Anna Kojevnikov is the Community Development Manager at Acadiana Center for the Arts where her main focus is artist outreach and development via professional development opportunities including grants distribution. Anna may have experience with grants administration but has also been a successful grant writer for film projects when she produced projects in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Anna has produced one feature film, That’s Not Me(2011), and 10 short films including Russian-language, submarine epic, Sundance and Cannes award winning film Deeper Than Yesterday (2010, NSFW).
A graduate of University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts (2009), Anna surrounds herself with artists and has helped them realize their creative visions for the past 15 years. She gets a kick out of finding creative solutions to get their projects made (like the time she produced the film on a decommissioned submarine, moored off the coast of Victoria). As an arts administrator she’s always on the look out for creative ways to help artists build sustainable practices.
Who makes up your art circle?
I’m super lucky that I am surrounded by art and artists literally all the time working at AcA. All of my colleagues are constant sources of inspiration. I have some really cool connections with folks and their organizations around town and super grateful for them constantly championing the work that I’m trying to do at with AcA. It’s almost like I have an inbuilt circle of friends with the grant work that I do (…wait a minute…) and the workshops/events I curate.
Back home, one of my best friends, Sarah, and I came up in the arts at the same time. She’s a really spectacular visual artist and thinker and she’s always been so encouraging about my various artistic pursuits. And all of my very talented filmmaker friends who are all doing amazing work and getting the recognition they deserve!
How do you expand your art circle?
Again, super lucky that expanding my circle is kind of built into my job description! But there is probably one key thing (beyond being a grants resource). As much as I struggle with it, networking is a really important factor. For me, networking is kind of a scary word that implies a level of schmoozing, but over the years I’ve come to realize that it’s really just about being present at things and showing an interest in things. Which, admittedly can also be intimidating. Because of my experiences in these situations, I’m always thinking about how to make networking events more accessible. One of the ways that I try to combat this at the Artist Round Ups I organize is having a small activity to keep ourselves occupied when inevitably you awkwardly stand around and you’re not sure what to say. This strategy is as much for my comfort as it is for yours!
The take away from this should be: Be present and be interested.
What value do you see in having a creative community?
My creative community is such a resourceful, kind, nurturing and collaborative bunch. Ready to help solve problems at the drop of a hat!
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
I always want to see people succeed and I will almost literally do anything to see that happen. Tell me what you need and I will help you figure out a path forward.
Our weekly Art Circle series profiles artists throughout the community and is sponsored in part by Lafayette Visitor Enterprise Fund managed by Lafayette Travel
Click the links below to view more of Anna’s work: