About me

 


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I’m a freelancer who has worked part-time, full-time, on contract, and in organizations I founded, as an editor, writer, researcher, nonprofit executive, organizer, and artist.

You can reach me at <aafocke@gmail.com>.

A Focke 2-13 crop for FB

I’m intentionally a generalist, matchmaker, and creator of both short-lived and long-lasting enterprises, projects, conversations, and events. Some I’ve left or closed down on purpose. I work with words and ideas, and almost always in concert with others. I’m glad to be 70, and I enter my “eighth layer” with enthusiasm and purpose, wonderful friends, family, and two grandkids.

On Captiva on my 70th
On Captiva on my 70th

More about my work 

I currently work with the Jini Dellaccio Project sponsored by Artist Trust and as Alum in Residence at the University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design. Earlier, I was the first executive director of Grantmakers in the Arts (1999-2008) and co-editor of its journal, the GIA Reader (1991-2009). Examples of current and recent contract work include editing for Lucy Bernholz, editing/planning for the Community Democracy Workshop, and facilitating retreats for Copper Canyon Press and Soil, an artist collective.  I’ve led or helped instigate the start-up of nonprofit, for-profit, and informal enterprises including Penny U, a conversation series about work with Town Hall Seattle (2014-present); the Community Democracy Workshop (2009-14); What’s Up?, an informal monthly conversation with artist Carolyn Law (2002-13); Arts Wire, a national online network for the arts (1990-95); Artist Trust, a nonprofit supporting Washington state artists (1986); Artech, a for-profit art-handling company (1978), and and/or, an artists’ organization (1974-84). The Anne Focke Gallery in Seattle’s City Hall acknowledges my contributions to the city, where I’ve lived for over 40 years.

And if you want even more, click here.

5 Comments

  1. Very nice to see this, Anne, as your thoughts and comments have always been wonderfully stimulating. I love the play of “carrying on”, even though you might be the single most polite person I’ve ever met in terms of the “acting out” as opposed to “continuing” definition of the phrase.

    I find myself in the midst of my tenth year working at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, still spending a fair amount of my time and energy managing the Michigan Surveys of Consumers, which assesses and predicts change in the economy. I find I remain fascinated after my time here by the idea that I am supposed, no, required to think in terms of risk management to ensure the projects I work on have the best chance to succeed versus the more typically arts-oriented way of diving in and looking for water in the pool later, and trying to constantly stretch and redefine meager resources to accomplish as much as possible. There are very intriguing differences between artistic endeavor and scientific research, even though many of the aspects and intents are similar, and I think perhaps the core difference lies in the latter’s insistence that something be repeatable and thereby verifiable versus the arts desire for uniqueness. But of course artistic endeavor also always has a context, historical precedence, and its practitioners are every bit as precise as those engaging in science.

    But that’s probably heading too deep for me in the morning, before coffee.

    I thank you for the link, for the endeavor, and wish the very best to you going forward. I have deeply treasured the many things I learned working with you.

    1. It’s so nice to hear from you, Joe, and to learn what you’ve been up to since Arts Wire. It’s great to read your take on the contrast between artists’ and scientists’ work, especially as it relates to managing risk. You might be interested in the work of a friend of mine from decades ago, Annie Searle, whom I first knew when she was working at the Seattle Art Museum. For at least six years, she’s been an independent risk consultant and researcher and now teaches at the University of Washington. She has a blog titled, “Advice from a Risk Detective.” Her post from September 29, just before she began her class, started with a quote from Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk, by Peter L Bernstein:

      “The revolutionary idea that defines the boundary between modern times and the past is the mastery of risk: the notion that the future is more than a whim of the gods and that men and women are not passive before nature.”

      But maybe, since this is your field, you know all about this. I find it fascinating.

      Thanks for writing!

  2. Hello,

    Well. I’m just 66 and of the mind that I will not retire and that I’ll continue as a photographer until I can’t, for whatever reason.
    Along those lines, I’m working on a long term project; 40 Miles of Water: The Seattle Waterfront and Duwamish Waterway, that I’d like to exhibit, in a traditional gallery space and an on-line display.

    I’ve recently applied for a grant here: http://www.luminous-endowment.org/grants/current/1/1255 which will give you a project description and 12 photographs from the portfolio to date.

    Also several more images at my website: http://www.GarySutto.com.

    Thank you. And, let me know if get a chance to visit either site.
    Best,
    Gary Sutto

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