Located inside an active Aikido dojo, and under the leadership of Laura Isaac, Arts Dojo will present programming to push local artists further in their work, focusing on developing work-in-progress, honing skills, critiques and training. Programming for the Arts Dojo 2016/17 season includes performance-art workshops and curation, monthly meetings and programs, staged readings and critique groups, rehearsals and music workshops, and a book circle. All Arts Dojo programs are open to the public and the Kansas City regional community.
Flesh Crisis in conjunction with curator Jessica Borusky was created in order to generate performance art workshops in collaboration with visiting artists and the burgeoning Kansas City performance art community. Arts Dojo will work with Flesh Crisis in order to produce 4 workshops throughout the year that address different components of performance art practice, including: time and objects, duration/endurance, body art, and tableau. These workshops will be an educational platform designed to elevate and develop local artists’ performance work and practice within a regional and national conversation.
Arts Dojo’s new Interdisciplinary Support Group will host monthly programs exploring art practices that span multiple genres and media. Speakers specializing in cross-disciplinary projects will be brought in to give presentations quarterly.
The Latino Writers Collective guided by Jose Faus has formed a theatre group to develop and workshop new material. The LWC is focusing on bringing stories to a theatrical setting – looking to further original work that engages the community. It also provides a place for Latino writers to access instruction, developing skills from writing to directing while telling relevant stories about the Latino experience. The LWC has been active in the Kansas City since 2006, organizing and coordinating projects for the larger community to showcase national and local Latino writers, and providing role models and instruction to Latino youth.
Kaite Stover of the Kansas City Public Library will moderate the new Arts Dojo Book Circle. Each quarter, Arts Dojo will select a book for reading and discussion that focuses on the process and practice of the creative arts.
As of April 2016, the community Balinese gamelan ensemble Gamelan Genta Kasturi – under the direction of Patrick Conway – has called Arts Dojo home. The group has been active in Kansas City since their founding in 2003. The ensemble is a perfect fit for Arts Dojo as they retain and regularly perform traditional repertoire as well as create and perform new work in collaboration with other musicians and choreographers. By providing the ensemble a permanent rehearsal and studio space, Arts Dojo will enable this unique cross-disciplinary collaboration to continue to flourish within the Kansas City community.
An incubator for visual, literary, musical, and performing arts, Arts Dojo is a place where artists can take it to the mat and throw down.
Laura Isaac is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Kansas City. With a background in printmaking she now uses installation, performance, digital imagery, and fibers to create her projects. She has worked closely with musicians, choreographers, writers, and other visual artists to create large cross-disciplinary projects. Isaac is particularly interested in the ways that working with artists from other genres can push the skills of everyone involved.
Currently, Isaac is in the midst of a long-term performance/visual project called 10,000 Hours exploring and documenting the subjective experience of skill development by learning to knit. Now at just over a quarter of the way through the project she is a professional knitter and receiving recognition for her knitted art. In 2012, her temporary knitted installation on the Alexander Calder sculpture, La Grande Vitesse, in Grand Rapids, Michigan was placed on the ArtPrize Top-Five Urban-Space Award Short List by juror Susan Szenasy.
Isaac received a Seeley Foundation Grant and an Inspiration Grant from ArtsKC in 2013. She was a 2013-2014 Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Resident. In 2016 Isaac started Arts Dojo in the unused portion of an active Aikido dojo in Kansas City. Arts Dojo brings together the themes of Isaac’s own art practice: pursuing artistic rigor and examining artistic process across multiple fields. Isaac has shown her work in galleries and arts venues throughout the United States including Kansas City, Santa Fe, Miami, and New York. Isaac received her Master’s in Studio Art from The University of Missouri – Kansas City.