Blog Posts for for artists

Building Capacity–The Silicon Valley Way

Posted by Mr. Joshua Russell, Jan 22, 2015 4 comments

As a long-time re-granting organization, Silicon Valley Creates knows how critically important money is to our arts and culture ecosystem. Organizations will also prioritize funding before any other form of support.

But when Arts Council Silicon Valley, a 30-year old United Arts Fund, merged with 1stACT Silicon Valley, a community catalyst, to form Silicon Valley Creates just over a year ago, we opted to take a new approach to how we strengthen our creative ecosystem–which was one of four main goals in our strategic plan.

So we developed a framework (pdf) of what we believe to be the key elements to a sustainable artist or arts organization in Silicon Valley.

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Using Art for Data Collection

Posted by Crystal Benavides, Jan 13, 2015 6 comments

Inspired by the shift toward outcome-driven art projects, I was struck by arts potential to be used as a technique for data collection. When we look at art, we tend to focus primarily on its aesthetic and emotive qualities. We think about art as the result of an action and not as a conduit or vehicle leading up to a result. For example, the creation of a painting begins by gathering materials (canvas, brushes, and paint) and using these materials to create a painting.

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Ae$thetics and Social ¢hange

Posted by Anitra Budd, Nov 20, 2014 0 comments

Anitra Budd Anitra Budd

When I was asked to write an entry for this blog salon, I was excited. When I noted the topic, aesthetics and social change, I was alarmed. In trying to analyze this instinctual sense of danger, I realized that the root of my feeling was my conflation of aesthetics with judgment.

The term aesthetics, like Walt Whitman, contains multitudes (take a look at this chapter by art history and education scholar Terry Barrett for a great discussion of the concept’s many dimensions). To consider aesthetics largely in terms of assessment and discernment is limiting, but not unusual.

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Seeing Power and Possibility in Socially Engaged Art

Posted by Deborah Fisher, Nov 19, 2014 1 comment

Deborah Fisher Deborah Fisher

There is a productive conflict at the root of any discussion about aesthetics and social practice that I would like to focus on.

On one hand, attempting to articulate anything about the aesthetics of socially engaged art entails confronting a frustrating lack of structure. Anything can be art, and aesthetics can be so broadly defined as judgments of sentiment and taste. Who doesn’t have those, about anything and everything? We don’t quite have a formal analysis of social practice that we all agree upon—no singular framework for seeing and locating the aesthetics in a socially engaged art project.

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Lean Strategies for Patron Engagement

Posted by Jessyca Holland, Oct 06, 2014 1 comment

Jessyca Holland Jessyca Holland

There are a lot of obstacles a person must overcome during any given day to engage in your art: traffic, finding a babysitter, transportation - the list can go on. Sometimes people are just plain tired. It is much easier to order up entertainment at home with on-demand options readily available through just a few clicks. So how do we overcome the forces that block patron engagement?

“Get out of the building!” It is the mantra of serial-entrepreneur, Steve Blank, and the cornerstone of “lean” marketing principles further popularized by Eric Reis in his book, The Lean Startup. Both Blank and Reis focus on a concept known as customer discovery. In short, customer (patron) discovery is about solving the customer’s needs by testing product concepts. For artists and arts organizations, this may involve conducting customer interviews, creating prototypes, gathering feedback and validating the right market. In other words, the patron is integral to the process and the focus of the creative offering (the art itself).

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