When choreographer Jenny Larsson applied for her first grant in Broward County seven years ago, had the answer been no, she admits her art would not be where it is today. “You need someone believing in your ideas. It means everything,” Larsson said via a FaceTime interview from her home in Sweden. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without Broward County.”
After living in Fort Lauderdale for 11 years and also spending a couple of years residing in New York, Larsson, who is a mother to three children ages 6,10 and 12, is gearing up to return to Fort Lauderdale in April for her latest Fågelbo Residency, which is the first international interdisciplinary residency in Broward. A new application cycle opened on December 1, and visual, performance and multimedia artists are encouraged to apply. Application Details >
“The art scene in Sweden is very different than the one in Fort Lauderdale,” said Larsson, who moved back to Sweden in January. “In Sweden, it’s more experimental and research-based arts in progress. The dance scene is more experimental than it is here and we talk about modern dance and ask
What is dance?' It has come full circle since the60s and `70s when people were questioning everything. Today people are interested in talking about norm critique, for example.”
Through the advice of arts professional Adriane Clarke, Larsson checked out FATVillage and has since had three residencies there. Larsson also has been a consistent grantee of the Cultural Division’s Creative Investment Program from 2015-2019, which enables a Broward-based practicing professional artist age 18 or older to receive up to $2,000 for an exhibition, live performance, lecture/ demonstration or other arts activity that engages an audience.
Cultural Division Grants Management Specialist Erica Mohan, who previously assisted Larsson at a performance, is eager to see Larsson continue to evolve with her Fågelbo Residency. She is also pleased with how Larsson has expanded the Cultural Division’s Creative Investment Program to a new realm.
“Jenny is such a great dancer, it’s amazing to see the way she thinks and the story she tells through dance. The fact that she’s pushing her limits to make something you don’t typically see in Broward is important for our local art scene.”ERICA MOHAN
“The latest Fågelbo Residency will show Broward residents the experimental influences she’s bringing to Broward and show local artists that the art scene is developing into something to recognize on an international level,” Mohan added. “Visual art combined with performance art is meant to impact you in a different way, and I think everyone can appreciate how unique Jenny’s residency program really is.”
Leah Brown, gallery director and curator of THE PROJECTS Contemporary Art Space in FATVillage, has been working with Larsson for six years and is delighted with Larsson’s desire to maintain a connection to the Broward art scene after returning to her native country. Larsson has continued to nurture her South Florida connections by staying in touch via FaceTime and Skype.
“I love this idea of an exchange culturally with the subarctic and subtropic,” Brown said. “The Fågelbo Residency has always been about pairing one performance artist with one visual artist. All the artists who apply — even the ones who don’t get selected — have a chance to have their work go before an international committee, which is a huge deal.”
“It’s only going to get bigger from here. I love Jenny’sLEAH BROWN
passion, creative spirit, sense of humor and positive energy. With
this latest project, she’s creating a platform for other artists.”
Edison Peñafiel, a Broward-based visual and multimedia artist,
has partnered with Larsson on multiple projects including her first
residency with Fågelbo in FATVillage. He deems Larsson’s work
poetry in motion and notes, “FATVillage has allowed us to present
our work in different ways, which is something we’re all grateful for
When creating art, Larsson often questions her relationship with the untamed, hence the name for her group of artists from various disciplines, the Wild Beast Collective, of which Peñafiel is also a member. “One of my biggest inspirations is the forest, which I definitely missed being in while I was living in Florida,” Larsson said. “I’m from the North of Sweden and love the forest and the change of seasons. I like creating art in unconventional places and exploring issues like climate change and other environmental concerns.
Larsson also aims to be behind the camera more directing short films and documentaries for 2020. “There are so many stories waiting to be told and I have a passion for storytelling,” said Larsson, who created her short film, “Home,” during a 2017 AIRIE artist residency in Everglades National Park. “I especially love talking to old people. They have a gift some people in their 20s don’t.” As Larsson gears up to leave her snow skis back in Sweden for her Fågelbo Residency, she’s eager to encourage deeper dialogue about performance art.
“You need fresh air blowing into the county,” Larsson said, citing a need for more art and new artists coming in. She notes the art scene in South Florida makes it a “vibrant and interesting place to live. I think there’s an openness for both traditional and experimental art. But we need to keep growing to prevent stagnation.”
The Fågelbo Residency links artists from the subtropics and the subarctic through an international exchange program between Broward/Miami Dade County in the US and Halland/Västra Götaland in Sweden. Fågelbo emphasizes collaboration between visual and performing artists, exploring and implementing new interdisciplinary art works.
An open call through 2 January 2020 to select the residents via an international selection committee. The selected Swedish artist will travel and collaborate with a South Florida artist at FATVillage in April 2020 and another South Floridian artist will do the same at WU ArtSpace in July – August 2020.
Information and Application Here >