bellwether: | ˈbelˌweT͟Hər | noun
the leading sheep of a flock, with a bell around its neck
a predictor or indicator of something to come
The Bellwether is a creative collective that works intensively with emerging artists to develop new work and bring it to audiences in events that are smart, intimate, and entirely unusual. We believe that process is just as interesting as product, that collaboration is where the magic happens, and that rooms full of people engaging seriously --and playfully-- with art are rooms worth making. Our central mission is to give artists a space to stretch out in a no-strings-attached kind of way, in conversation with a team of producers who function as editors, sounding boards, and collaborators.
The end result of our partnerships with artists are one-night-only installations showcasing the work they've created with us. The evenings are carefully curated, meticulously produced, and different every time. You may arrive to find fine art, a concert, a screening, readings, dance, or something altogether uncategorizable.
No matter what we're producing, each event is intimate and a little unusual. We founded The Bellwether because we wanted to see art presented with its context made visible, shown as the product of a web of influences, associations, techniques, and forms. Every evening is grounded in conversation with the artist about their inspirations, influences, and craft-- a kind of live annotation of the work they're presenting.
A Bellwether night isn't quite like any other night we've found in New York. We bet you'll feel the same.
Click here to see what we're planning next.
Two years ago, Bellwether founder Jordan Kisner invited her friends over for an evening of bartering: if they brought their art-in-process to share, she'd feed them homemade pie. She named the evening, as a joke, Art4Pie. People came-- and came back the next month, and the next. Over time, Art4Pie saw drafts of novels, play readings, indie rock albums in rough cut, folk music, contemporary modern dance, gorgeous photography, and a weird (awesome) experiment with bouncy balls. It became a community, a workspace, and a platform. The spirit in the room as people shared, ate, critiqued, laughed, argued, refined, and collaborated, transformed into The Bellwether's mission: to foster community, craft, and intimacy, and to honor artistic process.
(You may still have a shot at a slice of homemade pie... if you ask very nicely.)
JORDAN KISNER (Artistic Director) is a writer of essays, features, and cultural criticism. She founded The Bellwether in 2014.
DREW BROUSSARD (Producer) is a writer, performer, and producer at The Public Theater. He cohosts the podcast So Many Damn Books.
DANI LENCIONI (Producer) is a Brooklyn-based arts educator, producer, & photographer. She works at The Whitney Museum and fronts the band Evelyn.