As the years pass, the world becomes increasingly digital. In 2020, the virtual landscape became the new social club, workplace, gym and more, as we had to refrain from physical contact in almost all ways. Bradly Gilvin and Karla Batres, also known as the artist collective Batres Gilvin, used their creativity to fit into this niche perfectly.
The Northern Kentuckians applied to ArtWorks’ Jump Start: Fueling Emerging Artists program for a shot at a stipend, studio space and assistance from ArtWorks Youth Apprentices to complete a community-based public art project that helps address a social or civic challenge. Their pitch? Batres and Gilvin wanted to curate and facilitate Give A Minute Cincinnati (GA:MC), a digital space where Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati community members can exchange valuable information. As former educators, the facilitation of learning is a part of their expertise.
“We wanted to open a space where Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati residents can share their creative knowledge with one another in the form of one-minute videos,” Batres said. “Our goal is to promote connectedness by bringing members of our region’s diverse community together in an accessible way.”
This sounded like a proposal about camaraderie when we needed it the most. The duo was selected as an awardee, and, together with some of our sharpest Youth Apprentices, Jay Cason and Miles Bruggemeyer, they were off to the races.
In September 2020, the GA:MC website launched, and the call for videos was open to the public. The team wished to spark curiosity and creativity, bringing together diverse audiences that would otherwise never interact due to socio-economic differences, geography and COVID-19. Submissions were posted on not only their site, but their social media channels as well. Cason and Bruggemeyer had their hands full working on communications for the project. Clips came in featuring how-tos on everything from burlesque personas to gardening. Their motto is “We are all learners, we are all teachers.”
Initially, the project was to include an in-person aspect, but as the year grew on, it became increasingly clear that virtual events would be safer and more accessible due to the circumstances. The event funding instead went into a scholarship fund for local undergraduate Fine Arts Majors. As educators and locally trained artists, Batres and Gilvin felt this would be a good opportunity to pay it forward to the next generation of Greater Cincinnati artists.
Five $300 scholarships were awarded in total. Submissions were received from students of Thomas More University, University of Cincinnati DAAP, Art Academy of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University. The recipients were chosen by Batres Gilvin and their Apprentices based on the quality and concept of their one-minute video. The applicants were highlighted on the Give A Minute Cincinnati website (giveaminutecincinnati.com), Instagram (@giveaminutecincinnati), and YouTube channel (Give A Minute Cincinnati), where anyone can easily locate all the Give A Minute Cincinnati submissions.
What’s next for Batres Gilvin? A season 2 of GA:MC, of course. A second call was released in winter 2020 and they continue to post videos on their Instagram page and website.
You can hear more from Batres Gilvin at our March 2021 Viva Voce on YouTube.
ArtWorks is an award-winning Greater Cincinnati nonprofit that transforms people and places through investments in creativity. The organization collaborates with community organizations and residents, businesses, governments, foundations and nonprofits to build creative works of art that bolster the region’s global reputation as an arts destination. ArtWorks employs professional artists who inspire and mentor diverse teams of youth, ages 14-21, helping them build 21st century career-readiness skills. These teams have completed more than 13,800 public and private art projects in its 25 years, including more than 200 permanent outdoor murals.