As the sunflower* reincarnates as a salty, howling - and hopefully somewhat artistic - dog, ArtBark represents the unceasing hunt for new fields, new scents, easy puns, and an easier name to spell. With a mission to spread love and light through the power of creative expression, one thing is sure to remain the same – our commitment to being the change we wish to see in the world & to place a strong value on relationship, communication, and building community.
Clay Bodine, Fishbon
“Forward Thinking Artists”
The Santa Barbara Independent
An international collective with vision,
An international collective with courage,
An international collective manifesting
the change we wish to see in the world
choosing to lead rather than follow.
SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre has morphed into ArtBark International
Our Mission:Through innovative artistic leadership foster connections with global artistic resources promoting regional, national & international pathways of cross-cultural performance and teaching opportunities for artists. To increase arts tourism through our productions and collaborations, and to balance community service excellence with artistic excellence through our educational outreach, community outreach, and our international tours.
About: Co founded by Misa Kelly, Stephen Kelly and Mojca Majcen in 2012, ArtBark International combines the 15 years experience as SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre and 25 years experience as Stephen Kelly Music. The organization is a high level professional inter-generational, cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary Dance & Physical Theater Company that works with creative beings from all walks of life. Our present activities embrace innovative ways of organizing that serve to shift the paradigm of how professional artists organize and how success is measured staying abreast of how the arts industry is evolving. As ArtBark International we are continuing to carve out work for theater while giving ourselves permission to embrace more co-creative, collaborative & experimental sensibilities. We make positive use of the power of the internet using skype, facebook, dropbox, and YouTube for project planning, networking, rehearsals & are beginning to integrate it into our performances. Core creative and organizational collaborators presently reside in Santa Barbara, New York, Los Angeles, France, Slovenia, Austria and Turkey. In 2012, through ArtBark’s Affinity Project, the company toured Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, New York, and to Paris, France. Through their ADaPT Fest series ArtBark International toured to Vienna, Austria for the Raw Matters ADaPT Special Festival. Additional performances took place in Venice Beach, CA for MAX10, at the Miles Memorial Playhouse for the MixMatch Festival, the Santa Barbara Museum of art as a part of the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance’s “Dance Day” and twice at Yoga Soup for NECTAR: Home and NECTAR: Golden. Our long term vision includes creation of “Art Farms” – both rural and urban.
ArtBark is more than just a dance company. It's an intergenerational (and inter-species) collective made up of dancers, choreographers, actors, musicians, visual artists, and writers. Many of us straddle multiple disciplines. Some of us have decades of experience and training in our disciplines, and when we come to do this work together, we get to express and share that experience as well as learn and play with disciplines and media that are new to us.
We come together to make art not just for art's sake, but to build community. When we come together to create, we build relationships with one another. In these relationships, we feel seen, heard and valued. We come to trust one another as we take risks and rev our creative engines. We support each other as artists and as human beings--because no artistic process can move forward even an inch without individual heart, soul and mind investment. In playing and working together, we build social capital, a term that describes the value of the networks of relationships among people.
Social capital is just like economic capital: it has value, it can be accrued and spent, and when it's short, negative impact results. Over the past half century, social capital has become a far more rare commodity in Western nations where emphasis and value are placed on competition, materialism and entertainment. Where sharing, caring, mutual support, empathy, and creative expression are lacking, so is social capital. And a growing body of research finds that low social capital correlates strongly with poor psychological and physical health.
ArtBark's mission is, in part, about unplugging from social media, digital entertainment and the culture of consumerism, and about celebrating the gifts each person brings just by being their creative selves. By coming together to build art, and by welcoming others to view and participate in it, we don't just have temporary enjoyment. We promote a healthier culture and healthier bodies, minds and hearts. From that place, we can become forces for healing for the entire planet.
Sponsored by our 501 (c) 3 the Future Traditions Foundation
October 2012 - July 2014 activities funded in part by the Organizational Development Grant Program using funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission. Special thanks to the Kelly Family Foundation, the RSFF and Christiane Schlumberger for their 2013 support!