A.C.T.'s ArtShare Gives Artists a Home

By Taylor Steinbeck

Drawing on everything from ritualistic dance to political poetry to kinetic storytelling, this season’s recipients of ArtShare—A.C.T.’s community space-sharing initiative—represent the eclectic work San Francisco’s art scene has to offer. For five years and counting, ArtShare has been providing performance space for local arts organizations and independent artists. These residencies nurture new work and enable diverse artists to have their voices heard. The first residency of the 2017–18 season features the multi-cultural performance ensemble, Campo Santo, which is presenting its work Ethos de Masquerade through August 27 at The Rueff at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater.

The performers of Campo Santo’s Ethos de Masquerade. Photo courtesy of Campo Santo.
ArtShare partners have the chance to showcase their work for up to two weeks at one of A.C.T.’s spaces in a prime location: the lively Central Market area. Depending on the needs of the project, the performance spaces might be The Costume Shop (1117 Market St.), A.C.T.’s 49-seat black-box theater, or The Rueff, a 120-seat multi-purpose venue located at The Strand Theater (1127 Market St.). The kind of exposure this initiative grants is invaluable to many local artists, especially those who are up and coming. “We’re enabling artists who generally come from further away to put their work right in the center of San Francisco,” says A.C.T. Artistic Associate Allie Moss.   

Recipients of ArtShare’s space-sharing come from more than just theater-makers; previous partners include the digital media company BAYCAT, Caterina Dance, and the Orchestra Collective. “One of the goals of the program is to bring new, different kinds of work into those spaces,” says Moss. Campo Santo’s premiere of Ethos de Masquerade is an ideal example. A masquerade festival, dance ritual, and performance piece all in one, this work is “unlike anything that’s ever been in The Rueff,” says Moss. 
In collaboration with Rashad “Soul Nubian” Pridgen and the Global Street Dance Masquerade, Campo Santo’s Ethos de Masquerade uses original text, dance, video, and music to look at the African diaspora as well as movements around social issues such as AIDS and Black Lives Matter. Other ArtShare recipients joining Campo Santo later this season are AlterTheater, Nadhi Thekkek, and Sammay, whose works vary in both content and form. “The hope is that we’re creating a cohort of artists,” Moss says, “who can get to know each other and cross-pollinate and share ideas.” 
Campo Santo’s Ethos de Masquerade runs until August 27 at The Rueff at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street, San Francisco. Click here to purchase tickets. To learn more about ArtShare, click here.

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