What’s in a Manifest/o?

The artist manifesto has a long history of being a vehicle for artists to declare the intentions behind their work. These texts are often filled with rhetoric that’s ready to incite, using powerful, dramatic language that not only establishes the artist’s credentials, but also their political and artistic philosophy.

That’s why we’re creating Manifest/o to showcase both the works and intentions of Arizona-based artists. This digital publication is dedicated to providing an exclusive space for Arizona artists where they can manifest their works and see themselves as part of Arizona’s arts and culture scene. This mission is especially important in today’s siloed environments where connections are loosely tied by ephemeral strings of code.

Although exclusively digital in this current moment, we hope to be available and seen in our shared community wherever people go, from local grocery store checkout stands and gas station curbs to church pews and government galleries. We seek to be seen, to be available and to be ready to showcase what Arizona artists are doing anytime, anywhere.

Interested in supporting Manifest/o? Please take a brief moment to fill out this anonymous online survey. The results will be used to inform Manifest/o’s overarching design.

What’s ahead for Manifest/o?

Presently, Manifest/o is in its infancy, being developed by Jesse Millard, an Arizona State University Master of Arts Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership student. Through this program, he is creating the publication’s underlying infrastructure and concepts. After, Jesse will begin seeking local collaborators to both help run Manifest/o and help refine it into a platform that the local community needs.

Stay-tuned for future announcements and updates as the project progresses.

Who is Jesse Millard?

Jesse Millard is an Arizona-based writer pursuing his Masters in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership at Arizona State University. He works as a content marketing writer for a local corporation and was previously a journalist who covered local businesses, technology, commercial real estate and more.

In both his masters program and applied project, Jesse is interested in the relationship between storytelling and placemaking. Through Manifest/o, he hopes to create a space where artists can collectively share their stories, truths and desires for themselves and their community.

Jesse is deeply interested in how businesses, governments and communities operate, which are critical areas of study in his program. Seeing the many wants and needs from each group constantly at odds, Jesse plans to explore these dynamics more both through the creation of Manifest/o, but also through is personal art practice and continued studies.

He’s also obsessed with creative process and the conditions that enable creativity. Like with many artists, Jesse is inspired by what’s around him both real and media-based. He hopes that Manifest/o is both an outlet for creativity, but also an inspiration for more creativity in the community.

Jesse grew up in Peoria, Arizona where he lived until moving to downtown Phoenix in 2012. After several back and forth moves between Tempe and central Phoenix, Jesse has recently returned to downtown Phoenix and is determined to stay there for good.

You can find examples of his creative output here.