The Commons

About the 20/21 Digital Commons

The Commons Festival and Residency returns for the Carolina Performing Arts 20/21 season in digital form. The Digital Commons is an initiative devoted to supporting artists by fostering local creative community and discourse in and around the Triangle.

This fall, four Triangle-based performing artists will be awarded a residency, to be housed in CPA’s CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio. The residency will culminate in a digitally streamed performance festival presented in early 2021. Artists will also be paired with a writer who will write two pieces on the artist’s residency, to be published on INDY Week’s website (read the pieces from the 2019 Commons).

Applications for the residency are currently open and close at 5 PM on October 16, 2020.

The Digital Commons festival will feature performances from the Commons artists-in-residence and will also feature “Shop Talks,” roundtable events bringing together current, emerging, and aspiring arts professionals to discuss important aspects of the field.

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The Commons Festival was founded in 2019. A “commons” is defined as “land or resources belonging to or affecting the whole of a community.” In an ideal community, each member contributes resources to a shared pool; these pooled resources, in turn, benefit each individual. The goal of the Commons is to strengthen the performing arts activities of the Triangle, North Carolina area as a site of community, discussion, hospitality, and process. The 2019 Commons artists were Eb. Brown, Daniel Coleman, and Joie Lou Shakur; Justin Tornow; and Megan Yankee. The Commons Crit writers for 2019 were Victoria Bouloubasis, Michaela Dwyer, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Don Holmes, Danielle Purifoy, and Chris Vitiello.

Writers for The Commons will be selected by CPA Mellon DisTIL Postdoctoral Fellow Lauren DiGiulio, CPA Artistic Coordinator Ellie Pate, and INDY Week Arts & Culture Editor Brian Howe.

Questions? Contact the Commons team.

The Residency

Four artists will be selected for the 20/21 Digital Commons. Applications are open and close on October 16, 2020.

All eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists and arts administrators in the area  who reflect the diversity of the region. These panelists will provide feedback to CPA artistic staff, who will make the final selection. Selected artists will be contacted by October 26, 2020.

CPA staff and selected artists and collaborators will adhere to COVID safety protocols whenever working in CPA venues.

Benefits and Eligibility

Artist Benefits

  • $1,000 artist stipend
  • Critical writing about their work, published on INDY Week‘s website
  • Two hours of rehearsal per week for four weeks in the Studio at CURRENT (early November through early December)
  • Technical support from CPA’s production and artistic staff to stage and record the performance in a CPA venue, including one technical rehearsal for the streaming event 
  • One full digital “showing” of their work, either as an in-process or a completed event, streamed on CPA’s online platforms during the festival
  • Support from CPA’s marketing and communications team in the publicizing of the streaming events
  • Opportunities to network, socialize, and participate in peer learning with other North Carolina arts professionals through the Digital Commons Shop Talk Series

Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must:

  • Be an artist or arts professional who has had at least one year of experience creating and/or presenting professional-level work outside of an academic program 
  • Reside full-time and make work within the Greater Triangle area (Durham, Orange, Wake, Alamance, and Chatham counties)
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Not be currently enrolled full-time in a college or university as an undergraduate student
  • Not be a full-time university faculty member

Review Process and Residency Timeline
September 21: Applications open
October 16: Applications close
October 26: Selected artists are contacted
October 30: Artists are put into contact with their writer collaborators
November 2 – December 18: Artists and writers work in collaboration with CPA production staff to produce and record a new work

COVID Protocols

Carolina Performing Arts is adhering strictly to guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 by the University of North Carolina System and the North Carolina State Board of Health. Our policies are informed by industry best practices, and include safety mitigation plans, cleaning protocol, and limits on venue capacity. CPA staff will work with each artist group in the Digital Commons 20/21 to determine a plan for rehearsal and filming according to CPA’s safety protocols. These guidelines may change at any time. Artist groups for this project are limited to ten people. 

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