“I’m a queer, nonbinary-trans, disabled, multidisciplinary artist, author, and teacher” just begins to describe who Toby is as an artist and a person. They constantly work to expand access to creativity for all and to push the bounds of how we view the arts, our world, and each other. Toby wrote about being an artist in Vermont.
How has living as an artist in Vermont affected your creative process?
In many ways, Vermont’s rural nature has required me to become self-sufficient—to believe in my own work and move ahead with my own drive, taking on many roles at once in any creative process, to solve my own problems. But in reality, even though most artists need to be a DIY-entrepreneur of some kind, we are not really in it alone. We can’t be. Being in Vermont means that I have had to be intentional and purposeful in seeking out my communities and networks, and to be open about who and where they might be. As a result, I have community here locally, and different but equally strong connections in other states, regions, and countries; instead of isolated I have become connected. I travel a lot, but I always come back home.
What is something about your art that has changed over time?
I’m getting more interdisciplinary—both in product, using poetry and other art forms along with dance, and in process, using not-traditionally-dance-based methods for creation and design. Dance’s medium is people; I’m finding the best tools for working with people as people often come from other fields.
What is your vision for the next several years?
I’m working on a solo show! It blends personal experiences—of gender, disability, and other things—with my different modes of motion, including floor work, crutches, and aerials. I have some exciting Vermont collaborators who’ll be helping me develop this work, which I hope to premiere in 2020. I’m also enjoying assembling my palette of employment, doing facilitation, performing my and others’ work, teaching/trainings, creative residencies, and design work both at home and away. Vermont’s artistic environment is becoming more inclusive and vibrant, and I hope to help nurture that continued growth.
This story by the Vermont Arts Council originally appeared at https://www.vermontartscouncil.org/blog/i-am-a-vermont-artist-toby-macnutt/