Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ArtsWave Should Be Having this Discussion

As they launch their capital campaign, ArtsWave is continuing to hone its mission and defining its future funding guidelines. They should be considering artists grants. As they've told me recently, they are not in the business of competitive grants for individual artists. But during a brown bag lunch, Ms. Mary McCullough-Hudson suggested that such grants may be something for ArtsWave to look at in the future.

Art in America has a good story on funding of individual artists. The article presents the challenges of setting up guidelines for such grants as well as some solutions.

As the article notes, when the NEA killed artists' grants in 1994, it pulled significant financial support and recognition of our artists. But the story neglects to point out though is that yanking was a powerful gesture to the art world that funding artists is simply not a worthy effort.

ArtsWave should reconsider its cue from the NEA and work to establish artist grants with the community support they hope to gain in the coming weeks during the Sampler.