Donkeysaddle Projects is hard to pin down. It’s an art collective and a group of organizers working locally and globally. Donkeysaddle Projects creates plays and films; its members organize events and create environments for participatory co-creating. The Donkeysaddle Projects team has experience in journalism, poetry, theater, community organizing, social justice education, and human rights activism.
It is with a mixture of sadness and profound thanks that we say farewell to Shawn Anderson and Pallavi Sharma later this month. After nearly a year of planning and preparation, Shawn and Pallavi will be departing Fractured Atlas on August 31 to pursue new opportunities and new challenges. With their departure, the four-person shared, non-hierarchical leadership team will become a two-person leadership team. Lauren Ruffin and Tim Cynova will stay on in their co-CEO roles, continuing to guide the organization and engaging in the exploration of new structures of leadership and decision-making begun several years ago.
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When you set out as an artist to answer the question, "How do I make art?" there is a whole host of funding and labor considerations you may not initially consider. Supplies funding, as well as management of the business aspects of an artist's work, can prove cumbersome and overwhelming. They can also seem far removed from your true mission of creating your actual art. But there are many options out there to provide artist help and support you on your path.
If you’re like us, you’ve been getting a lot of emails from companies across the spectrum that are announcing changes to their privacy policies to be in compliance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Because this regulation was initiated by the European Union, most of the companies are obliged to update these policies by May 25th because they deliver products and services directly to users in the EU (and the UK despite their pending Brexit). The goals of the GDPR are to protect the privacy of Internet users in the EU and the UK by disclosing what data will be collected about them, how data will be used and shared, and what users can do to protect their information. A lot of companies are racing toward this deadline, and many will be working past May 25th to come into compliance.
by Colleen Hughes, Program Associate at Fractured Atlas After November 8, 2016, there were a lot of feelings circulating through the American arts sector: fear, confusion, anger, disappointment, sadness, lostness. Many people, myself included, were asking, “Where does my art and my identity as an artist fit into a USA run by our 45th president?” Well, luckily, Beth Pickens’s newest book, Your Art Will Save Your Life, is here to answer that question. I first discovered Pickens when I heard about her FREE Making Art During Fascism pamphlet, and once I learned of her book, I knew it would be an impactful one. Pickens is part counselor, part consultant for artists in Los Angeles. She began working on Your Art Will Save Your Life after November 8, 2016, as a way to support and encourage artists to keep doing what we do best: make art!
Attention artists and arts organizations across New York State: the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) has posted guidelines for its 2019 funding cycle! Before I share Fractured Atlas’s timeline, let’s go over some important details about the application process and eligibility: The application is made up of three major parts: 1) a Sponsored Request Form (SRF), 2) Grants Gateway project and budget information, and 3) supporting materials. Fractured Atlas must submit all documents on behalf of our fiscally sponsored projects through our own Grants Gateway portal, so we appreciate you adhering to our internal timeline to give us time to review your materials thoroughly and submit them on your behalf. Due to the volume of requests we handle every year, Fractured Atlas fiscally sponsored projects will only be permitted to submit one application (regardless of NSYCA’s two-request limit). If you applied in the Individual Artist category (IND) last year, you must sit out this year. Your grant application must be for activities that take place between January 1 — December 31, 2019. Applying for a NYSCA grant is a multi-step process.
Our AlterConf Contingent Fractured Atlas’s offices are in New York City, but most of our software development team works remotely. So, while we see each other during conference calls and chat on a daily basis, the on-site and remote staff don’t often get the chance to hang out in person. But when there’s an opportunity to hang out and talk about social justice? Sign us up! Last month, members of our Product, Engineering, and People teams got the chance to attend AlterConf NYC, a conference focused on marginalized people and those who support them in the tech and gaming industries. (As of September 2017, they have conferences coming up in Australia, Oregon, and San Francisco — check ’em out.) What got you excited about going to AlterConf NYC? Tasha Jones, Software Developer I had attended AlterConf in Washington, D.C., in the past and it was amazing. I couldn’t pass up on a second opportunity to experience it. Selena Juneau-Vogel, Director of Product Management Tasha! She was so excited about it, I just went with her recommendation. Also, I was excited to meet Angelique in person for the first time. Angelique Weger, Senior UX Engineer I went to AlterConf DC last year and still reference some of the great talks from that event. Plus, I was jazzed there was enough interest across our company that I would be able to attend with and meet coworkers! What aspects of the conference environment or setup impressed you the most? Marcus Swift, Product Management Specialist The organizers made a thoughtful effort to make sure the event was accessible to as many people as possible. They had conference rooms set up for people to take a break if they needed one, childcare was available, sign language interpreters were present, and talks had thorough content warnings. What blew me away the most, though, was the open captioning/live transcribing of the talks on two displays above the stage. At first, the speed of the captioning was disorienting. But, as someone who watches a lot of shows with closed captioning, I really appreciated them being there, along with the stenographer’s skill in transcribing the talk for everyone to read it. Tasha Jones The organizers provided attendees with multi-colored slips of paper to indicate our level of interest in social interaction. A green paper was used to indicate that you’re happy to speak with anyone, while the yellow indicated a preference for interacting with people who you already