Plenty - Nick Cave in Buffalo - a city-wide celebration

Plenty will weave together the rich cultural traditions found in Buffalo – African-American, Burmese, German, Indian, Iraqi, Irish, Native-American, Hispanic, Polish, Somalian, Sudanese, and Ukrainian, among others – with the magic, wonderment and creative experimentation of artist Nick Cave, who uses a city as a canvas to inspire cross-neighborhood, cross-cultural dialogues. 

Nick Cave at Silo City March 5, 2015

Nick Cave at Silo City March 5, 2015

I have found through my most recent work, like “Here Hear” in Detroit and “As Is” in Shreveport, that when we get close enough to actually trust one another real compassion and consequent change can actually happen. It is these types of places, one’s with real power ready to explode through the surface, that are most intriguing to me. I feel Buffalo and its Rust Belt history will effect me personally as well as be forever fueled by the work we make together there.
— Nick Cave

Community groups, Buffalo school students, organizations and artists from across Buffalo will work side-by-side to create floats, dance mash-ups and performances beginning in fall 2017. The collaborative works will result in four public performances at city parks, in spring 2018. Plenty will culminate in a parade, performance and celebration at Silo City in July 2018. With this award, the project moves into the community organizing and fund development phase necessary to execute a project this democratic and expansive in nature.

Additional Information:

About Nick Cave

Nick Cave is one of the most celebrated artists working today, garnering deep appreciation by the public, media, and major art institutions. Trained as a dancer and a fine artist, Cave has a magnificent ability to blend fashion, craft, performance, sculpture and public engagement. He is renowned for his wearable sculptures called Soundsuits, which Cave first created in the aftermath of the Rodney King beatings in Los Angeles (1991), envisioning an emotional shield that protects one’s race and gender while still expressing individuality. Built from found materials (beaded dresses, twigs, buttons, antique knick-knacks, and toys), these wearable collages create a place to dream the old into a new vision.

Cave has created immersive, public installations and events in New York City (Grand Central Station, 2013 – HEARD NY) Shreveport, Louisiana (AS IS, 2016) and Detroit (Here Hear, 2015). In October 2016, the public will experience his immersive installation, UNTIL, at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts.  

Cave’s work is in the collections of Crystal Bridges; Hirshhorn, MOMA, NY; MFA, Boston; Smithsonian, among others. Cave has received several prestigious awards including: Joan Mitchell Foundation (2008), Creative Capital (2002, 2004, 2005). He is Professor and Chairman of the Fashion Department at School of the Art Institute of Chicago.







May 19, 2016

Collaboration Wins $100,000 National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Celebrate Buffalo’s Diversity through Temporary Public Art Pieces

Young Audiences of Western New York with CS1 Curatorial Projects and its partners are recommended by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Our Town program for an award of $100,000 for Plenty, which will bring celebrated African-American artist Nick Cave to Buffalo for a year-long residency.  The goal is to acknowledge, foster, and elevate conversations and relationships for a more socially and culturally integrated city.

The Our Town grant program of the NEA supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. The NEA received 240 applications for Our Town this year and will make 64 awards ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, totaling $4.3 million. This is the third Our Town grant secured by Young Audiences for the City of Buffalo, in the five years since the grant program was created.

“For six years, Our Town has made a difference for people and the places where they live, work, and play,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Projects such as the one led by Young Audiences and its partners help residents engage the arts to spark vitality in their communities.”


Rick Smith (CEO Rigidized Metals, Steward, Silo City) and Nick Cave 

Rick Smith (CEO Rigidized Metals, Steward, Silo City) and Nick Cave 


Suggested Links for further information on Nick Cave:

Art Rocks, Louisiana Public Radio (a nice 8 minute piece)

Nick Cave: Heard Detroit Sept, 26, 2015 Vimeo

Nick Cave dons mantle of an artist who inspires and elicits introspectionWashington Post, July 2, 2015

Nick Cave Hears DetroitArt in America, July 20, 2015  

PBS short interview/doc with Nick and community and views of his studio

This project is being spearheaded by CS1 Curatorial Projects and Young Audiences of Western New York with Say Yes to Education Buffalo, Silo City, Ujima Company Inc. Additional partners include the African American Cultural Center, City of Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Buffalo Public Schools, Le Ballet Touba, El Museo, Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Lehrer Dance, Open Buffalo, Squeaky Wheel, Torn Space Theater, and the Wash Project.

Nick Cave, Heard•DAM, Denver, 2012

Nick Cave, Heard•DAM, Denver, 2012

Plenty will be Cave’s largest community interaction to date.  His acclaimed Here Hear collaboration took place in Detroit in 2015.  Organized by the Cranbook Art Museum, Here Hear  allowed the city to “hear” itself across barriers of race, class, and access. 

Nick Cave, Cynnie Gaash (Executive Director, Young Audiences of WNY), Claire Schneider (Director, CS1 Projects)

Nick Cave, Cynnie Gaash (Executive Director, Young Audiences of WNY), Claire Schneider (Director, CS1 Projects)

Robert Faust, Lorna C Hill (Artistic Director, Ujima Theater), Nick Cave

Robert Faust, Lorna C Hill (Artistic Director, Ujima Theater), Nick Cave


Leadership Team:    Nick Cave, Artist; Robert Faust, Nick Cave Special Projects Director; Claire Schneider, Director, CS1 Projects; Cynnie Gaasch, Executive Director, Young Audiences of Western New York; Lorna C. Hill, Artistic Director, Ujima Company; David Rust, Executive Director, Say Yes to Education Buffalo; Rick Smith, CEO, Rigidized Metal, Steward, Silo City

Working Group:    Michele Agosto, Director of Arts Education, Buffalo Public Schools Arts Education; Max Anderson, Director of Communications, Open Buffalo; Marvin Askew, Executive Director, Buffalo City Ballet; Lynn M Boorady, Director Fashion Department Buffalo State College; Craig Centrie, Executive Director, El Museo; Paulette Harris, Artistic Director, Paul Robeson Theatre at African American Cultural Center; Robin Hibbert, Le Ballet Touba; Sarah B Hinderliter, Coordinator of the African and African American Studies Program, Buffalo State College; Carlos Jones, Director Department of Theatre and Dance, Buffalo State College; Kevin Klein, Education Director, Squeaky Wheel; Jon Lehrer and Immanuel Naylor, Director and Assistant Director, Lehrer Dance; Casimiro Rodriguez, President, Hispanic Heritage Council; George Scott, Colored Musicians Club; Dan Shanahan, Executive Director, Torn Space Theater; John Siskar, Senior Advisor for Educational Pipeline Initiatives, Office of the Provost, Buffalo State College; Zaw Win, Resident Coordinator, Wash Project