Arts Collaboratory is a translocal network consisting of over 23 diverse organizations across the globe focused on art practices, processes of social change, and working with broader communities beyond the field of art. Functioning as a meeting point, Arts Collaboratory is where these organizations can share knowledge, collaborate on projects, and build emotional and financial support together. As an ecosystem it is a process of collective study and practice on the self-sustainability, self-determination and interdependence through radical imagination.
Each organization in Arts Collaboratory is deeply engaged in its local context working with various communities in the field of art as well as in the broader social and public realm. They develop and experiment with new working methods within their organization and programming in order to address urgent concerns in the cultural, social, economic or political domain. Connected across the borders at the same time, each organization in Arts Collaboratory strives for building an expansive community of solidarity. Arts Collaboratory shares common dreams of shifting the paradigms inherited from postcolonial times and continues in the logic of neoliberalism to change our value system as well as the micropolitics of our relationships with others, with our communities, with our living, breathing environment, and even with ourselves..
Arts Collaboratory was founded in 2007 by two Dutch foundations DOEN and Hivos as both a funding program and a platform for knowledge sharing amongst visual artists’ initiatives in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Its aim was to support the growing movement of artists initiatives that provide alternatives to the often lacking or inflexible established arts scenes in their local context, and to strengthen the south-south connections between these organisations. Soon after its beginnings the Mondriaan Fund joined, supporting the exchange between Arts Collaboratory linked organisations and the Dutch arts field. After a long consultation process in 2012, the program of Arts Collaboratory was re-designed in 2013. The new mission of Arts Collaboratory is to promote sustainable, collaborative and open visual arts practices that contribute to social innovation. Also, more emphasis is put on building a translocal community amongst the participants. In 2013, 23 participating organizations were selected to constitute the core of the community. In order to better facilitate the knowledge sharing and relation building process within the network, in 2013 Hivos and DOEN started a collaboration with Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
This new phase since 2013 has focused on building trust and sharing through face to face meetings in Assemblies, Tents, and Institutional Residencies. These gatherings produce and develop a series of collaborative projects between the participating organizations. All the Arts Collaboratory members including the current members, DOEN, Hivos and Casco, are currently developing a vision for Arts Collaboratory after 2015. In this process the rethinking of funding models, models of working with art locally and trans-nationally while unlearning the current modalities of working, and, most importantly, devising the self-sustainable and open system of trans-local collectivity are amongst the central issues.
Participating organizations 2013-2015:
32º East | Ugandan Arts Trust, Kampala, Uganda
Al-Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem, Palestine
Art Group 705, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon
Casa Tres Patios, Medellín, Colombia
Centre Soleil d' Afrique, Bamako, Mali
Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Mexico City, Mexico
Darb 1718 Contemporary Art and Culture Center, Cairo, Egypt
Doual’art, Douala, Cameroon
Kër Thiossane, Dakar, Senegal
Kiosko, Santa Cruz della Sierra, Bolivia
Kunci Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
lugar a dudas, Cali, Colombia
Más Arte Más Acción, Choco, Colombia
Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana
Picha Art Center, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Platohedro, Medellín, Colombia
Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal
Riwaq, Ramallah, Palestine
ruangrupa, Jakarta, Indonesia
TEOR/éTica, San Jose, Costa Rica
Theerta, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA), Johannesburg
Q & A:
Is Arts Collaboratory a funding program or a network?
It is both, Arts Collaboratory provides structural and project funding to organizations while supporting a knowledge sharing program which has brought the participating organizations together to build trust and collaboration among the organizations, resulting in the development of a translocal community. Arts Collaboratory is presently in a period of transition to a self-organized and self-managed community with more details on the future vision to follow.
How are the decisions for funding made?
Funding decisions are presently made by the Arts Collaboratory Steering Committee consisting of representatives of DOEN and Hivos, with the input from Casco and the Arts Collaboratory participating organizations. Decisions on the process of funding existing and new organizations is presently being revised by the participating organizations themselves through the development of the future vision for Arts Collaboratory.
Is it possible to join Arts Collaboratory as a participating organization?
As Arts Collaboratory is undergoing a process of re-organization it is presently not open for new participating organizations or associate participants please check back in 2016.
How can I follow the activities of Arts Collaboratory?
Please sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of this page to receive information about the platform's public program, news on the participating organizations and future funding possibilities.
Associate Participants 2013-2015:
Within the framework of Arts Collaboratory, DOEN and Hivos also have been providing smaller grants to projects initiated and developed by other independent organizations. It is presently not possible to apply for these grants.
98weeks Research Project, Beirut, Lebanon
AFUERA, Cerro de Pasco, Peru
CADT/August Art, Cape Town, South Africa
Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, Taiwan
Beirut, Cairo, Egypt
Big Stories Co., Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Britto Arts Trust, Dhaka, Bangladesh
CAPACETE, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dala, Cape Town, South Africa
Department of Visual Studies, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan
Dushanbe Art Ground, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Grupo Etcetera, Argentina
Jatiwangi art Factory, Jatiwangi, Indonesia
JISER Reflexions Mediterrànies, Tunis, Tunisia
Lifepatch, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Makan Art Space, Amman, Jordan
MAVA, Cotonou, Benin
Mohile Parikh Center, Mumbai, India
Nha San Collective, Vietnam
Les Palettes du Kamer, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Trait d'Union, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Veinti3, Managua, Nicaragua
Tbilisi InSights, Georgia
Editor: Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory in collaboration with the Arts Collaboratory members
Development and coordination: Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory (Binna Choi, Ika Putranto, Jason Waite)
Feedback team: DOEN Foundation (Gertrude Flentge), 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust (Rocca Gutteridge), Platohedro (Entire organization), VASNA (Molemo Moiloa)
Visual identity and layout concept: Wok the Rock
Design activation and programming: Eerens + Gadiot
Website support: Platohedro