Artist Programs Creating a Living Legacy (CALL)

Creating a Living Legacy (CALL)

Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) is an initiative of the Joan Mitchell Foundation designed to provide support to older artists in the areas of studio organization, archiving, inventory management, and through this work create a comprehensive and usable documentation of their artworks and careers.

In 2007 the Joan Mitchell Foundation began exploring new ways to support mature artists in the thorough documentation and preservation of a their legacy. During the initial pilot phase of CALL, we worked in-depth with four artists in this process: Mildred Howard, Elemore Morgan, Jr., Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, and Freddy Rodriguez.

From what was learned during this in-depth work, the Foundation developed a range of tools for artists. The Joan Mitchell Foundation CALL Database was created as a method of keeping accurate records. A workbook leads artists through the basics of creating their own comprehensive organizational system in their studios and archives. The CALL Resources website allows a forum for sharing information, resources and troubleshooting.

Through the work with these four initial artists, it became apparent that many artists with established careers still need help in getting organized and implementing a studio inventory system. 

In 2010 the Foundation began working with emerging artists as Legacy Specialists, assistants trained specifically to advise and work with artists around these issues. Currently the Foundation employees a group of eleven trained Legacy Specialists who work with ten artists in New York City.

Hoping to expand the discussion nationally, in 2011 the Foundation awarded planning grants to five arts organizations across the country through an RFP process. These organizations then were all asked to develop a proposal for programs that served their constituents, used the CALL resources, and increased awareness of the importance of documenting the artwork and careers of individual artists. In 2012, four of these organizations: Artist Trust, Bronx Council on the Arts, DiverseWorks, and Space One Eleven are beginning programming locally.

For further information on the CALL program, please review the FAQs below. If you still have questions, please contact Lilia Sterling, Artist Programs Associate, at  [email protected]

Public CALL Resources
The CALL Program resources are freely available to the public, and can be found on our Artist Support Resources page. Available resources include CALLResources.orgCALL Career Documentation Guide, and the CALL Estate Planning Workbook.

For frequently asked questions about the CALL Program and links to additional resources, please review this document.