Rural Performance / Production Lab (RPPL)
By: Carlton Turner
Through generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Sipp Culture is excited to announce the pilot phase of the Rural Performance / Production Lab (RPPL).
This year, Sipp Culture and a team of advisors, will work with up to four rural artists in the pilot phase of RPPL to develop new work. That support will come in the form of financial support, residency time at the Sipp Culture Artist Residency, project planning and mentorship. This program will be offered to artists living in rural communities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama.
RPPL is a creative production process which seeks to support the development of new performance – movement, story, and sound – rooted in rural living, history, places, and bodies. Pronounced “ripple”, the intent is for artist voices to act as catalysts for broad community change.
Sipp Culture’s work centers cultural production. For us, cultural production means working to shift our community mode from consumption to production. Production looks like the growing and sharing of food, documenting our culture in digital and analog media, and telling our stories through movement, theater, and sound. It also means producing the culture we want to be reflected in the stories, food, systems, communities and art we create.
Our community is grounded in the aesthetics of Black southern rural culture bearers. Their imprint can be found on every community throughout the nation in the architecture, songs, spiritual practices, the movement of bodies, and in the language of freedom.
We understand the integral connection between the artist voice and community health and wellness of our rural space. We know the stories told, who gets the tell them, and where they are told is central to the shaping of policy and ultimately inform the quality of life in our community. Our health and wellness are negatively impacted when the only stories representative of our experiences are told from the subjectivity of the observer. To that end, Sipp Culture works to develop the imagination and enhance the creativity of our community (near and far) through critical dialogue driven by arts and cultural exchange.
Sipp Culture centers the voices and experiences of people of color, specifically Black people in the rural South. Our work uplifts stories to complicate prevailing rural narratives. We recognize the importance of counter narratives in shaping the critical discourse of a community and we recognize our work, as holders of space for story, requires us to uplift as many of those stories as possible in order to shape and reshape public policy. Through RPPL, rural artists are the primary beneficiaries of direct financial support and mentorship for the development of their artistic vision.
The RPPL Goals are to
- To support the development of new and original work by rural artists.
- To increase the presence and influence of rural artists in regional and national dialogues.
- To use digital media production as a tool to support artists in expanding their network and reach.
- To create opportunities to shift rural narratives.
On February 17 Sipp Culture will launch an artist inquiry for those interested in learning more about RPPL. Please be on the lookout for it and please sign up for our newsletter to make sure you receive the inquiry. You can sign up for our newsletter on the bottom of our homepage.
RPPL Artist Survey Launch
We want to hear from artists and culture bearers. We are asking you to share your dreams and your work with us. We are launching a residency program to support rural artists.
On February 17 Sipp Culture will launch the Rural Performance / Production Lab Artist Survey for those interested in learning more about RPPL. Please be on the lookout for it and please sign up for our newsletter to make sure you receive the inquiry.
You can sign up for our newsletter on the bottom of our homepage. Don’t miss it!