With enormous gratitude, Resonant Bodies Festival acknowledges the unprecedented generosity of the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation. With a $20,000 grant in 2016 from the Phillips Foundation, RBF was given the financial capacity to grow exponentially as an organization. Serving as a spark and a multiplier for innovative projects and ideas, this grant empowered RBF to increase its programming from one annual festival in 2016 to two festivals in 2017 and three festivals in 2018. In addition to this exciting programming growth, RBF was also able to increase its administrative and general operating capacity thanks to this generous grant.
The primary goal of acquiring this grant was to develop satellite festivals in key cultural centers in the United States and around the globe—Chicago, Melbourne, and Los Angeles. The inaugural Melbourne Festival—held on May 5th, 2017, at the Melbourne Recital Centre—garnered a sold-out audience, featuring six vocalists and four world premieres of new works.
Following this milestone international event, we took to the Midwest with the first-ever Chicago Festival—April 6-8, 2018, at Constellation. This three-day event, hailed as an “exhilarating plunge into the wilder corners of experimental vocal music” (Chicago Classical Review), featured nine groundbreaking performers and seven world premieres. Furthermore, this event supported our mission of creating a truly global network of new music vocalists, in that eight out of the nine artists on the festival had strong personal and professional ties to the Chicago area. We are proud to have drawn on the vibrant local community of artists in Chicago, rather than simply implanting NYC artists with whom we were already familiar into the event.
Our 2018 global expansion culminated in the first-ever Sydney Festival on August 31-September 1 at Carriageworks, co-presented by Sydney Chamber Opera. This ambitious production featured nine artists—once again primarily local to the Sydney area—in thrilling performances of eight world premieres. The event also boasted our first large-scale co-production venture, in which we partnered closely—both financially and aesthetically—with Carriageworks and Sydney Chamber Opera to develop a fully produced and grand event.
In addition to these new satellite festivals, the grant from the Phillips Foundation also equipped RBF to achieve these organizational milestones:
We hired our first part-time paid employee—first as a 1099 independent contractor, and then (beginning in March 2018) as a W2 employee.
We hired an additional paid employee—a seasonal operations manager for the months leading up to the 2018 NYC Festival—as well as providing a salary to Festival Director Lucy Dhegrae.
We provided two new artist residencies to our festival artists:
The Mount Tremper Arts Watershed Lab (2017 & 2018), at which artists on the NYC Festival have a week in the idyllic Catskill Mountains to commune with one another and workshop their material for the festival.
The Bundanon Trust Artist Residency (2018), a similar opportunity for artists on the Sydney Festival to develop their performance material in a safe and creatively stimulating environment.
We held our first week-long educational residency—(R)evolution: Resonant Bodies—in partnership with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. 46 young musicians came together for six days to take workshops with world-renowned artist faculty (including Anthony Roth Costanzo, Pamela Z, and Tony Arnold) and to work on cross-disciplinary performance practices, culminating in public concerts in Banff Centre’s beautiful performance spaces.
The effect of this grant on our audience growth—both live and virtual—is substantial:
Now in 2018, we have…
Over 600 attendees at our NYC Festival
1,311 Facebook page likes
15.9K Soundcloud track plays
38.6K YouTube video plays
11K Vimeo video plays
4,600 RSS subscribers to the Resonant Bodies Podcast
1,174 Instagram followers
In 2016, we had…
450 attendees at our NYC Festival
797 Facebook page likes
7K Soundcloud track plays
19K YouTube video plays
682 Vimeo video plays
1,200 RSS subscribers to the Resonant Bodies Podcast
Finally, in keeping with the mission of the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation to act as a cornerstone in the financial development of small nonprofit organizations, the $20,000 grant served as a catalyst for exponential financial growth in contributed income. Since 2016, we have received grants from:
Aaron Copland Foundation (2016, 2017)
Alice M. Ditson Fund (2017, 2018)
Amphion Foundation (2017, 2018)
Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation (2017, 2018)
BMI Foundation (2017, 2018)
Cliff Dwellers Foundation (2018)
Creative Victoria (2017)
Culture Ireland (2017)
New Music USA (2017, 2018)
New York Department of Cultural Affairs (2019)
New York State Council on the Arts (2019)
South Wales State Grant (2018)
Resonant Bodies Podcast — 46 episodes
We have connected with the LA Philharmonic about partnering up to create a Noon to Midnight Resonant Bodies Festival. We’ve been in conversation with Chad Smith (LA Phil’s COO) and are setting up times to talk with their programming directors, Meghan and Phillippa. What we envision is an immersive multi-space 12-hour festival that showcases LA-based vocalists (like Odeya Nini, Delaram Kamareh, Julianna Snapper, Stephanie Aston, et al) as well as national and international vocalists from past RBF Festivals like Pamela Z, Tony Arnold, Jen Shyu, Nathalie Joachim, Sofia Jernberg, Jennifer Walshe, and others.
We have applied for a grant in London (through Jessica Aszodi, who co-directs the Australia festival) to present the festival there, and have also talked with the Norwegian Ultima Festival Artistic Director, Thorbjørn Hansen, about teaming up to present ResBods on Ultima Festival in 2020. Through Sarah Maria Sun, who performed on the festival in NYC this past fall, we also have contacts with festival directors in Vienna (Wien Modern) and Berlin (Musikfest Berlin).
We are hoping to build festivals in Mexico, South America (Argentina or Brazil), and Asia (China, Japan, or India). We believe in the worldwide mission of the Festival and want to connect vocalists all over the world with one another.