San Francisco Artist Carol Leigh and The Center For Sex and Culture Awarded the
Creative Work Fund Award in Media Arts for 2006
Contact BAYSWAN: 415-751-1659
"This year, the Creative Work Fund's awards illustrate the great spirit and ingenuity that thrives in the Bay Area's arts community," comments the Fund's director, Frances Phillips. "The media and performing arts awardees who have partnered with local nonprofits will push artistic boundaries, benefit social and medical services, and reflect the vibrancy and vitality of the Bay Area.”
The Creative Work Fund has announced 21 grants. Grants are highly competitive and recommended to the Fund by prestigious committees of panelists. Among this season’s honored recipients are media and performance artist Carol Leigh in collaboration with the Center for Sex and Culture on "Art, Advocacy and Identity." The project makes innovative use of a Pathfinder-based delivery system to organize digital materials that document the stories, artistic expressions, history, cultural roles, and legal and social positions of sex workers internationally.
Carol Leigh has been an activist and an artist in the Bay Area for almost thirty years. Since the late seventies, she has written and performed political satire as "Scarlot Harlot," based on her experience as a sex worker. Leigh taught digital video production at the International Center for Digital Art, Center for Electronic Arts and other schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a long-time activist in the sex workers' rights movement in the U.S. and internationally--in fact, she coined the term "sex work" in the late 70s. She curates and directs the San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival. She is webmistress of the BAYSWAN website, which features the most extensive information about sex workers' rights and issues on the web. She was seated on the San Francisco Board of Supervisor's Task Force on Prostitution representing San Francisco's Commission on the Status of Women. For the past decade Leigh has traveled to U.S. and international conferences, documenting the sex workers’ rights movement around the globe. Unrepentant Whore: The Collected Work of Scarlot Harlot was published by Last Gasp in March, 2004. Further information about Carol Leigh is available at www.unrepentantwhore.com.
Carol Queen, Ph.D., CSC’s founding director, is a much published, award-winning writer about sexual cultural issues. Her doctoral program in sexology gave her an abiding respect for the hard-to-preserve materials that document especially marginalized sexual cultures and individuals. Co-founder, Dr. Robert Morgan Lawrence, Ed.D. has 25 years of experience in the field of human sexuality. He has a doctorate of education in human sexuality. As a publicly available expert he is a sex industry consultant, educator and (academic) author. He lectures extensively about human sexuality and health. Together Carol and Robert teach, write, and produce sex education events and materials.
The Center for Sex and Culture maintains a rare collection of publications, private archives, art and artifacts, documenting the nexus of sex and culture. The ambiance of this library is uniquely conducive to an understanding of the cultural context that CSC makes available to scholars and interested laypeople. The mission of the Center for Sex and Culture is to provide non-judgmental, sex-positive sexuality education and support to diverse populations by means of classes, workshops, cultural events such as readings, art shows, and performances, social gatherings, and practical skills-building events; to maintain and house these events and to staff and support this learning environment. Further information about the Center for Sex and Culture is available at www.sexandculture.org.
The Creative Work Fund was created by 1994 by Bay Area foundations that wanted to contribute to the creation of new art works and to support local artists. It is now a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that is supported by generous grants from the Columbia Foundation, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation. In 2005-06 it invited artists and organizations from Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Solano counties to apply.
For more information about The Creative Work Fund, please call 415.398.4474 or visit The Creative Work Fund's website at www.creativeworkfund.org.