Meet EveryLibrary’s 2019 “Artist in Residence” Producers
EveryLibrary is happy to announce that Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore will produce our 2019 Artist in Residence program this fall. As Producers, Erinn and Laura will collaboratively develop the theme for the 2019 program, identify two or three artists who will inform the theme creatively, and curate performances or displays of these commissioned works. Together, they bring their unique experience as of the co-founders of the Library as Incubator Project (LAIP), a long-running site that connected artists and libraries for new collaborations.
For 7 years, the Library as Incubator Project collected, amplified, and connected library leaders and artists of all kinds with each other. But LAIP did more than report on arts programs. It acted as a catalyst and an innovation space for library programs. Erinn and Laura are co-authors of The Artists’ Library: A Field Guide (Coffee House Press 2014), and Incubating Creativity at your Library: A Sourcebook for Connecting with Communities, a forthcoming book from ALA Editions that offers a framework for developing creativity platforms that are deeply reflective of their unique communities. Incubating Creativity includes ideas and examples, and an action plan for leveraging existing resources and select new services and programs that are community-driven and community-led as much as possible. EveryLibrary is fortunate to have their guidance in shaping the 2019 AIR program.
The EveryLibrary Artist in Residence program is intended to position our work as the only national political action committee for libraries in the context of both politics and the arts. It is also intended to bring creativity and delight to the work. Art and politics are always intertwined. Both can be serious as well as frustrating, or even absurd. Politics is intended to shape society. But the question of “in what way” is the one we use to engage libraries and communities across the country. If we do that through collaboration, do we succeed? If it is through an exercise of power, are we instead diminished? We cannot hope to be a people who participate in politics – to tax and govern ourselves – without reflecting on who we are and who we want to be through the arts.
“This Artist in Residence program is the kind of work was that Library as Incubator Project was all about”, says Erinn Batykefer. “This a wonderful opportunity for Laura and I to continue to advocate for the library as space, to help librarians re-imagine libraries as an institution for everyone, and to create opportunities for artists and makers to make those visions a reality through art, performance, and other media.” This will be EveryLibrary’s third biennial Artist in Residence program. In 2015, AIR Steve Kemple produced a series of interactive performance pieces reflecting on the image of libraries and the role of librarians in society. In 2017, AIR Kevin Moore created a series of editorial cartoons that commented on the current political climate for libraries.
EveryLibrary’s Artist in Residence program will run in September, October, and early November 2019. This time period represents the traditional “Labor Day to Election Day” campaign season, but being an “off-cycle year” allows us to reflect back and look forward to national, state, and local political campaigns to come. We look forward to announcing Erinn and Laura’s selections of our 2019 Artist In Residence in early June.
EveryLibrary is the first and only national political action committee for libraries. Since 2012, it has helped 96 libraries take their funding measures to the ballot, winning 80% and securing over $320 million in stable tax funding. It also runs SaveSchoolLibrarians.org, a digital advocacy campaign uniquely focused on funding for school library programs and school librarians’ jobs. EveryLibrary is a donor-supported organization and provides all its services to library communities pro-bono. Please visit everylibrary.org for more information.