PushPush Theater, one of Atlanta’s premiere risk-taking arts organizations for theater and film, is announcing major changes for the coming season and beyond. The changes include new venues, partnerships, and additional staff along with a more streamlined approach toward developing original content. Most notably, PushPush management will free itself from its current Decatur facility in order to concentrate more key resources towards projects and artists.
“We’re ready to focus more directly on our work,” says PushPush Co-founder Shelby Hofer. “Our time at East Decatur Station has been great. We’ve served thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations with some outstanding work and programs in this space for nearly ten years. But for us, too much time, money and other resources have gone into maintaining a traditional arts facility. We want more of our energy and income to bolster new programming and people.”
The artist-run organization is about to dive into a two-year transition process funded partly by a new media grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The decision for the changes have been reinforced by recent technical assistance grants from The Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund and The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The shift is designed to lead toward new programming that serves a broader number of artists and audiences.
The NEA funds, together with matching funds raised by PushPush, support the development of a new digital arts network built around an episodic series calledGRFX (graphics). The filmed series will tell the story of a new creative class and the battle between higher aspirations and commercial realities, and the struggle to have an original voice amidst cultural differences. The project is the result of PushPush’s sixteen years of arts service, production and international activity.
“The GRFX project offers us an ideal opportunity to commit to an idea over time in both physical and digital space. Because the project mirrors our mission so closely, all of our normal activities, from education to performance, will flow from this project over the next two years,” explained Hofer.
“We started in the backspace at 7 Stages,” recalls PushPush Co-founder Tim Habeger. “Then we moved to the historic Hilan Theater in Virginia Highlands, the Float Away Building on Zonolite Road, and finally to East Decatur Station in Avondale Estates. Now we are thinking about occupying space in a totally different way.” Habeger added, “Going forward, we won’t be saddled with year-round facility management and expenditures. Being adaptable, portable, and global is by far the best way to pursue our newest projects.”
With numerous options for performance and programming space, PushPush will partner with local arts organizations, studios, galleries and other spaces in and outside Atlanta for various projects over the next year. While currently in negotiations for office and studio space, they plan to divest facility operations to their current East Decatur Station location by October, 2012.
PushPush will continue to present artists, workshops and shows. Various programming spaces will be announced in August and September. They will also work with current producing artists to continue key programs like The International Portal Project, Dailies film projects, Write Club Atlanta, and three new literary performance projects: Naked City, ISMprov and Syllabus. In addition, PushPush is developing a new type of interactive installation this fall as part of a new touring series.
Finally, PushPush is proud to announce that it will be working with a new management & development support team made up of several outstanding Atlanta arts promoters. In addition, they have recently engaged Project Designer Jim DiStefano (Turner Entertainment, The Barbarian Group, etc) as Project Strategy Leader for the new GRFX project.
“There’s some fear of the unknown, but mostly we are excited,” said Board Member Elisa Fay. “It has been a long time coming. It may take some time for patrons to get used to it, but for us it’s a bold beginning to a new chapter.”