My name is Christopher Johnson. I am a Providence resident artist, artist educator, curator, and producer here in the city since 2001. Upon arriving in the city I have independently organized and produced performances and events on small and large scales for nonprofit organizations, clubs, and citywide festivals. When I started in this city I worked with no budget and focused on building relationships with artists, audiences, businesses, art organizations, and funding organizations. My rapport with aforementioned individuals has allowed me to gain success after success in grant writing and finding alternative funding for projects (such as Poetry in Public Places for Sound Session 2004 through 2010), in being an agent of intersectionality between organizations (Pairing Everett Dance “Freedom Project” with WaterFire and Roger Williams Memorial Park 2015 &20016), organize and curate independent artist for pop up and stage performance for downtown festivals (First Works 2004, Sound Session 2004-10, Straight Mixed Culture 2005-09, Wilbury Theater’s PVD Fringe Fest 2014-15, PVDFest 2015-16).
My life as a self-employed, independent artist in Rhode Island has put me in a position to connect with communities, other artist and organizations allowing me to see an opportunity to field needs and fill holes. As an entrepreneur I am self-taught in grant writing, used leadership skills acquired from the US Army to be efficient, organized, disseminate information and delegate authority. I think it best in order to demonstrate my meeting the qualifications for this position, I tell you that in Sound Session 07, I learned what I was truly capable of. I ran the section of the festival called “Poetry in Public places,” a title I still use for the PVDFest and other projects. For this particular project, not only did I hand pick a team of organizers and local poets for street performances, recruit students from Brown University to volunteer and perform, but I booked HBO Def Poetry Jam poets, wrote the grants to fund the endeavor, booked four nights of performances in four different venues, scheduled writing/performance workshops with five different youth organizations in the city, hosted and performed at all these events, coordinated all the efforts with my team, leading people to follow the plan laid out to ensure success. Passion drives me to make these things happen. I grew up with arts programs as a child and I believe my track record and history in the city of Providence proves I want to be an integral part of bringing all that I had growing up to this city in some capacity.
In closing, I added a link to this letter of Poetry in Public Places Sound Session 2010, a Risca supported event, that I conceptualized and perfected through the course of three years to become three times as successful from I first had the idea in 2004 and built a solid team in 2007. I would like to thank you for your consideration and hope to meet you soon.