than “for exposure” opportunities organizations often offer to artists.
Ruth Foundation for the Arts
The 2022-2023 Arts-in-Residence exhibits will run until June 2023.
According to the Journal Sentinel, Arts@Large is a recent grant recipient of the new Milwaukee-based Ruth Foundation for the Arts. The Ruth fund launched with an endowment of $440 million and recently announced an initial round of giving totaling $1.25 million, with grants of $10,000 to $50,000 to 78 nonprofit arts organizations around the country.
Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.