How to donate
THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY. Send a check to:
Control Group Productions
1801 Brentwood St.
Lakewood, CO 80214
THE NON-CASH WAY. Contact us about in-kind donations of time, services, and materials that you think we might be able to put to work.
WHY SUPPORT US?
- Because you love what we do.
- Because we have an impeccable record not only of financial responsibility (we've never carried debt or ended a fiscal year in the red) but also of magnification of resources through in-kind, non-cash, and non-traditional business and creative practices.
- Because it will help move the whole local arts culture forward toward more opportunities, impact, sustainability, and vibrancy.
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
Humbly, I believe our work can change the world.
Creating and sharing art is a potent form of activism. This isn’t about proselytizing and propaganda. It’s about addressing the root cause of many of our world’s greatest challenges: how we act toward each other and our world.
ART BREEDS COMPASSION. Arts events bring us together – literally sitting/standing next to each other, having a shared experience (check out this study on how audience's hearts synchronize as they watch a performance!). Through the experience, we form a connection with the artists, the topics in the work, and our fellow viewers, that extends far beyond the end of the event. This breeds empathy and builds community.
ART BREEDS COMPLEX THOUGHT. At its best, art offers us a complex experience without telling us everything we need to think about it. That allows us to engage the event personally and discursively, evoking other ideas and experiences and allowing us to connect the dots. Contributing our own thoughts to the experience, we become open to shifting our perspectives on a topic (see David Brooks's argument for art as a vehicle for changing minds). Through this, art helps us find a more thoughtful, complex relationship with our world.
ART TAKES US FORWARD. Each of our works aims to offer a novel, singular experience – to take people somewhere they've never been before. We pursue innovation relentlessly, playfully. Seeking to displace ourselves and our audiences from everyday experience and ensconced perspective, we find platforms for real change in how we conduct ourselves in the world.
HOW WE DO WHAT WE DO
Here's a bit about our values, approaches, and needs – and how we'll use your donation:
1. ENTERING THE UNKNOWN: Research-driven contemporary art. Good art shows us something new in our world – unexpected beauty, new and fascinating experiences, the many facets of an idea or an ethos. In its best moments, art leaves our familiar, comfortable understandings of beauty and awe and literally moves us – to a new vantage point, opening up spaces and perspectives that we didn't even know were there.
This doesn't happen overnight, and it doesn't happen by doing what we did last time. Instead of deciding how a new work will look, we use extended research and development periods to lay the foundation for the process to begin expressing its particular needs and direction. Our job is to follow it and listen to it.
We create richly explored, research-driven, boundary-destroying contemporary art works. Prolonged artistic processes find meaty engagement with complex concepts and themes, heading toward rich, multi-faceted conclusions. Our work often challenges the structures of how art is shared and experienced, exiting traditional venues and standard performance modes to encounter the audience directly, in unusual places and ways.
2. ALL IN IT TOGETHER: Engaging the community and progressing critical dialogs. Art offers unique potentials for communal discourse and growth. Because of its particular capacity to offer direct, individually received experiences, art has the ability to bridge divides and take dialogs out of conflict zones into spaces where progress is possible. We're not saying that art can, for instance, end racism – but we ARE saying racial reconciliation is going to require crucial contributions from the arts. (By the way, David Brooks agrees.)
We choose concepts and topics that need dialog, places where we see our community or society at large stuck in conflict. Our process involves not only making an aesthetic product, but engaging our collaborators, audiences, and wider community in deep, open-ended conversations about where we stand, what we see, and how we understand our world to work (or not work). Our research reverberates well beyond the moment of performing the artistic final product, contributing to our community's knowledge, values, and practices.
3. IT'S ABOUT THE PEOPLE: How we'll use your money. It takes a lot of time, energy, and other resources to pursue the depth of investigation and artistic processing necessary to make a new work that's worth a darn. Arts funding in our country has been eroding for a generation, and our region lacks much of the infrastructure in the arts that sustains artistic production in other places. In order not only to survive but to thrive in our pursuit of our work, we've had to rethink a lot of the business and creative practices that are standard-issue for arts non-profits. We've honed in on our core values, looked at how we allocate resources, examined what needs can be answered through innovation and what practices we can change to better serve the work we do together.
Our primary conclusion: People – our human relationships – are our most valuable resource. We've structured our operations and budgeting in a way that allows us to ensure that ALL individual donations go directly to paying artists for their work (the vast majority of grant funding does as well). This does several important things:
- It ensures compensation (thin but viable) for our artists to bring their fullest commitment to the work we do together.
- It creates resiliency through scale-able programming – basically, many of our programs are designed to expand as funding becomes available, without compromising our organization's infrastructure.
- It gives you an absolute guarantee that your donation converts directly into artists making art (in fact, because of our in-kind practices it converts at a rate of about $3 for each dollar donated).
4. IT'S BIGGER THAN US: How the arts contribute to their society. Whether it's economic vitality, academic development, societal health, or quality of life that you're after, the arts deliver. Simply put, art makes people better – better at doing their work, better at empathizing with others, better at understanding their world. Art can't replace food, water, shelter, and health, but it can help create a culture where those needs are more available because the economy is more robust, the culture is more open and thoughtful, and people are more educated and capable.
The Front Range has plenty of arts offerings, even many with the capacity to affect their audiences profoundly; but it is still struggling to establish a robust arts ecosystem and cultural voice in tune with its diverse, quickly growing population and with the contemporary world in which we all live.
We're part of the way forward. We hope you'll support us.