Nashville Cultural Arts Project is an artist-run organization that supports and promotes the visual arts by developing meaningful exhibitions and connections among disparate artists and art networks nationwide.
Feel free to review some feedback from the community you help support when you give to NCAP and Seed Space. Visit seedspace.org to read our letters of support.
NCAP was founded in 2000 as a 501c3 organization to bring together new ideas in art, architecture, and environmentalism to reinvent and revitalize the once-blighted North Nashville area of Germantown in Nashville, Tennessee.
Since that time NCAP has expanded to sponsoring to arts websites; providing free/low cost space to other non profits; hosting an international lecture series; curating, presenting and traveling art exhibits; publishing exhibition catalogs and brochures; opening a space for artists, writers and curators; organizing a visiting critic/curator program; and collaborating with other non-profits to expand marketing efforts. NCAP supports two part time staff members and 4 interns annually.
In 2000, NCAP’s three-year long “Outta Site!” lecture series brought globally prominent artists and architects to Nashville to connect and educate the local community about international art and design movements and to discuss issues of urban planning with an emphasis on art. 2005-2010, NCAP sponsored and maintained NAA, a website designed to provide a means for area artists to connect with visiting artists, critics and and curators. In 2007 NCAP began curating art exhibitions for travel, including “TAKE CARE: Biomedical Ethics for the Twenty-First Century,” for which we received funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Elizabeth Graham Foundation for an exhibition catalog. In 2008 NCAP launched www.n-cap.org, to promote our past three years of behind-the-scenes work and become more visible to the art community worldwide. In 2008 NAA, with help from NCAP, organized a city-wide tour of artist studios. In 2009 NCAP presented ART MAKES PLACE, a year long program commissioning art for public spaces that actively encourage partnership between artists and the community. That program culminated in an exhibition and catalog documenting the project. In 2010 NCAP opened Seed Space, an exhibition space for artists, writers and curators. That year NCAP also updated the Outta Site lecture series with “Insight? Outta Site!”, a participatory forum that connects nationally and internationally known critic curators with the local arts community on a personal level.
NCAP has many for and non-profit partners and has received funding and support from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and Vanderbilt University.
By exhibiting outstanding new works of promising emerging artists along with artists with international recognition, NCAP brings attention to the excellence of contemporary artwork taking place in Tennessee. As part of this effort, NCAP runs a number of programs.
NCAP has partnered with such organizations as the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville Public Library, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Oasis Center, Nashville Artists Coalition, Nashville Civic Design Center, Scarritt Bennett Center, Vanderbilt, Lipscomb, the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville and TN Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
NCAP has encountered many successes in our programs including Outta Site!, NAA, TAKE CARE, Seed Space, ART MAKES PLACE and Insight? Outta Site! Our challenge is to not grow too fast, to take on only programs we feel passionate about and that we can financially and physically support. We would benefit from a PR arm for our organization and are working toward that goal. I volunteer for NCAP because I am a passionate believer in the idea that cultural growth leads to a better city with more positive opportunities for all its citizens.
NCAP is unique in that it has very little overhead as our facilities, utilities and much of our equipment is donated. Therefore, we are able to be extremely nimble and create only the programs we feel passionate about. Our small organization uniquely contributes to the overall cultural health of our community by placing an emphasis on how artists can help engage with our community and encourage its cultural and economic growth.
Seed Space is a lab for site-specific installation, sculpture, and performance-based art that brings attention to the excellence, diversity, and interest in contemporary art in Tennessee. Seed Space commissions artists, curators and writers for six solo and four group exhibits per year. Seed Space promotes that work with a website, catalog and brochures featuring exhibition images and critical texts by emerging and nationally recognized critic/curators. Through these means, we aim to foster an exchange between a growing network of local and national artistic communities, which we believe is one of the best ways to support the careers of emerging artists.
Perhaps our best strength at Seed Space is connecting people. By pairing emerging with nationally and internationally known artists, writers and curators for our five exhibits per year, Seed Space facilitates a much needed network of local and national artistic communities, which we believe is one of the best ways to support the careers of emerging artists. By doing so we also bring new opportunities, national credibility and recognition to the Nashville art scene while promoting a better network and collaborative environment for learning. Seed Space makes its artists available to do studio visits with artists and students. The Seed Space curator and director regularly reviews, visits the studios and meets with local artists. Additionally, Seed Space commissions its artists, writers and curators, thus contributing to the financial health of the cultural class.
We are beginning to realize our long term goal of promoting artists. One of our artists was offered two museum shows after a visiting curator saw her work at Seed Space. Two of our artists were offered solo shows after curators saw their work. One of our artists from NYC visited Nashville studios, offering valuable criticism and insight. Seed Space directly funds our artists, writers and curators by commissioning their work. We market their work through brochures, catalogs and email notices of their work. We market and involve participants in our programs by actively using our website, a 3500+ strong nationwide email contact list, Facebook, Twitter and www.nowplayingnashville.com. The critic/curators we bring to Seed Space have all wanted to visit the city and have all been impressed with what they see. It is our hope that at some point they write about one of our artists work or of the scene in Nashville.
We monitor our success through staying in touch with our artists, writers and curators. We are gaining a reputation and find that new artists, critics and curators are eager to visit our space. We know who is reading our texts and visiting our website. Each year we get more funding, stronger interns and staff.
Seed Space successes are many. Sher Fick was awarded two museum shows. Amelia Winger Bearskin educated people about what performance art—as an arm of visual art--is. Both Jason Paradis and Mandy Cano Villalobos were awarded solo shows after curators saw their work at Seed Space. The lab provided funds to artists, critics and curators as well as valuable texts for artists to promote their work. Nationally known critic/curators have visited Seed Space who would not normally come to Nashville to view contemporary artwork. The program is staying on budget.
The “Insight? Outta Site!” participatory forum connects nationally and internationally known critic/curators with their Nashville-based collegues. Each potluck style event is a moderated discussion led by questions from the audience. “Insight? Outta Site!” is a continuation of the three-year lecture series called Outta Site!, which brought globally prominent artists and architects to Nashville to connect and educate the local community about international art and design movements and to discuss issues of urban planning with an emphasis on art.
"ART MAKES PLACE" significantly contributed to the financial incomes of six artists, one graphic designer seven writers and two interns. It contributed to the cultural health of Nashville by showing how artists could contribute to society by making temporary, community and performance-based art for public spaces in Nashville.
AMP provided space and funds for artists to develop new work as well as significant critical texts which artists are now able to use both to further push their work conceptually and market their work to future venues. It is our hope that the city may be more receptive to how artists may positively engage with society.
NCAP’s measurements of success include our ability to foster collaborations among arts organizations and we have established partnerships with several. NCAP measures success in attendance, which annually grows. NCAP actively looks for new audience members. We request feedback through personal interviews, e-mail feedback, tracking reviews in papers and magazines and reviewing who reads our digital newsletters. NCAP consistently attracts the attention of nationally and internationally recognized critical writers to our projects. NCAP measures success in our ability to raise funds. In the past few years NCAP has received $70,000 in local and national grants, $15,000 in private support and $100,000 in in-kind donations. Perhaps most importantly, NCAP measure success through our connections with students and the general public.
Each AMP project started with a public lecture, specifically engaged middle school students, continued with help of university students and the larger community. Through these means, 232 middle-high school students significantly participated on our programs, 350 members of the community attended seven free public lectures, and countless others took note of the artworks we placed in public locations throughout Nashville. NCAP established significant partnerships with several other non profits. We distributed the full color catalogs to all metro council members. AMP achieved international recognition through in-depth reviews in such publications as "World Sculpture News" and "Number, an independent journal of the arts," as well as local press. The project culminated in an exhibit and full color catalog with seven critical essays documenting the project. National leaders in the emerging field of social practice artwork such as Grant Kestor, Claire Bishop and Julia Bryan-Wilson now recognize Nashville as a place where it happens.
We offer professional development workshops four times a year. The workshops focus on such issues as grantwriting, artist-gallery relations, artist statements, studio visits and portfolio critiques. See http://seedspace.org/workshops for current and upcoming workshops.
Carolyn Jobe has worked in administration for the Chelsea Music Festival in New York, NY, for Art Crating Inc. in New York, NY, and for nonprofits in San Antonio, TX and Knoxville, TN. She is a painter and exhibits her work nationally. Carolyn is from Nashville, TN.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
The United States stands out among nations as a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Demographers predict that by 2050, no single majority group will exist in the United States. Diversity is a key part of Middle Tennessee’s past, present and future. Nashville, especially, is a model of the American "melting pot," with an active Native American population, thriving Hispanic community and growing Middle Eastern and Asian presence. Different cultures, religions, ideas and customs come together harmoniously in Music City.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, TN 37215