Blackbird Creative Lab is a tuition-free, two-week immersive experience that combines the idyllic seclusion of an artist retreat, the intense camaraderie of a chamber music intensive, and the practical skills of a leadership program. Located on the bucolic campus of the Besant Hill School in the Ojai Valley, of California, 24 performing artists and six composers from around the world gather each summer to develop and realize their own dream projects in addition to exploring and performing works written for The Lab. Chicago-based chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird are founders of The Lab, and its members serve as the program’s core instrumental faculty. Utilizing their signature learn-by-doing approach, Eighth Blackbird coaches and mentors while playing alongside the fellows, who also benefit from the guidance of two composers and one multidisciplinary artist on faculty. Augmenting the faculty is a diverse array of visiting guest artists who give seminars on topics ranging from Carnatic rhythm to public speaking. This unprecedented new program is designed to inspire, empower and equip the next generation of artists to become provocateurs and leaders of their communities.
This concert will premiere work commissioned for the Lab, as well as performances from this year’s Lab fellows. 2018 composer fellows: Nick Benavides, Oliver Lewin, Gemma Peacocke, Nina Shehkar, Liza Sobel, and Annika Socolofsky.
The Blackbird Creative Lab is supported in part by the Colburn Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.