Boston Conservatory Awards 2019 Entrepreneurial Grants to Three Innovative Alumni

December 16, 2019 Padriac Farma


Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Alumni Entrepreneurial Grant Program (EGP) empowers alumni to explore and develop their unique programmatic ideas in the arts. The grant funds innovative, impactful performance endeavors that expand the artist’s toolkit as a performer, leader, and businessperson while fostering a creative spirit. Established in 2013, the EGP has awarded nearly $20,000 to date, seeding ideas that have become fledgling theater companies, vital community programs, cutting-edge contemporary dance presentations, and more. Recipients of the 2019 alumni entrepreneurial grants embody the dynamic range of work coming out of the alumni community.

Clifton Ingram (M.M. '14, composition)

Clifton Ingram says his collaborative trio, Rested Field, is a “passion-based project on our terms.” Cofounded by Ingram and fellow Conservatory alumnus Daniel Lewis (M.M. '12, composition), who are joined by alumnus Chuck Furlong (P.S.C. '15, clarinet), the trio hopes to realize a project three years in the making, called The House of the Ax. Based on a chapter in Samuel R. Delany’s book Dhalgren, the project is a performance/installation experience featuring actors in a run-down apartment setting. It’s fully interactive: audience members can change the structure of the performance and, in turn, how the actors inteface with the audience. “There’s this level of private and public life,” Ingram says, “and when you make private life public, what does that do?” Rested Field is also extending this project beyond the performance through a collaboration with the Newton, Massachusetts, public school system. Aiming to go beyond teaching composition and instrument lessons, the group hopes to raise awareness about technology’s impact on society, addressing issues such as cyberbullying and social media and technology addictions. Rested Field has performed throughout the Boston area and will unveil this piece in late 2019 or early 2020.

Andromeda Quartet

Marina Krickler (M.M. '10, French horn)

“The sky’s the limit to what we can do creatively,” says Marina Krickler, founding member of the Boston-based Andromeda Quintet. She notes that in choosing to focus their latest project—dubbed Women at the 49th Parallel—on living female composers from North America, the ensemble is “looking to differentiate themselves and give something back,” while bringing attention to an underrepresented music community. Also educators, the performers bring their message to the classroom through brass music instruction and performances at local schools. Krickler attributes her success in part to her training at Boston Conservatory—particularly her exposure to new music as a student. Women at the 49th Parallel was supported in part by the EGP, which funded travel to the International Women's Brass Conference at Arizona State University. The group also performed the program throughout the Boston area, as well as in Pennsylvania at the Northeast Regional Conference of the College Music Society.

Karen Peterson and Dancers

Karen Peterson Corash (B.F.A. '76, dance)

Karen Peterson Corash’s “curiosity in dance making” has helped her company, Karen Peterson Dancers, thrive for close to 30 years. The organization claims the distinction of being “Florida’s only full-time dance organization that features choreography performed by dancers with and without disabilities.” The company’s latest endeavor, “Warmamas,” is a multimedia dance piece exploring the narrative of women whose children have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. “I could see how these women had really mixed feelings about their children deciding to go to war,” explains Peterson. Using spoken word, video, and dance, the piece aims to illuminate the struggle of several of the women interviewed. After years of experience, Peterson trusts herself more than ever to follow a creative process that will “show [her] what’s right.” The EGP supported the dancers’ travel to New York City, where they performed this evocative piece at Judson Memorial Church—a location that enabled dancers in wheelchairs to find accessible hotel rooms nearby and to bring their art to the city as part of an artist-in-residence program. Recently, the company hosted Forward Motion, a three-day festival and conference of physically integrated dance, complete with performances, workshops, and speakers.

Learn more about the Boston Conservatory at Berklee Alumni Entrepreneurial Grant Program and how to apply.

"Boston Conservatory Awards 2019 Entrepreneurial Grants to Three Innovative Alumni" first appeared in the winter 2019 issue of STAGES, Boston Conservatory's biannual magazine.