Through the Residency Program, the Red Poppy Art House has allows select artists, performers and curators to use our space as a residence for executing proposed creative projects. The ongoing creation of new work, with the often unpredictable turns and exchanges that occur when artists have time and space together, stand as perhaps the most impactful element in shaping the feeling and culture that ultimately characterizes the Red Poppy itself. While the Red Poppy’s Artist Residency Program does not provide a living space for the artist, it provides a living and growing space for the creative work.
Since its founding, the Red Poppy has maintained its Residency Program based on the following values:
Vitality of an Artistic Core: The presence of resident artists, the professional and personal informal relationships they bring, as much as the on-site development and public presentations of their work, constitute a continuity of creative dialog and exchange that defines the very nature of the Red Poppy as an artistic and cultural hub.
Exemplifying Cultural Diversity through the Arts: Recognizing that artists can be the forerunners of cultural and social transformation, the Red Poppy selects a balance of resident artists whose combined skills, inspiration, craft, and cultural roots, hold the capacity to demonstrate 9the extraordinary potential implicit within inter-cultural collaboration.
“Blues de Voyage” (blues voyage) is a musical project conceived by vocalist, songwriter, and U.C. Berkeley Law graduate Tiffany Austin. The project’s goal is to research, translate, and perform the works of Amede Ardoin. Ardoin is a pivotal figure in American musical history because he was the first Louisiana Creole musician ever recorded (early 20th century), and his works serve as the foundation of Cajun/Creole music. Despite these facts, there is little available information about his life, and few published English translations of his works.
An inspirational figure, Ardoin left the sharecropping fields of Louisiana to lead an integrated duo (working with caucasian fiddler Dennis McGee), risking poverty and physical danger in the segregated South to share his music with people of diverse backgrounds. Although his music crossed racial divides, he died a victim of hate crime after performing at a segregated house party.
Tiffany’s passion for this project stems not only from the lesson of music’s transformative power contained within Ardoin’s story, but also her personal history. Both her mother’s parents were Louisiana Creoles who migrated to California to escape poverty. Tiffany’s earliest memories are of her grandparents’ language, food, and music, and she wishes to research and share this rich culture with others.
Blues de Voyage will commission original compositions and arrangements, and create community and collaborations with local musicians. The Poppy residency will culminate with a presentation of the year’s work, including arrangements in both Creole French and English translations. For more information about Tiffany Austin, visit: tiffanyaustinmusic.com
Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN)
On Saturday Apr 5th, hip-hop orchestra Ensemble Mik Nawooj (EMN) returns to the Red Poppy Art House to headline their 1st major event of the 2014. This concert will begin their Artist Residency @ the Poppy in which EMN will do a partial premiere of a 6 piece commission by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in which EMN music director, Taoist composer/pianist JooWan Kim re-imagines 6 classic hip-hop songs from the year 1993 for YBCA’s 21st anniversary celebration in October. In preparation, EMN will do other partial premieres @ Red Poppy Art House every other month until October. More about Ensemble Mik Nawooj at ensemblemiknawooj.com.
Here’s a sample of EMN’s quasi rondo/variation on the classic Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey by Sly & the family Stone.