Blog Posts for for artists

Knit Together: Advocacy Strengthening the Landscape

Posted by Julia Kirt, Apr 11, 2016 8 comments

Yarn tied then tightened, then the next loop begun.  

Even blue knots pulled closely together, forming rows. Then the rows link together into small squares.

Squares bound together into larger bands and those bound to others.

Backing up, the view is all encompassing, splaying out a pixelated landscape of blues and greens across a downtown city skyline.

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IF YOU HAVE POWER, GIVE POWER. Or, how giving up your power is the key to achieving all of your artistic goals.

Posted by Mr. Kenny Allen, Apr 08, 2016 0 comments

Being an artist is a really grueling and unrewarding career choice, almost all the time. We all strive to find more moments when everything feels worth it. If you are going to commit your life to an industry that basically guarantees that you're going to live poor, you have to have a really powerful reason. For me, it's the moment when an audience member finally gains new insight and compassion for their transitioning son; when fellow artists are brought to tears as they are reminded of the power of art to create change; when community members see themselves authentically represented onstage for the first time. As the Managing Director of a theatre company, those moments also come when I am able to meet (and surpass) fundraising goals, pay the artists working for me, and having community members beg the box office for tickets that don't exist, because we've sold out every performance.

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Artists & Communities: Marty Pottenger & Jess Solomon in Conversation

Posted by Alicia Gregory, Mar 24, 2016 0 comments

What do you get when you place an artist in municipal government to work closely with employees, elected officials, and local artists on urgent issues like racism, immigration, gentrification, and more? The incredible work of Marty Pottenger who, for over 25 years,  has been utilizing art as tool for connection, exploration, and understanding—breaking barriers and fostering transformative dialogue around the country and specifically in the city of Portland, ME.

This month, continuing our Artists & Communities series, Marty is in conversation with Art in Praxis Director Jess Solomon, who is uses arts & culture, storytelling, and co-creation to help organizations and communities build their capacity in more intentional, strategic, and creative ways.

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Introducing the Artists & Communities Conversation Series

Posted by Alicia Gregory, Jan 25, 2016 0 comments

Americans for the Arts is excited to debut a new conversation series, Artists & Communities, highlighting the voices of artists and arts practitioners working across sectors and within communities. Over the next ten months, we will publish ten conversations between pairs of established and emerging community arts leaders as they share their visions for, experiences with, and challenges to making healthy, equitable, vibrant communities through arts and culture. As community-based work receives more recognition, and intersections and collaborations become stronger, these conversations illuminate just how artists and community arts leaders can work to sustain and maintain healthy communities through their practice.

First up: Liz Lerman, choreographer, performer, writer, educator, speaker, and founder of Dance Exchange, and Deana Haggag, Director of the Baltimore-based nomadic museum The Contemporary.

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The role and responsibility of the arts

Posted by Erik Takeshita, Dec 10, 2015 0 comments

“The arts are like a little black dress; right for every occasion, but one size doesn’t fit all.” - Commander Moira McGuire, Clinical care coordinator; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Jamie Bennett, President of ArtPlace America, recently shared this missive with me and I couldn’t agree more. The arts are unique in their capacity to inspire, motivate, connect, give voice, and, all in all, lead to great things.  And, to quote another great source, Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” 

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Strength in Numbers

Posted by Sofia Perez, Dec 01, 2015 0 comments

How does a hardworking artist become an economically thriving one? In today’s art world, talent alone is rarely enough. Without sufficient financial support, most artists will struggle to get ahead—or even stay afloat—but direct funding for the arts is getting increasingly harder to come by. In 2014, individual artists received less than 5% of the grant dollars awarded by nonprofits or state arts agencies for arts-related work [Sources: The Foundation Center; National Assembly of State Arts Agencies]. What’s more, the vast majority of support that individual artists receive from non-governmental institutions is filtered through fiscal sponsors, a step that not only creates an additional obstacle for artists, but also cuts into the total dollar amount that they receive.

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