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CalArts to Host the Feldstärke International Arts Exchange

A group of exceptional young artists from Europe and the United States will convene in Los Angeles this October. Feldstärke ("Force Field") International is a joint educational exchange project led by three international arts organizations: CENTQUATRE in Paris, France, PACT Zollverein in Essen, Germany and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Los Angeles, California. Designed to foster dialog and collaboration among advanced arts students and recent graduates, the goal of this ongoing program is to create opportunities for arts students from all disciplines (design, dance, cinema, circus arts, landscape art, visual art, music, new media, film/video and theater) to collaborate across international boundaries.

Feldstärke's final interdisciplinary art-making workshops for 2009 will be held at CalArts from October 10-18. The public is invited to attend presentations of work created during the exchange on Saturday, October 17 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at CalArts.

Feldstärke seeks to break down borders through the common language of art by exploring the limitations of space, politics, language, and, ultimately, the very concept of "foreign." The project is intended to generate opportunities for interaction between artists from different disciplines and cultures to foster conversations and artistic processes that transcend cultures and languages and encourage relationship-building and networking between art institutions and venues.

Travis Preston, Artistic Director of the Center for New Performance at CalArts and Director of the CalArts School of Theater's Programs in Performance commented on Feldstärke. "This exchange is a brilliant way to create a global context for the work of young artists--and to create international collaborations and opportunities. Each workshop brings deeper relationships and more thoughtful artistic engagement. The group coming to Los Angeles already had extraordinary experiences working together in Paris and Essen.  I have no doubt that the artistic relationships forged during this exchange will last for many years. CalArts has the conviction that artists must be prepared to engage a global context for their work.  Feldstärke is one of the ways we prepare our students to engage this ever-expanding arena."

Each year, up to 50 students will be selected to participate in a series of workshops at the Feldstärke partner venues. At each workshop, students working in multi-disciplinary groups are mentored by distinguished faculty and resident artists from the host organizations. The emphasis is on the creative process.

CalArts School of Theater MFA candidate, Lily Whitsitt (Theater Directing) was one of this year's participants. "This experience has been extraordinarily inspiring for me (on a creative level) and vital for me (on a practical level)," she commented. "On a practical level, I met an entire network of artists and supporters that I plan to work with again in the near future...On a creative level, meeting other emerging artists provided me with an enormous amount of inspiration...It is a breath of fresh air to be able to talk to artists across a variety of disciplines, and nationalities, about making work."

Yann Perreau, Deputy Cultural Attaché at the French Consulate and Michael Ott, Consul for Cultural and Press Affairs at the German consulate jointly stated, "this project is a top priority for the Cultural Services of the Consulates. Based on the historical friendship between the United States, Germany and France, it is entirely supported by the French-German fund--a fund created to tighten the bounds between both our countries. This is an exciting opportunity to witness cross-disciplinary creative processes. After Germany and France, we are delighted to see the third phase of this project taking place here in Los Angeles."

About the project partners:

CENTQUATRE, located in Paris, France, is a center for artistic creation and production.  Opened in 2008, this 420,000 square foot complex presents fashion, design, circus, dance, film, writing, visual and fine arts, music, theater and digital arts to the public.  A place of production, CENTQUATRE offers artists the technical, financial and human resources for their creative work, and the resources to devise new forms of production and co-production.  In parallel with different workshops, four festivals will be hosted during the year to show finished work by the artists in residence at CENTQUATRE. These seasonal openings also provide an opportunity to invite other artists, whose approach is in some way linked with the creation presented, and to introduce the work of future residents at CENTQUATRE.

Founded in 2002, PACT Zollverein (Performing Arts Choreographisches Zentrum NRW Tanzlandschaft Ruhr) is an international theater venue and interdisciplinary research foundation for the arts. Housed in a former colliery shower building, the center is equipped with excellent studio, rehearsal and stage facilities, and offers wide-ranging technical, organizational and administrative resources to regional artists as well as guests and companies from around the world.

PACT presents a mixed genre program of its own production, co-productions and guest performances.  It offers artists and the wider general public opportunities to gain insights into current practices, developments and artistic debates in contemporary art and in particular, dance and performance.  In turn, these are closely linked to PACT's key activities in the area of development which include providing residencies for regional and international artists, holding workshops, professional open classes and ateliers, and facilitating symposium, laboratory research projects and university exchange platforms.

CalArts is recognized internationally as a leading laboratory for the visual, performing, media and literary arts. Housing six schools--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater--CalArts educates professional artists in an intensive learning environment founded on artmaking excellence, creative experimentation, cross-pollination among diverse artistic disciplines, and a broad context of social and cultural understanding. CalArts also operates the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.

The French-German Fund was launched in 2003 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Paris Treaty. Equally funded by the French and German governments, it seeks to encourage and develop French-German cooperation and increase their visibility in third countries. Each year, a jury selects cultural projects all around the world that will be supported by the Fund, thus benefiting from the French-German friendship. Further support is brought by the French-German Youth Office. The institution, created in 1963 after the Paris Treaty, is an independent non-commercial international organization serving to foster Franco-German efforts towards development, cultural exchange and friendship by bringing together more than 100,000 French and German youths per year. It is equally funded by France and Germany.

The project is supported by the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the City of Paris, the French-German Youth Office, the Goethe Institut-Los Angeles, as well as the Cultural Services of the French and the German Consulates in Los Angeles by means of the French-German Fund.

Last edited by Smith on Aug 18, 2010
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