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Not only is Altos de Chavón a living and breathing artists village with the only art school in the Dominican Republic, but it is also home to a Davidoff’s Arts Initiative, a global effort to encourage a larger dialogue around contemporary art by providing Dominican and international artists with the opportunity to exchange projects, ideas and thoughts as part of an arts residency based at their very own Davidoff Arts Studios in Chavón. Two years into the Arts Initiative, we are already seeing the success of this effort as Jimmy Roberts, one of the most recent Davidoff International Residents, is reaching out to the Casa de Campo community to help make possible that a group Dominican art students travel to Berlin for two weeks to re-stage a performance they initially staged here a few months ago! He has set up a Crowdfunding campaign (Kickstarter) to make it possible to the original performance’s students to travel and complete their cultural exchange!
Did I just become part of this performance?
I’ll quickly remote myself back to the Davidoff Tour Gastronomique Cocktail Party, where I remember becoming part of this performance without even realizing it! On my way to the cocktail party I happened to fall behind a group of 20 students walking towards the Davidoff Art Studios in silence in what seemed to be a choreographed and purposeful performance. I remember appreciating the fact that this must have been part of one of one of the artists’ projects but thinking “I’m running late, there is no way I can get past this group of performers and I need to get to the Studios! How do I get myself there quicker?”. Little did I know my thought process was absolutely related to the performance’s objective: answer the self-imposed question, “What does it mean to bring your [own or] one’s body somewhere else?”
What the performance is all about?
In an exciting cultural exchange, the students from Altos de Chavón have the opportunity to visit the Universität der Künste school in Berlin this July for a two-week class in order to finalize the collective performance, but they need your help!
Check out this short video where Jimmy and the students themself explain what it’s all about!
Katy Diamond Hamer, an art writer based in Brooklyn, New York describes the performance well in an article published in WhiteHot Magazine:
At the time of application, Roberts was teaching in Berlin and proposed he bring ten of his students to Altos de Chavón as a performative gesture, allowing them to interact with ten of the students from the Dominican Republic. The piece that resulted, only documented in a digital slideshow of images, involved this cross-section of students walking in silence in the nearby “Rome-inspired” colosseum, also on the property. His goal was to create a position whereas they would become more aware of their own bodies in space and in relationship to others. His inspiration came mostly from, “Games for Actors and Non-Actors” (Routledge; 2nd edition, 2002) by Augusto Boal, Founder of Theatre of the Oppressed. The documentation was left something to desire, and wasn’t as strong as it could have been (i.e., video). However, there is something to be said about performance and the need or lack thereof to document it. From the artist’s description, the work was very palpable, opening lines of communication between the college students without linguistic need.
– Katy Diamond Hamer
How can I help?
You can pledge to donate! The group needs to raise €10,000 goal and so far €1,857 has been raised. There are just 18 more days to go and we encourage you to donate EVEN A LITTLE BIT to make it happen!
Crowdfunding campaigns invite people to pledge smaller or larger sums to help support a project. Only when the Final target is reached will the amount be deducted from your credit card. In return for the
donated amounts, the organizers of a successful campaign offer symbolic gifts to all contributors. Read more about the campaign and performance HERE!
A Gift TO YOU!
This is one of the best parts, the students have prepared a set of special gifts which are authentic art pieces in exchange for your support. AND THEY ARE SO COOL YOU WILL WANT TO DONATE EVEN MORE!
Pledge €5 or more and you will receive:
- Performance Postcard
Wish you were here! Because you were not able to be at the first performance in Altos de Chavón, we made a postcard. Just a glimpse of what we did.
Pledge €10 or more and you will receive:
- A pin back badge commemorating the performance. Wear it with pride.
Pledge €20 or more and you will receive:
- A universal THANK YOU. We want the world to know what you did.
- You will be thanked globally via our Twitter and Facebook Updates.
- Also you will receive a pin back button commemorating the performance so you can tell people the old fashioned way.
Pledge €50 or more and you will receive:
- A personalized invitation for the performance on July 22/23/24.
- And you will be personally thanked after the performance so don’t miss your shout out.
Pledges of €75 and over will be rewarded for their contribution with:
- A tote bag commissioned to commemorate the performance.
Pledge €150 or more and you will receive:
- A numbered edition distinct small silkscreen art piece (21.5 x 28cm) created especially by performance participants from the Dominican Republic.
- A personal performance invitation.
The silkscreens are numbered but since it is a collective work they are not signed.
Pledge €250 or more and you will be rewarded with:
- A numbered edition distinct large silkscreen art piece (70×50 cm) created especially by performance participants from the Dominican Republic and Berlin.
- And a personal performance invitation.
Pledges of €500 or more will be able to:
- Go behind the scenes at the rehearsal and watch the artists fine tune the final performance. ACTION!
- Collection of the rewards 1 to 5
Pledge €2 500 or more and you will be rewarded with:
- A private showing of the performance before the main event at UdK. Become a critic and experience it first.
Pledge €5000 or more and you can:
- Bring a friend with you for a private visit to the School and the Students in the Dominican Republic.
So there you have it! The Davidoff Art Initiative is already facilitating cultural exchanges between art students and you can help make the final performance a reality! Thank you in advance for supporting this great cause!