Episode 49 of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast features Carron Little, poet, public engagement artist, public performance curator, organizer, educator, public policy creator, and director of Out of Site Chicago. At the core of Carron’s practice is the transformation of cities through cultural programming. She curates and organizes Out of Site Chicago, a public performance art festival showcasing cutting edge work by local and international artists since 2011. As an artist, she has been supported by the city of Lucerne, Switzerland, (2016 -2018) Liverpool U.K. (2017), Beverly, Chicago (2015 - 2016) Chicago (2014 - 2015) and Uptown, Chicago (2013 - 2015) to develop public engagement projects for cities and neighborhoods.
Carron and Heather caught up virtually in Chicago, Illinois and Marina del Rey, California.
Listen in as Carron and Heather talk about:
The state of art, artists and public policy in the city of Chicago and cities around the world. How Carron has been working as an advocate for fair wages for artists and how others can contribute to support and create policies that support artist access to funding opportunities and equitable stipends which can facilitate a deeper connection between artists, their cities and audiences.
A dive into Carron’s Spare Rib project where she creates poetry based on one-on-one interviews with women from the ages of 20 to 100 that culminates in a performance for the participants, their families, and the public, weaving people, poetry, and place and expanding the notion of intimacy between strangers. Carron’s idea for Spare Rib came after Barack Obama invited three UN Delegates to come to the US to investigate the quality of life for women in America. They presented their findings in the spring of 2016 and their findings were grim. They discussed the lack of childcare provision, healthcare and wage equality for women in America impacting a heightened rate of poverty in the female population compared to our European counterparts. Carron has developed this project in five cities and culminates the work in an operatic/vocal performance, she continues to be brought into cities to replicate this project, most recently Spare Rib, Revisited.
A reading of one of her poems from the Spare Rib project called The Long Road and a chat about her process from taking written notes during her one-on-one interview to formulate the structure of the poem, and how through continued research, performance, and edits she formulates the final version.
A look into 2020 and the state of how we treat each other and how art helps support the fight for equality. Growing up in a political activist family combined with her supportive professors at University and one amazing lunch with a group of phenomenal women continued her love of being an artist and activist for women and all humans.
The transformation of our cities through cultural programming that engages the public directly is at the core of my practice as an artist and curator. Carron has been interviewing the public and writing poetry inspired by one to one interviews since 2010. Through interactive performance and public engagement projects for neighborhoods and cities she has amassed a large collection of people poetry. She received a BA, First Class Honors from Goldsmiths College, U.K. and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a Shapiro Research Fellowship in 2016 and taught in the Performance Department from 2014 to 2017. Little curates the public performance festival Out of Site Chicago that she founded in 2011 with local and international artists, prioritizing interactive experiences. She sits on the WPB Arts Committee since 2010 supporting public art initiatives and was elected onto the College Arts Association (CAA) Committee of Women in the Arts in 2018. The public engagement projects include Dream Minds (2012 -2013), Neighborhood Magic (2015 – 2016) in Beverly Chicago, Spare Rib Revisited for Lucerne, Switzerland (2016 - 2018) and Liverpool, U.K. (2017). Most recently, she has given lectures on her practice at Montgomery Community College, Maryland, the CAA in New York City, Grand Valley State University in Michigan, University of Chicago (twice), Ohio University and Burren College of Art, Ireland. She has presented her people poetry and interactive performances at Woerdz 2018 (spoken word festival), Switzerland; Sarajevo’s Winter Festival, Bosnia; Burren College of Art, Ireland; Hatch Art, Detroit; Performing Arts Festival, Berlin, and Loge Theater, Lucerne, Switzerland, in addition to local venues in Chicago. She has a long-term collaborative practice with Berlin-based artist, Daniela Ehemann. Carron recently finished an artist in residence at Montgomery College, Maryland working with the students to create interactive encounters on the college campus for their Art Walk in 2019 and is an invited guest curator/artist to Water Tower Arts Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria.