Charitable Choices: Brian ‘Bunny’ Batista, President of CAAF

The Calgary Allied Arts Foundation (CAAF) mission is to promote visual arts throughout Alberta by offering direct support to artists through the creation and promotion of exhibitions and events which give the general public access to their work.

CAAF

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

The Calgary Allied Arts Foundation (CAAF) has a long and distinguished history in the Calgary Arts community – CAAF’s vision is to promote Calgary as a leading visual arts centre.

Our mission is to promote the visual arts throughout Alberta – most directly in Calgary. We do this though the direct support of artists and the creation and promotion of exhibitions and events which give the general public access to the work of these artists. CAAF is a not-for-profit organization which has maintained a strong voice for the promotion of Arts and Culture in Alberta for many decades. CAAF was, for many years, responsible for the stewardship of the Civic Art Collection, the development and implementation of policies and procedures, and advising the City on matters related to the visual arts. (Civic Art Policy approved by City Council, June 10, 1996) CAAF also continues to maintain an artist residency program designed to assist emerging visual artists in advancing their careers and obtaining exhibition opportunities.

What problem does it aim to solve?

It aims to create opportunities for emerging artists trying to take steps to solidify their careers in the arts in Calgary. Alongside our residencies, we also showcase local talent at Gallery 505, which is located in downtown Calgary, and currently displaying the work of Matthew O’Reilly called Whom Am Us.

When did you start/join it?

I was a resident in April- June 2011 and joined the Board of Directors in 2018.

What made you want to get involved?

At first I applied to be a resident in CAAF’s Start 4Five program. It really helped me get a foothold on starting my artistic career. Slowly over the years as I enjoyed success, I wanted to give back and I got involved with the selection jury at first. Then I joined the board of directors and now I am the President.

What was the situation like when you started?

There was an obvious growing need for support of emerging artists with studio space and residency and exhibition opportunities.

How has it changed since?

We have been able to double our capacity as well as create other opportunities for artists. Our Board of Directors has been working hard to help elevate CAAF and continue growing as we move forward so that we can even better celebrate and support visual artists in our city.

What more needs to be done?

There is always much more needing to be done. As our organization grows so do our funding needs in order to support more artists, which is one of our main goals as we move forward. This is especially important as we continue to move through this pandemic, which has especially affected the arts community and our local artists.

How can our readers help?

Check us out online and help us spread the word about CAAF and future opportunities for artists.

Do you have any events coming up?

Our Annual General Meeting is March 10th.

Where can we follow you?

Website | Instagram | Facebook

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

We have just recently established a cool residency opportunity with Carya at Village Commons. They are a non-profit in Calgary providing community connection and accessible support with mental, emotional and financial wellbeing – check them out!