COMMUNITY, CAREERS & THE POLITICS OF FOOD

at the table with Aaron Cezar

Tell us something about yourself that we cannot find on the Delfina Foundation’s Website, but that is important to understanding who you are!

I’m originally American, born and raised in Louisiana in the deep South, where hospitality is a strong value. It’s really no wonder that I’ve hosted some 300 artists in residence through several organisations for the last 12 years. My previous employer was Metal, an artistic laboratory space established by Jude Kelly, who is a leading theatre director and cultural leader in the UK. I started as a project director supporting residencies in London, Liverpool and Southend-on-Sea that spanned music to visual arts. Ultimately I became the Managing Director of a consultancy that Metal established to develop creative projects with a focus on urban regeneration. We worked with property developers and local governments on projects to engage artists in communities undergoing radical change. Often the projects were opportunities for local people to voice their concerns and maintain their sense of community through dynamic cultural projects.

Can you tell us about Delfina Foundation and the support system behind it?

We are unique in terms of how we support artistic development through our residency and public programmes. More distinctly, our residency programme is based on themes, bringing together practitioners with common interests about critical issues of the day. We are also located in two houses that have been renovated into one home. Therefore, there is a strong domestic feel since the residency programme is fully residential: living and working takes place in the same space. Delfina Foundation is not a funding body; rather, we harness resources from individual patrons, grant-making bodies, embassies and businesses to support artistic development. Our founder Delfina Entrecanales provides no-strings-attached support towards 40% of our costs and provides rent-free space, which gives us some autonomy. Therefore, we are set up as a private foundation to reflect our independence.

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