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JANUARY 20, 2011 Rocket Grants Propel Artistic Innovation

From The Kansas City Star

"Leralee Whittle mimicked the motion of cardio exercise, jerking her arms and torso back and forth. Dumbbells hanging in a sling formed by her stretchy workout clothing echoed her body’s movements.

Whittle was in a gym, but she was not exercising. She was performing in front of an audience, moving her body in an exaggerated way to satirize our culture’s obsession with sports. Whittle and her collaborator, musician and composer Paul Sprawl, chose an unexpected venue — the gym of the Westport-Roanoke Community Center — for the November premiere of their performance, “WorkArtOut.”

Integrating live dance and video projections, WorkArtOut critiqued sports culture through movement, music, costume and a healthy sense of the absurd.

Performers donned clown wigs, batting helmets and protective padding. Dancers posed and gyrated on yoga mats, breathing heavily while making come-hither glances toward the audience, calling attention to the conflation of fitness and sexuality.

A $4,000 Rocket Grant helped Whittle realize “WorkArtOut.” Funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the program aims to boost artistic innovation by awarding small grants to artist-driven projects."

By Theresa Bembnister

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

More on the Foundation's Regional Regranting Program here.