know, and the red paper indicated that you need space. As a person who swings pretty dramatically from feeling social to feeling like I need to have some personal time, I’d really love to see these at other conferences in the future. I definitely saw attendees and speakers taking advantage of these as a tool for nonverbal communication. What were your biggest takeaways from the presenters at AlterConf? Selena Juneau-Vogel Over the span of several presentations, I started to hear a theme I’m calling “how might we adjust so everyone can contribute?” A talk called “Design Ethics: Inclusivity in the Design Process” made me think: how can we adjust our software development process to include more perspectives without slowing down our commitment to agile and iterative deployment too much? A talk called “Low Spoons Leadership” introduced me to “Spoon Theory,” and made me think: how can we better adjust for one another’s emotional and physical capacity? And a talk called “Integrating Family & Career: Ensuring Women’s Dreams Continue to Take Flight After Motherhood” included a striking comparison: the hormones produced during pregnancy are more intense and span a shorter period of time than those produced during puberty. This reality impacts many pregnant individuals’ decision-making capacity. The speaker was pregnant herself, and was by no means suggesting that we take away or discount pregnant people’s decision making. Instead, she is working to develop AI technology to help pregnant people feel confident making their own decisions throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. Also, attendees pointed out that people other than cis-gendered women can be pregnant. So, what’s the takeaway here? Maybe it’s only awareness at this stage, but there’s so much more we can do to accept ourselves and our colleagues as humans, while also respecting their varied contributions. Angelique Weger I was very impressed by the talks that specifically addressed issues of poverty, illness, and disability within tech communities and teams, not just as people or issues tech can help/address. I hope the broader tech community engages with those topics. Also, Seán Hanson gave a talk on “Quiet Developers” that really helped gel a lot of thoughts I’d been having about who is visible in the tech communities I participate in, and at the conferences I attend. I expect I’ll be referencing his talk for months to come. Tasha Jones So many of the talks were really amazing. Seán Hanson’s talk on “Quiet Developers” was full of really valuable perspective that I didn’t have before. I recommend reading his blog post on the topic. Also, as a person who accidentally volunteers herself for things WAY too much, Emily Metcalfe’s talk on “Low-Spoons Leadership” was really helpful. I definitely feel like I had something to take away from every talk there, and I’m so grateful to each of the speakers for their time. AlterConf timed nicely with the eclipse, too. Marcus Swift Christine Bryant-Ryback gave a talk titled “Standing Desks and Free Pizza: Body Image Negotiations in Tech Spaces” that offered so much to consider about navigating body image in the workplace. The talk ranged from how “all bodies are good” philosophies can be unintentionally exclusive to people who may have legitimate reasons for finding their bodies problematic, to making sure that office wellness programs are optional and offer ways of including everyone in the office— taking into account both visible and invisible disabilities. Katriel Paige’s presentation on “The Privilege of Making” raised great questions about the intersection of space, making, and privilege. How do we ensure makerspaces are equitable and affordable? What are the gendered and socio-economic implications of terms like “making,” “crafting,” and “DIY?” How does the value of time and leisure factor into class in tech? As online shopping makes tech and other goods cheaper, are we leaving people behind who can’t access goods at cheaper prices because it’s not feasible or safe to have packages shipped to them? I know I’ll be thinking about these questions for a long time. What other conferences or events are you excited about attending this year? Selena Juneau-Vogel In a few weeks, I’m headed to San Jose for my first Women in Product conference. Also, our VP of Engineering and I are submitting presentation proposals to a few tech conferences coming up. We’re excited to talk about the product+engineering team process we’ve developed and be inspired from others to keep improving. Be sure to follow us to hear more. Tasha Jones I’m excited to be speaking at Windy City Rails in September, which will be extra fun since a couple members of our team will be meeting up there. Our team is fully remote, so it’s pretty exciting when we get to see each other in 3D. If you’re at Windy City Rails, be sure to say hi!
Poetry and its unique use of language are how some of us make sense of the world and our place in it. It’s how some of us got through our turbulent adolescence. And for some of us, it just reminds us of high school English class, trying to find some meaning in the words to write a coherent essay before the bell rings. No matter your relationship with poetry, we’ve all been touched by that perfect phrase, that perfect rhyme, and that perfect cadence. Poetry is vital to culture, both now and throughout history, and we at Fractured Atlas are thrilled to celebrate it in April with National Poetry Month. Periodically throughout the rest of the month, we’ll be sharing some of the poems that are important to us and even some that we’ve composed ourselves! So, whether you’re a poet yourself or haven’t thought about Poetry since school, check back in every once in a while this April to possibly find your next favorite poem and learn more about us as people in the process. Be sure to follow us on Instagram to get them in your feed as soon as they’re posted.
Five arts groups that are as creative in the rehearsal room as the board room 2017 Arts Entrepreneurship Awards Honorees: The Black List, Hire Notes, Gigsy, Southern Theater, Opera Vireo This past year saw new paradigms for defining entrepreneurship in the arts and culture sector, and we had an amazing group of nominees. We are excited to honor these five organizations whose experimentation and innovation in the field truly stood out. Whether its elevating Hollywood’s unproduced hidden gems, helping musicians get booked and get paid, solving New Orleans’s digital media needs by training the next generation of media artists, bringing the content bundling model to the performing arts, or creating an new genre of opera by embracing online television… these organizations are each in their own way using cutting edge solutions to deliver their messages.