Project Artaud: An Artists’ Village in San Francisco

By Rebekah Moan : potreroview – excerpt

Project Artaud – pronounced Ar-toe – on 499 Alabama Street is an artists’ village/cooperative/collective. Technically, the project is a nonprofit, but “nonprofit” doesn’t capture the undertaking’s essence, which is hard to characterize, admitted visual and performing artist Anna Dal Pino.

“The difficulty and beauty of Project Artaud is that there is no consensus on the ‘project’s essence,’” Dal Pino wrote in an email to the View. “We are a group of artists with very different voices. Speaking to only a few will not accurately describe us; there simply is no ‘typical’ Project Artaud artist or Project Artaud life.”

According to Wendy Gilmore, Project Artaud’s board secretary and office manager, “It’s hard to realize how much work it is to live in this community when you’re on the outside, and when you’re on the inside it’s hard to communicate that to people on the outside.”

Project Artaud was named for French avant-garde artist, and author of The Theatre and its Double, Antonin Artaud – 1896 to 1948 – who believed art should happen in nontraditional spaces. In 1971, a group of artists rented a decommissioned industrial building, the American Can Company’s tooling factory, constructed in 1925. Project Artaud was born.

Project Artaud’s mission is to “Provide a workplace and materials for tradesmen, craftsmen, artists, and teachers who teach the principles of their respective occupations to underprivileged and problem children and adults in the community. To promote the appreciation of literary, dramatic and manual arts in the community at large. And to promote a new urban consciousness and a cooperative spirit in the solution of urban community problems.” … (more)

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