gfs:visit=3 Counterpulse

I went to visit with the folks at Counterpulse at the beginning of July. Here’s their mission:

CounterPulse is building a movement of risk-taking art that shatters assumptions and builds community. We provide space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture. CounterPulse acts as a catalyst for art and action; creating a forum for the open exchange of art and ideas, sparking transformation in our communities and our society. We work towards a world that celebrates diversity of race, class, cultural heritage, artistic expression, ability, gender identity & sexual orientation. We strive to create an environment that is physically and economically accessible to everyone.

I love the active language both there, and in their Strategic Plan 2012-2015. They’re just moving into a new space in the Tenderloin, and it’s really interesting to see how the local color is investigating, and how Counterpulse is engaging with the street.

Here’s the original glasswork in the foyer windows. The premises used to be a porn theater:

Counterpulse is inhabiting a former porn theater

Even in such early days, the team is making great use of the space, holding a bunch of events, and even yoga sessions upstairs. There is going to be space downstairs where artists-in-residence can work to develop their performances, and right now there’s an art exhibition there. From the outset, the new space is being designed for all sorts of use.

Art in the Basement
The Plan

We talked briefly about how an archivist-in-residence might work along side the artists to capture the process as it happened. A big part of what Counterpulse offers is to help artists describe and document their work. Another thing I thought was great was that the internship program has really strong continuity year-on-year. There are four or five internship types (production, education, etc), and actually, during my visit, last year’s interns were handing off to the new batch.

Thank you to Shamsher, Judith and Julie for hosting me!

As I try to get around to writing up all my visits, I’ve begun a visit log in a Google spreadsheet and a set of photos on Flickr, in case you’re curious. (At the very least, you’ll see how behind I am in writing up!)

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