CACHE Offers Cash: Tyson initiative funds artists, performers, more

CACHE Offers Cash: Tyson initiative funds artists, performers, more
April Wallace

It’s no secret that lack of funding can get in the way of many artistic productions, but now there are numbers to back that up locally and funds in place to fix it.

During a 2021 survey of 400 Northwest Arkansas artists, 75% said their primary impediment was lack of affordable space and time required to test and create new work.

The Creative Exchange Fund is a new initiative that will allow local artists, directors, curators and other creatives to apply for the necessary funding. The money can go toward their galleries, shows, performances and more, as well as studio space to create their work.

The Creative Exchange Fund is made possible by a grant from the Tyson Family Foundation and will support 80 activations throughout this year and into 2023. Of those 80, 32 will be live events; 24 will be indoor or outdoor installations; and 20 will be community workshops. All activity will take place at the CACHE 214 campus, at 214 S. Main St. in Springdale.

“It’s an exciting year we have ahead of us,” says Lisa Marie Evans, project manager of creative development for the Creative Arkansas Community Hub and Exchange, which announced the fund’s launch on Feb. 7. Evans and Artist & Community Manager Amber Perrodin gave interested artists more details in various Zoom meetings over the course of the following week.

The Creative Exchange Fund has five different opportunities. Organizers urge artists to apply for only one — the one that suits their specialty the most closely. Applications close March 14 at 5 p.m.

“They’ll all have mentorship, networking tools and resources that are industry specific,” Evans says. “We want to offer those to help (artists) succeed and connect them with community.”

Applications will be reviewed by a panel from the 214 advisory committee, 214 leadership council, CACHE staff and representatives from the Tyson Family Foundation. To determine the awards, they will think about whether the project presents opportunities for professional growth and risk taking. They will ask themselves if it is feasible and whether the artist applying has the skill to achieve what they propose. Panelists are looking for projects with a compelling vision or purpose.


A total of 10 Producer awards are available for event producers at $2,500 each to support original live, community-driven events at the CACHE 214 campus.

“Producers’ grant can be hosted anywhere within the facility,” Perrodin says. “The parking lot or blackbox, [but] the platform is primarily around the stage.”

Perrodin says you do not have to be established to apply for this grant. People who are just getting started as event organizers can throw their hats in the ring.

“In some cases, we would like to take some chances,” Perrodin says. “You don’t have to have some impressive resume, but some kind of work samples helps if it touches on what you’re doing … even if it’s not quite on par but shows you’re capable of doing it.”

The Platform

There are two $15,000 awards in The Platform opportunity for artists, performers and event producers to host a one-time program on the main stage at 214. It provides subsidized rehearsal and performance space, minimizes production costs and increases critical public exposure.

Mixtape Music Series

Emerging, undiscovered and established performing musicians in the region can apply for one of the 20 Mixtape Music Series awards up to $1,500 each. The series plans a DIY show vibe for an all-ages venue to provide monthly music events within all genres of music.

Selected musicians will receive mentorship and skill building around artistry, performance, brand development and beyond, according to the press release.

214 Artist Residencies

A total of 16 visual artist residencies at 214 will be available, four per quarter, at $3,000 each. The award provides studio space for six-week terms at the 214 campus and asks the artist to host a public workshop and either one open studio or exhibition.

Call for Curators

Eight awards of $4,500 each are available for aspiring or established curators looking to use “innovative, experimental, resourceful and community-responsive” curatorial approaches. It will come with access to indoor and outdoor exhibition space at 214 and create new platforms for “artists and curators to experiment and exchange ideas.”




• If you’re applying as a group, you must list a lead artist.

• You may request a one-on-one support session with a CACHE team member to get your questions answered during the application process. These individual sessions are available to schedule between until March 9.

• For more information about 214, register for an in-person site tour. Site tours are under way.

• Artist studios will be created by dividing classrooms, so two artists will have one classroom, but the space will be divided to make the individual sides 90% private.

• Artist residencies have a range of timeline options to select in the application process. Select all the dates that can work for you, and in the appropriate space, select the dates that do not work for you.

• CACHE is tidying up a list of specifications and new equipment. The document will be made available before applicants present their proposals.


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