What is C4?
C4 (Concerned Citizens for a Creative Community) is a non-profit arts organization that is changing the face of Rochester, Minnesota. Founded in 2012, C4 has had a major impact on this rapidly growing city in a short amount of time. With its mission to act as Rochester’s connective tissue for the arts, C4’s objectives include removing barriers to participation on behalf of both artists and patrons, and providing opportunities to local creative people. We are run entirely by volunteers, including the Board, artists, friends, and supporters.
That sounds great, but what does C4 actually do?
Rochester is growing quickly, and in recent years many different focus groups and community surveys asked local creative people what they needed to be successful in their changing city. Local artists, entrepreneurs, designers, architects, and other “creatives” wanted space to gather, present work, and share ideas; they wanted to feel more connection with each other; and they wanted access to resources for the creation of work.
So, C4 was born!
The Board members knew that in order to really establish C4 in the hearts and minds of Rochester, they needed to do something big. So, they created The Venue, an all-day and night festival of music and art that took place in October 2012. Featuring some of Minnesota’s biggest singers and bands, as well as Rochester’s best visual artists, The Venue drew over 400 attendees and brought together a diverse cross-section of Rochester citizens in an unprecedented community arts event. C4 had hit the ground running.
In February and March 2013, C4 opened The Salon, a multi-disciplinary arts and community space in downtown Rochester. Located in a formerly empty storefront, The Salon offered a multi-use space to local creative people; and thanks to a partnership with local business owners, C4 offered this space absolutely free of charge!
In response to calls for greater connection, C4 created a weekly newsletter focusing on opportunities for artists. We had no idea if anyone would be interested. Within two weeks, we had over 400 subscribers. Add this to our Twitter subscribers, website users, and Facebook friends, and we estimate that over 1000 Rochester and Southeast Minnesota-based creative people use C4 as their source for staying connected to what’s going on.
So, what’s next?
THE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROJECT
Through the Artist in Residence Project, C4 seeks to provide local artists with resources for the creation of new work. The Project will provide funding to a group of six local artists in the form of commissions. These commissions will pair up each artist with a Rochester business for six weeks. During the six-week residency, each artist will commit to working in a public area of their partner business; and, the business will in turn display the work of the artist prominently, such as on the walls, on street-facing windows, or on their website. Working in collaboration with the business, the artist will create an original piece of work. At the end of the residency, the business will host an opening reception for the artist and display the finished work. The public will be invited to tour all six residency locations and openings as part of an “Art Crawl.”
C4 believes that the Artist in Residence Project will address three key needs:
1) It will provide exposure and resources to local artists for the creation of new work.
2) It will encourage creative partnerships between artists and their community.
3) It will foster the creation of artistic work that is rooted in the specific and unique culture of Rochester, Minnesota.
But, we need your help!
Please consider donating to our Indiegogo campaign to fund the Artist in Residence Project. Your donation will help us provide commissions to local artists as well as help C4 continue to fulfill its mission as a non-profit organization. Funding will also go toward Administrative and Marketing costs.
What You Get in Return
Besides the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to a grass-roots, community-driven arts non-profit, your donation of $20 or higher will get you one or more tickets to C4’s Keep the Lights On Fundraiser party, which will take place on Saturday, May 18. If you’ve ever attended either The Venue or any of the SESSIONS concerts, you know that C4 knows how to throw a kick-ass party.
To make our Keep the Lights On party accessible for everyone, we are offering two parties in one: from 7-9 p.m. there will be a VIP Pre-party, featuring Tour Funk and other special offerings; then from 9 p.m.- midnight there will be a General Admission party, featuring Apollo Cobra with Maxophone.
In addition to the bands, we will have all kinds of special things going on at the fundraiser, including hors d’oeuvres tables featuring local culinary artists; a live auction of real, live artists; and, the unveiling of our spectacular outdoor mural, which will involve several Rochester visual artists.
For details on specific donation levels and rewards, see the Perks section.
C4 could not exist without the support of so many friends, artists, community members, business owners, and local leaders. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you for reminding us every day of why we do what we do!
The C4 Board: Sean Allen, Cassandra Buck, Annie Henderson, Katie Hae Leo, Heidi Mestad, and Brianna Truax