Thursday, March 29, 2018

Kranzberg Arts Foundation begins
"Music Artist in Residence" program

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation (KAF) has announced a new "Music Artist in Residence" program intended to identify "band leaders with original projects and provide them with the performance, rehearsal and recording opportunities that assist them with advancing and building their careers."

The first group of residents consists of nine performers who already are involved with the foundation through performances at the Kranzberg Arts Center and/or The Dark Room, including bassist Bob DeBoo, keyboardists Mo Egeston, Jesse Gannon, Owen Ragland and Ptah Williams, singer Anita Jackson, saxophonist Ben Reece, bassist and singer Tonina Saputo, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor (pictured).

As artists in residence, they'll continue regular performances at those venues and in conjunction with other programs within the Grand Center Arts District. What makes the residency program new are the additional forms of support being deployed on their behalf, including marketing help, free rehearsal and office space, and more.

Residents will have access to cooperative office space and conference rooms at .ZACK, with rehearsal spaces provided at Kranzberg Arts Center and other KAF venues, said Chris Hansen, executive director of the foundation, in an email to StLJN. The foundation also will provide funding for "paid radio and print, social media, digital activation, as well as helping them (with) graphic design, photography and other essential tools," he said.

In addition to the in-house support from the foundation, Clayton Studios will donate studio time towards production of a compilation album featuring the artists in residence. The album, release date TBD, will be available through digital outlets, along with a "small number" of CDs, Hansen said.

Also, Listen Live Entertainment, producers of the annual LouFest Music Festival, will "provide the artists with main stage opportunities at the festival and other satellite events, plus other exciting opportunities to be announced later."

In total, Hansen said the foundation will spend more than $100,000 annually on the residency program. That's over and above the fees paid to the musicians for performances, and encompasses all the marketing and support services, as well as recent upgrades to The Dark Room including a new piano, sound system, and an in-house sound technician.

While this first group of residents was selected from among performers who had existing relationships with the foundation, that could change in the future. "We will be creating a formal submission process for the next round of residents," said Hansen. "Currently we have not set a definitive time on the residencies. It has been an organic process and we want to serve the current residents until we feel like their and our goals are met."

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