13 years ago composer Paola Prestini received a phone call that would change the course of her life. The caller was fellow composer and tax attorney Kevin Dolan who has been called “the Andrew Carnegie for emerging artists … but without the deep pockets.” And he had a vision.
Excerpted from article by Jeryl Brunner, Contributor
National Sawdust was built within the existing shell of a century-old sawdust factory, Photo Credit: ZACHARY SCHULMAN
“His idea was simple and beautifully clear,” says Prestini. “He wanted to help emerging musicians by creating a space that would cater to their needs and invite new audiences in to support them.”
Suddenly Prestini, who has collaborated with poets, filmmakers, and scientists in large-scale multimedia works, but had never led an arts institution before, felt like she was offered a blank canvass to help birth a home for artists.
“It also allowed me to combine the work I had already been doing in the city as a composer, which was to task myself and other artists to work in deeply collaborative ways with a physical space meant to manifest creative dreams,” says Prestini. “So we partnered with a group of philanthropic investors and trustees—most of whom are still with us today—and we launched!”
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