This has been an incredible year for PS1 and you (the singular 'you' at the heart of this emails intended 'everyone') played a (major/big/significant) part in that.
As the year turns over we have been reflecting on our accomplishments (outlined briefly below) as well as looking towards the short (2016) and long-term (beyond 2018!) future of our organization. In the next couple weeks we will be touching base with an array of our constituents (in a variety of more specific, communicative forms), but for now we wrap up our 2015 dispatches with a simple letter for you all.
WHAT WE DID (some numbers, some links):
We held 19 exhibitions and art events, including all the gallery shows from Do You Belong Here? (Jan '15) to Maintenance Mode (up through Jan 23, 2016). This included the end of our 16 month project, Invisible Faces (supported by the Iowa Arts Council and National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures) and a landmark exhibition highlighting a vast array of influential PS1 artists: Post Facto Future. Along with some very exciting work from people like Zora Murff (Corrections) and Gyan Shrosbree & Surya Gied (Arranged Marriage)... we also witnessed a couple projects of our people go viral (Taylor Yocom's Guarded and Curt Oren's New Hat (and viral again?).
42 performances happened in the space. Our long-time comedy improv partners Paperback Rhino hosted a dozen of these shows and we welcomed Dreamwell Theatre for their complete 2015-2016 season. Other notable performances included Artemisa Clark's Ana Mendieta tribute There is a Devil Inside Me and Christopher Willauer's Rebellion of Strange Love.
We also held 15 music shows, 5 screenings (including a couple fantastic Headroom Screening Series events), and more than 20 other events filed miscellaneous (we'll let you ponder what most of those could be... though how could we not mention Sanstress: Processor or CrimethInc's To Change Everything tour stop?).
It's rather extraordinary to us (and believe me, we've doubled checked the numbers) that we hosted 79 workshops in 2015 (many free or low cost and including the wonderful monthly Free Generative Writing Workshop put on by Iowa City Poetry and Prompt Press), many through our community print shop, The Iowa City Press Co-op.As the ICPC enters 2016, we do so with an amazing energy and member base (we'll start 2016 with 25 more members than last year!) and a brand new schedule of Spring workshops and events (dropping in the next week or so!). If you'd like to know more about ICPC and our 2016 plans, the first member meeting of the new year is this Sunday (Jan 3 at 5:30) at our location at PS1.
We also participated and represented Iowa City in two major regional arts gatherings: Hand-in-Glove convening in the Twin Cities and ArtsLab Midwest (SD, ND, & IA) Peer Learning Community.
The rest of our schedule was filled with rehearsals, class visits (and performances!), meetings (and more meetings!) and a general sense of being the heart of Iowa City's community art scene. The space was truly enlivened this year in ways not seen in the past with a daily dose of action, dialogue, and community collisions, which manifest so many rich programs and future possibilities.
HOW IT WAS DONE:
Also in the "incredible" category is how this work was done. We operate with one (1) part-time staff person leading an astonishingly dedicated team of artists, advocates, and people dedicated to our distinctive doings. Needless to say, PS1 exists because of the incredible Iowa City community and the passion of many, many people.
Some of this energy came through in the form of supporting memberships (we're always looking for new supporting members!) some in the form of time and energy on our governing board (YES, we are our own tax-exempt, public charity now!) or gallery teams, some in the form of partnerships (both with artists and organizations), and much (oh so much!) in the form of a lively, lovely, and engaged audience. We continue to operate accessibly, welcoming local and interested people to join our gallery team, our music team, and/or our print shop. We also run an informal listserv for local public art opportunities.
As we grow both in the scope of what we can offer in resources for artists and community members in Iowa City and beyond we ask for your continued support, engagement in all forms, and presence. Our lofty goals include making PS1 a long-term downtown community art space, and we look forward to including more people in the many things we do, whether as organizers, supporters, audience members, artists/performers, or all of the above!
Too much to add in paragraph form to this already lengthy email, so I will leave you with some bullet points covering the next few weeks and the promise of so much more to come in 2016!
• Free Residency Studio Program (deadline this evening, though may be extended a couple days)
• a new Site Insight mural on our building
• A new round of Spring art exhibitions! (Apply now!)
• A few more weeks to see the excellent exhibition Maintenance Mode
• A full schedule of printmaking workshops (announced soon, stay up to date with the ICPC instagram or facebook)
• an exciting partnership with the Center for Afrofuturist Studies (so much more coming soon, including a dance party fundraiser at the Mill (save the date: Jan 28th!)
Happy New Year & long live small 'a' art in Iowa City!
ps It's the end of the year, so it would be remiss of me not to pitch you on our supporting membership. If you'd like to be added to this elite list, we welcome new members at any level (even $3 a month). All donations are tax-deductible and come with our ongoing admiration and occasionally, some homemade swag (as Curt Oren would say "stay tuned!"). Members note: you will be hearing again from us very soon as we have a small token of our appreciation coming your way with you year-end gift-giving acknowledgements...