Neta understands the importance of the arts and of the individuals that highlight local experiences creatively. To grow the ways we support the artistic infrastructure of the Rio Grande Valley and to reclaim the region’s narrative through creativity and free expression, Neta sought to understand our current creative scene through the Rio Grande Valley Creative Needs Assessment (RGVCNA).
The RGVCNA is a bilingual, comprehensive survey published on our online and social media platforms. You can view the survey at here. The assessment has received 56 responses at the moment. Neta will continue the conversations with local artists to develop a more inclusive assessment that considers additonal input from the community through in person events. The final report will be made available by the end of summer.
The surveys include demographic information and open ended qualitative questions about the region’s available and needed resources. When asked one word to describe the RGV creative scene the responses were split into three types. The first, the majority, are the optimists, the glass half-full type of people. They describe the RGV art scene with adjectives associated to growth (growing, emerging, popping, rising, rich, etc.). The second type see the glass as half empty. They describe the creative scene of the region as minimal, disconnected, fragmented, difficult, lagging, etc.). Lastly were the observers who chose to talk about the glass itself. They highlight different aspects and describe the region’s creative scene as; colorful, hardworking, supportive, cultural, resourceful, and hopeful.
Guided by the responses to the survey Neta has developed arts and programming with a 3 tier mission;
Encourage and Boost RGV makers and artists: The first goal is to encourage and support local creativity. Neta will partner with artists, musicians, collectives, creative spaces and arts organizations identified as cultural resources and makers.
Organize artists to collectively improve the RGV creative infrastructure: Our second goal is to create spaces for artists to grow professionally, creatively and as a community. Neta will accomplish this by establishing bi-monthly events that bring RGV artists together to connect and to develop collective campaigns or projects.
Shape the creative narrative of the region: Our third goal is to provide artists the resources and space for a more critical understanding of the RGV that is engaged, considerate and reflective of the lived experiences and the realities of la frontera. This will be done through an open call for small grant proposals and a 2-month artist residency program.
To launch our creative programming Neta is announcing the first cohort of Rio Grande Valley Creative and Cultural Fellows! These individuals will collaborate on specific projects that include exhibitions, performances, events, and creative content based off their ongoing practice.
The 2019 RGV Creative and Cultural Fellows include:
Pedro Rodriguez, Love and Magik presents Sabrosonico, @_flacucho
Michelle Vallejo, Pulga Pop Up Art Show, @altonprincess
Poets Against Walls, Poetry Workshops, #poetsagainstwalls
Fish, 956 Fashion Show, @f10rucci
Andres Sanchez, RGV Music Coverage, @u_punk
South Texans for Reproductive Justice & Denni Arjona, SKANK for Choice, @sotx4rj
Jose Colon-Uvalles, Market Square Pride presented by Beatrix LeStrange, @kweenbeatrix
Make sure to follow the RGV Creative and Cultural Fellows on social media for details about their upcoming collaborations! Stay tuned for more details and announcements on Neta’s Arts and Cultural Programs.