11
Dec
09

The State of the ARTs.

Joel posted the following New York Times article on our gallery facebook page recently.  Before that my sister-in-law sent me an article that ran in USA Today about galleries closing in Santa Fe and Chelsey.  Today my friend Elaine who lives in DC said she just sent me an article about the demise of galleries in that area.  I thought with all of this negative press, I might share some ways that you can positively affect the arts in your area.

It is certainly true that the last year has been difficult, not just for the arts but, for almost everyone around the globe.  However the arts have been harder hit than some.  I personally think that the recession has a bigger impact in the arts because we live on such a shoestring to begin with.  Artists, in general, are not the highest earners in the chain to begin with.  I am not writing today to complain but rather to give ideas, suggestions, and nudges about what you can do to help the arts in your community.  Below is a list of things you can do in Columbia Missouri, but if you don’t live here, you can apply most of these ideas to your own community.

1. Make a donation to a non-profit arts agency.  It could be $10.00 or $100.00 everything helps.  Here are two organizations that are near and dear to my heart.

Columbia Art League

Orr Street Artists Guild

2. Take an art class.

The Art League as well as Access Arts offer classes for all ages.  By signing up for a class (or buying classes as a gift for others) you not only support the organization hosting the class, but you give back to yourself .

3. Request the gift of Art.

If art is important to you, make it known to the ones who buy gifts for you.  Many galleries (and shops) will let you make up a wish list to make gift purchasing easier.  We will even wrap and deliver gifts.  If you don’t want to feel like you are asking too much of your gift buyers, ask for gift certificates.  A $20.00 gift certificate from several people goes a long way towards an art purchase.

4. Give the gift of Art.

There is no excuse not to buy original art.  With the variety of art venues here in town, you can find original art in almost every price bracket.  Why give things that have no value?  Give a gift that is original, meaningful, and beautiful.  Here are five places that your can go buy art this holiday season (PS:Gallery is a given and is not included).

Columbia Art League

Orr Street Studios

Svens Kafe and Gallery

Bluestem Missouri Crafts

Artlandish Gallery

This is NOT an all inclusive list.  There are other places you can buy art in Columbia.

5.  Become a Member.

Whether it is the Art League or the Museum of Art and Archeaology.  Many non-profit arts organizations have memberships.  This entitles you to benefits (special events, discounts at gift shops or on art classes, reciprocal benefits at other museums) but also provides funding to the organization.

6. Buy a ticket.

I tend to focus on the visual arts, because that’s what I do, but there are many other art forms to be supported.  Buy tickets to the ballet, an independent film, a performance, a play, or a concert.  Better yet, buy a season pass.  Give tickets to friends as gifts.

There is a list of half a dozen ways you can support the arts, no matter who you are.  There are many many other ways that you can support the arts.  The point is: Do Something.  Don’t stand by and say, “Wow, things sure look tough for the arts” or “I hope you survive this difficult economic time”.  That doesn’t actually do anything to make things better.  Actions speak louder than words.  I look forward to hearing about your actions.

Jennifer

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