Blog Posts for local arts network

Building a Foundation for Native Arts & Culture Councils

Posted by Mr. John W. Haworth, Dec 06, 2022 0 comments

Native Arts & Culture Councils, a two-year pilot project funded by the Ford Foundation, is designed to help Native communities develop Arts and Culture Councils similar to existing local arts agencies across the United States. In the initial stages of this initiative, this group of tribal-led, community-based organizations is making important contributions to our national cultural discourse and paving the way for broader participation by other tribes. The Native cultural field has changed dramatically in the last thirty or so years. There is broader acceptance that there should be no “speaking about us without us,” and Native leaders, artists, and cultural organizations want their cultural perspectives recognized, documented, understood, and celebrated. Community-anchored and community-informed work includes a variety of approaches: Some of the tribal organizations are committed to advancing tourism to strengthen the local economy; others focus on supporting local artists (including artist directories, organizing local art markets, and commissioning public art projects); still others seek to develop programmatic capacities related to public events, classes and workshops, film screenings, youth projects, ceremonial activities, and heritage preservation and oral history projects. There is value in having input from people living in tribal communities and having their perspective on how best to develop local cultural assets that suit their community’s needs.

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2022 Trends: Money, Money, Money

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 22, 2022 0 comments

As the price of goods rises, costs will likely flow as far downstream as possible—which means cultural organizations and artists will continue to get hit with rising costs while arts patrons are likely to have more expenses that eat away at disposable income. At the same time, the slowly closing spigot of relief and recovery funding, mistimed to the needs of our field where things are still solidly behind where they were prior to the pandemic, poses serious risks to independent workers, creative entrepreneurs, and arts organizations. Will public policy solutions like Universal Basic Income (and related large-scale public policies around unemployment and healthcare access) scale enough to make the difference? It’s hard to imagine—but even two years ago it would have been hard to imagine multiple major cities running UBI pilots specifically designed to support and maintain a creative class.

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2022 Trends: Digital Goes Mainstream

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 21, 2022 0 comments

It was going to happen eventually, but the pandemic drove digital engagement of one type or another into almost every aspect of life. As we progress forward, how will that engagement make things better—and how might it make things worse? There is so much promise and peril for the arts sector and artists when it comes to the digital space, cryptocurrency, and the metaverse. The rules of much of this space are still being written, so one argument goes that it may end up being a more egalitarian and open space in which entrepreneurial creatives of all stripes can control more of their own destiny. On the other hand, accessibility issues and repeating patterns of colonization of the space by the same monied, privileged few who have been able to colonize elsewhere have people concerned. Whatever the outcome, these formerly sci-fi concepts have solidly moved into the realm of reality and will take up increasing brain space (and revenue) for both artists and arts organizations in the coming years.

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2022 Trends: Global (and Local) Unrest and Dysfunction

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 20, 2022 0 comments

The planet is heaving, as are the human populations living on it. Whether we’re talking major weather events and icebergs the size of cities, the threat of global war, oppressive legislation at home, or a looming election amid governmental stagnation, much feels topsy-turvy these days. Climate change is already affecting the living habits of millions of people in ways large and small, and in the coming decades it will affect where we can have homes (and studios and performance venues), how much it costs to maintain internal climates that are comfortable, the availability of materials, and more. Similarly, burgeoning violence, invasion, and occupation are affecting systems and costs globally and locally, and likely will soon spark migrations that may impact cultural organizations and foster engagement by and with artists. On these scales, the potential impact of elections and state and national policy are closer and clearer, and accessibility to culture for millions of people may be affected.

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2022 Trends: Shifts in Labor, Work, and Training

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 19, 2022 0 comments

In ways large and small, the way we work continues to change as we carry into the rest of 2022 and emerge from two years of seismic change. A true tussle between those who want it to go back to how it was, and those who want something new in the relationship between workers and work, is about to come to a head. For our sector, the implications of this shift in work are, and will be, profound. The hardship of the pandemic created exoduses of artists leaving the arts field, either temporarily or permanently, and have opened new job training employment opportunities for creative workers and organizations. For those staying in the arts, collective organizing offers the promise of better wages and quality of life. 

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2022 Trends That Will Impact the Arts

Posted by Mr. Clayton W. Lord, Apr 19, 2022 0 comments

Now that we’re more than a quarter of the way through 2022, it seems like the perfect time for a post about trends that will impact the arts this year, right? But seriously—the world is moving so fast and seems so chaotic that maybe partway in is the perfect time to think about the trends happening around us and how they’ll carry through for the remainder of the year. Why do we publish an annual trends post? Because what happens to the world happens to us all. It can be difficult to set aside time and brain space, particularly at this moment, to think about what’s out there and what’s coming our way. But if we don’t carve out that time, we risk being caught by surprise. We gather these trends in an effort to make it easier for you (and us) to be prepared, anticipate what’s coming, and actively engage in crafting the future instead of just reacting to it. As an organization and a field, we need to cast our eyes forward to that messy horizon and try and glean what’s coming. That’s always hard, and perhaps never harder than when everything seems in flux. But why not try, all the same?

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