The Artists Assembly introduces a new era of expansion for United States Artists. With over 400 Alumni and over $20 million invested in individual artists across every creative discipline, we have collected valuable feedback and used it to enhance the Fellows Program. The newly formed Fellows Alumni Advisory Council, a group of thirteen prestigious USA Fellows from across the country, helped shape the Assembly's agenda and will continue to help USA build its Alumni Program.
Taking advantage of our unique ability to convene an extraordinarily diverse group of this country’s most influential artists, the Artists Assembly is an interdisciplinary gathering of all current USA Fellows as well as alumni from the different regions of the country. The three-day gathering provides Fellows across all of USA’s funding categories with the rare opportunity to meet one another, discuss their work and professional issues, share ideas, identify opportunities for collaboration, and get to know the organization’s key funders and new cultural collaborators. The Artists Assembly will travel to a new location each year in order to engage alumni and partners throughout the country.
More than 200 people joined us for the inaugural Artists Assembly, held in USA's hometown of Chicago, March 22-24, 2015. Over two and half days, the Assembly featured a keynote address by USA Trustee and 2007 USA Gund Fellow Ann Hamilton, an evening of readings at the Poetry Foundation by USA 2014 Ford Fellows, Chris Abani, Natalie Diaz, and Achy Obejas; excursions to some of Chicago’s rich cultural and artistic venues such as a tour of 2012 USA Kippy Fellow Theaster Gates’ Stony Island Arts Bank, Black House Cinema and Studio; a workshop performance at Hubbard Street Dance featuring choreography by 2014 USA Donnelley Fellow Alejandro Cerrudo; and a film screening of “The Case Against 8” with 2014 USA Collins Fellows Ben Cotner and Ryan White. The Assembly closed with a celebration of our 2014 Fellows, featuring an extraordinary performance by 2014 USA Cummings Fellow Meshell Ndegeocello.
We are very grateful to our key funders, the Surdna Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, and Northern Trust for their generous support.
Nicholas Galanin, 2012 USA Rasmuson Fellow in Traditional Arts, USA Fellows Alumni Advisory Council Member
“The Assembly was a huge success in my eyes...I particularly enjoyed learning more about all of the artists and their work. So many amazing individuals, it was wonderful to get a glimpse into their fields.”
Ella Baff, Senior Program Officer Arts & Cultural Heritage, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (former Executive Director, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival)
“It was the best Assembly I've attended in many, many years and I look forward to considering the future.”
The 2016 Artists Assembly will be held in Miami, Florida between April 17-19, 2016 bringing together our 2015 cohort of Fellows and southeast region alumni and will feature presentations and performances by USA Fellows, arts and cultural excursions, thought-provoking conversations and a celebration of our 2015 Fellows.
Initial partnerships include: