2015 Recipients

$10,000 Grant for Simon Lee /
Eve Sussman

Co-production Grant: December 2015

No Food, No Money, No Jewels

Simon Lee and Eve Sussman’s No Food, No Money, No Jewels, is “a film you walk through” that details the characters and intrigues in a fictitious factory in which the workers move water in a never ending cycle.

Filmed on a set built at the Experimental Media and Performing Art Center @ RPI, the story is one of inveterate power struggles that defy history and time. The 18-chapter film portrays 12 factory workers in a gigantic multi-tiered scaffolding, bailing water and performing “a choreography” of an assembly line. The characters represent archetypes, from the Line Worker to the Master of Industry.

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The scripting for each scene is a combination of original writing and audio streamed to the actors. The characters establish their relationships to their work and each other based on the plots and personalities that are revealed in the words of the figures they parrot: Marcel Marceau, Charlie Watts, Lance Loud, Princess Diana as well as famous liars: Jimmy Hoffa, Kim Philby, Aldrich Ames and Richard Nixon to name a few. The speech patterns and themes that emerge in the characters’ dialogues, notions of labor, commodity and the economy, as well as individual work ethic and public responsibility, are embedded in the legacies of these famous/infamous figures.

Premiering in January 2016, the exhibition of No Food, No Money, No Jewels will re-stage elements from the original production, including 50 large-panel photographs, which were used as backdrops and floor pieces for the film, installed in the gallery as an architectural labyrinth. The installation will include single and multi-channel videos and multi-media sculptures sited throughout the photographic labyrinth — creating the effect of a four-dimensional film through which the viewer moves.

We are truly grateful and thank the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation for this grant as we rapidly move towards this project’s premiere in January 2016. Without it things would be so much more difficult! No food, No money, No jewels is a hybrid that fuses theater, cinema and installation in the art gallery — a tricky thing to pull off….so we applaud the unswerving confidence and the continuing interest that the Foundation has shown over the last year as the piece has developed — it has given our own confidence a buoyancy that money alone cannot attain. By taking a risk on a few sketches, a model and a germ of an idea the Foundation proved to us that there are still people and organizations willing to go out on a limb. The Foundation is a new breed; for whom production and creation of an experience take precedent. This generous grant is a tremendous boost — rest assured that we will use it well!

— Simon Lee / Eve Sussman

View press release


10 Grants at $1000 each

December 2015

Supporting Those Who Nurture Us. What’s Our Obligation?

It’s a question for the writer and the reader. The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation is committed to encouraging generosity and working towards a healthier managed commons; a virtuous circle connecting artistic promise and achievement with reciprocity, accessibility and transparency. As 2015 comes to a close, it is with gratitude that we donate $1,000 to each of the following ten organizations:

Artists Space Visit and donate…

Electronic Arts Intermix Visit and donate…

EyeBeam Visit and donate…

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Visit and donate…

Issue Project Room Visit and donate…

Miller Theater Visit and donate…

Printed Matter Visit and donate…

Roulette Visit and donate…

The Poetry Project Visit and donate…

The Segue Foundation Visit and donate…


Cecil Taylor: From the Five Spot to the World, Harlem Stage Benefit

$10,000 Grant
November 2015

In appreciation of Harlem Stage and its critical, internationally influential role promoting artists of color under Patricia Cruz’ exemplary leadership, the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation awards a grant of $10,000 as well as a full page advertisement in the New York City Jazz Record and round trip honoree transportation for the “Cecil Taylor: From the Five Spot to the World” Benefit on November 17, 2015.

Their selection of iconoclast Cecil Taylor as this year’s Benefit Honoree is illustrative of Harlem Stage’s commitment to recognizing and showcasing the exceptional contribution made by artists of color to the cultural landscape.

View event details [pdf]


Seed Artists / Richard Davis Concert & Recording

$2,500 Grant
November 2015

In honor of Richard Davis’ enduring achievements as a bassist par excellence, the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation awards SEED ARTISTS a grant of $2,500 and a half page advertisement in the New York City Jazz Record in support of Mr. Davis’ performance and recording at William Patterson University on November 22nd, 2015.

Over the arc of an astonishing career, his virtuosic technique and imaginative improvisation in an enormous variety of settings is remarkable. His commitment to pedagogy and racial justice is also important and noteworthy.

View event details [pdf]


Steve Swell 60th Birthday Celebration

$3,300 Grant*
November 2015

For his extraordinary talent as a composer and improviser expanding the trombone’s lexicon in new and unusual ways, Robert D. Bielecki is privileged to personally underwrite Steve Swell’s week of performances at The Stone November 24 – 29, 2015 in the amount of $3,300 and a half page advertisement in the New York City Jazz Record.

*Steve Swell is a Board Member of the Foundation and ineligible for Foundation assistance. The grant is being personally underwritten by Mr. Robert D. Bielecki.

View event details [pdf]


Benefit for Triple Canopy,
Honoring Ralph Lemon

$5,000 Grant
November 2015

In honor of Triple Canopy’s commitment across artistic disciplines — online and in print — to experimentation and excellence at the nexus of the speculative and the concrete, the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation awards a grant of $5,000 for “A Benefit for Triple Canopy, Honoring Ralph Lemon” November 18th, 2015.

The selection of choreographer, writer and visual artist, Ralph Lemon as this year’s Benefit Honoree is characteristic of Triple Canopy’s provocative range of educative discourse.

View event details


Rhizome: $10,000 Prix Net Art

Multi-Year Grant: October 2015

The Prix Net Art celebrates the current moment of net art and its future, and was created to acknowledge the shifting relationship between art and the web. Increasingly, the internet is the frame through which all contemporary art and culture is seen and understood. As many artists tackle technology as subject matter through different forms—sculpture, installation and painting—this prize seeks to address the relative scarcity of support for artwork that takes place primarily or exclusively online. The prize emphasizes the unique and crucial importance of such work in order to encourage those who continue to make art on the internet.

Even as digital culture becomes mainstream culture, support for and understanding of internet art lags behind. The Prix Net Art seeks to correct this disparity by awarding a prize to an exceptional artist whose work defines the form—and its mission is empowered by The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation. By committing to multiple years of support for this initiative, this young, bold foundation has evidenced a visionary position in the arts. Not content with art deemed challenging being left in the margins, the Foundation is willing to take risks and endeavors to elevate new and expanded artistic practices. We are grateful for its support. — Zachary Kaplan, Executive Director, Rhizome

And the winner is…Constant Dullaart

constantdullaart.com »

RDBF First-year Grant »

Rhizome »
Founded, 1996
New York, NY

Prix Net Art »
Founded, 2014
NYC / Beijing


Microscope Gallery

Multi-Year Grant: October 2015

For their attention to emerging artists, risk taking, creative programming, and commitment to broadening the audience for time-based arts and live visual and sound performance, we are pleased to renew our underwriting support for Microscope Gallery’s 2015-2016 program in the amount of $3,000.

We are thrilled to receive renewed support from the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation for the new Season of our Event Series. The Foundation’s support is critical to the continuation of the Series and our efforts to expand as we keep moving forward. — Andrea Monti & Elle Burchill, co-directors, Microscope Gallery

RDBF First-year Grant »

Microscope Gallery »
Founded, 2010
Bushwick area of Brooklyn, NY


$10,000 Grant for Artist
Constance DeJong

Grant: September 2015

Insomnia, astronomy, and spirit writing conspire in NIGHTWRITERS: a performance, a print book and an edition of radios.

Night after night a woman no longer falls asleep. Over her bed is a skylight, an antidote to insomnia’s dread and anxiety. Sleepless nights become hours among the stars – a woman taken by the sky.

Performance: a spoken word solo with audio and images.

Book: a print version of the fiction narrative with fold out pages that deliver images and non fiction content — multiple kinds of material brought into collaboration and proximity.

Radios: 1930-40-50s classic chassis customized with digital media player and cpu for random playback. The radios play NIGHTWRITERS material adapted into sound and spoken text tracks.

Since 1979 Constance DeJong has been making and touring spoken word performances of her prose, adapting the texts for live presentation. Audio and video have been elements of the performance work since the beginning. In May 2013 – she presented SpeakChamber, a duet between DeJong and an iMac, at Bureau Gallery, NYC. The material is also a print book, an edition of digital frame works, three graphic prints and a “chamber d’amis” performance in private residences. She has twice collaborated with Tony Oursler on live performances – 1985 (produced by the ICA Boston) and 2000 (produced by Dia Center for the Arts). And she was a collaborator on “Super Vision,” A Builders Association production (2005); librettist for the opera, “Satyagraha,” composer Philip Glass.

I’m thrilled to receive your support. Now I can work with confidence knowing that my project will be completed. That’s a true gift. And, this project has taken on special meaning, thanks to it becoming part of the art and artists rewarded by your very special vision. May NIGHTWRITERS demonstrate, I’m ever grateful. It’s a grand, great thing that you do. — Constance DeJong


$15,000 Vision Festival Grant

Grant: June 2015

$15,000 Grant in honor of the Vision Festival’s 20th Anniversary—20 years of creative improvised music under the leadership of Patricia Nicholson Parker.

The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation encourages your attendance at this landmark event.

More information on the Vision 20 Festival page. And the complete event schedule may be found here.

Thank you so much for your crucial support in this important milestone,  A Celebration of 20 Years of VISION Festival. We are so proud that we have been able to put together the strongest FreeJazz multi-arts celebration “On Their Shoulders…” !

Arts for Art events impact over 700 unique artists and 5000 audience members each year. It enriches the cultural community of New York City and has become a beacon for FreeJazz and we couldn’t have done this without your visionary support.

A society filled with art is functional.
A society with challenging art is intelligent.

— Patricia Nicholson Parker
Dancer and Artistic Director at Arts for Art


$7,323 Grant for Composer Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields Recording

Grant: April 2015

In Julia Wolfe’s newest work, Anthracite Fields, Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music, the Bang on a Can All-Stars team up with SATB choir in a unique oratorio that commemorates the Pennsylvania coal miners whose work fueled the industrial revolution. Drawing from oral histories, interviews, speeches, local rhymes, and featuring the rich instrumental sounds of the region, with scenography and projections by Jeff Sugg, Anthracite Fields provides an intimate look at a particular slice of American life.

The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation encourages your support of this worthy campaign.  More information at Bang on a Can.

Wow! Thank you so much for your generous support for the recording of Anthracite Fields. I am so appreciative. It’s been such a special project for me – diving into the subject – connecting with the miners and children of miners, gathering the stories, images, facts, writing text and music, and then putting it all together to make a whole. It is so gratifying to document it all in this recording.

Your generous support not only for my work but also for Bang on a Can means so much. Thanks for sharing in the music. — Julia Wolfe


Underwriting Support to Author Renée Levine-Packer in support of the forthcoming book Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music

Grant: April 2015

Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music
A collection of biographical and musical essays, co-edited by Renée Levine Packer and Mary Jane Leach, which will be published in late 2015 by the University of Rochester Press.

Building on numerous interviews with members of Eastman’s family and friends plus her own personal conversance with Eastman’s life from 1968 onward, Levine-Packer’s biography brings new material to light. This overview ranges from Eastman’s family roots, early years in Ithaca, student days at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, the Buffalo years as a member of Lukas Foss’s contemporary music group and as professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, through his New York years and death at age 49.


Underwriting Support for Paal Nilssen-Love’s Large Unit Performance at Issue Project Room in June 2015

Grant: April 2015

In 2013 Nilssen-Love launched his own big band ensemble, Large Unit, pulling together an international ensemble of 13. Large Unit manifests as an intense powerhouse force on stage, but also veers into more subtle and textural passages. The group includes members from Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In other words: Nordic music at its most powerful.

The Foundation will match one ticket price (advance and door) for every ticket sold.

More information at Issue Project Room

This is very much appreciated and it will help us on all levels. Amazing! – Paal Nilssen-Love


Underwriting Support for Rob Mazurek’s NYC Performances

Grant: April 2015

Cornetist and composer Rob Mazurek leads his Brazilian/American ensembles São Paulo Underground and Black Cube SP on a rare US tour in April 2015 performing Return the Tides record release shows at the Jazz Gallery on 04/11/2015 and ShapeShifter Lab on 04/14/2015.

NEW YORK, NY – Saturday, April 11 @ 8PM & 10PM
THE JAZZ GALLERY”
São Paulo Underground Performance
1160 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001
646.494.3625 / http://www.jazzgallery.org
$22 General Admission / $12 Members
[PURCHASE TICKETS]
Underwriting support generously provided by the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation

BROOKLYN, NY Tuesday, April 14 @ 8PM
SHAPESHIFTER LAB
Black Cube SP Record Release Show for Return the Tides
18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215
646.820.9452 / http://www.shapeshifterlab.com
$15 Advance/ $20 Door / $5 Student & Senior Discount [PURCHASE TICKETS]
Presented by Shape Shifter+
Underwriting support generously provided by the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation

Complete US Tour Details

I want to thank the Foundation for supporting uncompromising creation, for speaking out about the value of this music in an era that finds the arts increasingly undervalued, and for bravely leading by example — providing artists with the spiritual and financial support necessary to make the impossible possible. – Rob Mazurek


AACM $25,000 Matching Grant

Grant: March 2015

The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation is honoring the AACM New York Chapter, led by AACM co-founder Muhal Richard Abrams, with a $25,000 matching grant as they embark on their 50th Anniversary Fall 2015 Celebration.

In addition to the grant, full page announcements (pdf link) will appear in the March 2015 issue of the New York City Jazz Record and The April 2015 editions of Downbeat magazine and The Wire, UK.

Funds will be used to help underwrite a series of concerts in New York City as well as to strengthen the organization’s infrastructure and outreach.

The 50th Anniversary NYC concert celebration is scheduled for four Fridays in October: 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th.  Details on location and performers will be announced in the months ahead.

The AACM influenced sound and sociology, painting and poetry, virtuosity and philosophy. These legendary men and women taught us that fierce individuality flourishes finest within the unbreakable bonds of community.

It’s time to reduce the debt we’ve all accrued.  It’s time to say Happy Anniversary, Congratulations and Thank you.

Donations to meet the match can be made at: http://aacm-newyork.com.

As President of the AACM New York City Chapter and on behalf of the AACM membership, I sincerely thank the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation for its valuable support of our 50th Anniversary Celebration in the fall of 2015. This support will greatly enhance our efforts as we move forward in expanding our concert programs and continuing to dedicate ourselves to the composition and performance of creative music.

The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation’s innovative dedication to reciprocity for the spiritual enlightenment that has accrued to humanity from the arts community is an important asset to the perpetuation and continuation of the arts in the New York City arts environment and beyond.

Muhal Richard Abrams, President, AACM New York City Chapter


Cecil Taylor & Bill Dixon:
$5,000 Triple Point Records Grant

Grant: January 2015

Both pioneers in the New Music of the Sixties, Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor had a musical relationship of over 40 years by the time of their summer 1999  festival ventures in Europe. They performed as a duo at the annual festivals in Verona, Italy and Vienne, France and made special arrangements to document this unique combination in two days of studio recordings in Villeurbanne, France—envisioned for release as a commercial CD, though that ultimately did not materialize.

Bill Dixon prized this moment of music—those few who have heard the unpublished tapes agree with Dixon that the musical outcome is unique within each man’s oeuvre. This historic collaboration was remarkable when new, and it remains surpassingly engaging now, both for scholars of the music and for pure listeners who arrive at these sounds anew.

The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation is honored to contribute to this work-in-progress Triple Point Records edition, a limited vinyl-only release—only 665 copies worldwide.


Chris Pitsiokos —
Debut Recording Grant

Grant: January 2015

During a heartwarming memorial at Roulette in the Summer of 2014 for Stephanie Stone, who, with her husband Irving, set the standard for what it really meant to walk your talk as a supporter of creative music, Chris Pitsiokos took the stage.  This young firebrand reminded everyone that the sound of surprise remains a potent source of joy.

Chris’ debut recording, “Gordian Twine” features Kevin Shea on drums and percussion and Max Johnson on bass.  It will be released Spring 2015 on New Atlantis Records.


NMC Recordings Producer’s Circle Sponsor

Sponsorship: January 2015

NMC Recordings, UK, remains the premier place to explore contemporary UK composers.  NMC is a unique and indispensable player in the new music world releasing innovative, superbly recorded debut recordings of young composers as well as those by recognized masters.