Dubbed as “small grants for big ideas,” SITE Santa Fe’s SPREAD dinner, happening this Friday, serves as the springboard for the cultural institution’s artistic funding campaign. Hofmann is the chief curator at SITE.
For the uninitiated, what is SPREAD?
SPREAD is a recurring community dinner hosted by SITE Santa Fe that raises funds for artists and creative initiatives. All the money from SPREAD dinner tickets becomes a grant for a New Mexico-based artist. At each SPREAD, diners pay a sliding-scale entrance fee for which they receive dinner and a ballot. During dinner, eight artists, whose applications have been selected by a jury, get up on stage and make short presentations about their work. After the presentations, SPREAD diners vote for their favorite artist. At the end of the evening, the artist who receives the most votes is awarded all funds collected at the door to realize their artistic endeavors.
What can people expect from its fifth iteration?
We focused on artists who have a studio-based practice. Past SPREAD events have largely featured collectives, community-based projects, and theater and performing arts groups. This time, we will meet eight artists who have a more solitary studio practice dedicated to expanding each of their creative visions.
How important to SF’s art scene are grants like this?
As we have heard from many of our finalists and winners, this grant is truly career boosting. Participating in SPREAD is an opportunity for significant visibility for their work, has given artists new tools for talking about their work, and an overall boost in confidence. Many new opportunities have been presented and new doors opened for so many of our finalists. And of course, for the winners of the grants, SPREAD funds have made projects possible that would otherwise be unattainable.
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