Cinema St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)

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  three muscicians on stage, bass, violin and trap drums

The Revolutionary Ensemble, with avant-garde legend Leroy Jenkins on violin and Sirone on bass and Jerome Cooper on drums, at the 2004 Vision Festival in New York City, sponsored by Arts for Art. Artwork behind musicians is by Yuko Otomo. Photo by Michael Wilderman

Arts for Art is an artist-run nonprofit in New York City that builds awareness and understanding of avant-garde jazz and other expressive art movements that share an aesthetic based on a disciplined disregard for traditional boundaries. The organization's principal activities include exhibitions of visual arts, community-based art education programs, and the presentation of cutting-edge music, highlighted by the annual Vision Festival.

In FY 2004, Arts for Art received an NEA Creativity grant of $10,000 to support the ninth annual Vision Festival from May 25 through May 31, 2004. The festival was held at the Center at St. Patrick's Cathedral and drew more than 3,500 people over seven days.

The Vision Festival revolves around self-produced performances of a cooperative group of musicians working in avant-garde jazz. There were a total of 150 artists who performed in 31 performing groups during the festival, with some of brightest stars in contemporary avant-garde jazz - William Parker (one of the founding members of Arts for Art), Matthew Shipp, and David S. Ware - performing with legendary musicians such as Reggie Workman, Leroy Jenkins, Butch Morris, and the Sun Ra Arkestra.

The festival offers benefits to both the artists and the public: the artists gain essential exposure to larger audiences, leading to more performing and recording opportunities, and the public gets to experience some of the finest experimental improvised music available. The casual atmosphere of the performances allows the audiences and artists to mingle and interact.

(From the 2004 NEA Annual Report)