STORIES

The text used in the assessment tools are great descriptors, but its stories that bring this work to life. 

Below is a growing portfolio of stories from artists and advocates from across the country that can be filtered on the assessment tools, spectrum, and categories.  You can turn on and off these filters by clicking on the buttons. 

Use these examples to help locate yourself on the assessment tool and see how to move up on the spectrum.

Have a story of your own to add?   Click here to submit it.

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Promotions)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Communicating & Connecting

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Social Media Basics)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Communicating & Connecting

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Pricing)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Money

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Recordkeeping)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Legal Considerations)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Funding)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Money

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Grant Writing)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Business Plan Essentials)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Artist Statements)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Social Media Plus)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Communicating & Connecting

Springboard for the Arts' Work of Art Series (Jumpstart)

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Planning and Capacity

A Paid Commission with a Business

Princess Simpson Rashid shares about a commission that impacted her career as an artist.

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I am an Artist Artists Survive Money

Paying a Stipend, Not Living Wage

We used to run a carnival in conjunction with a local music festival in town. We would shut down a street and bring in a moving truck that artists programmed. Even though we didn’t necessarily pay the artist for the days they spent at the truck, we paid them a stipend to produce it.

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I work with Artists Artists Struggle Paying Artists

Misdiagnosed Barrier to Access

At the insistence of an important funder, we provided translators for our one-on-one consultation time. However, this resource was little used and we struggled to explain to the funder that it was because the vast majority of artists from this particular community were 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants who spoke English and practiced a range of art forms like hip-hop, graffiti art, and spoken word. There were certainly barriers to programming (such as the diversity of our instructors or a nuanced understanding of their cultural experience), but language wasn't one of them.

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I work with Artists Artists Struggle Power (open, equitable, and culturally relevant)

Desire to Serve More Underrepresented Artists

As we’ve expanded to other regions, we definitely had to rely more heavily on community partnerships or having organizational partners that could be mouthpieces for our organization. It assures artists that we are legit, and that we have their best interest at heart. Because we’ve been in the game so long, they think it is worth getting to know us and coming to trainings and taking advantage of grants and coaching that we offer. 

We still have a ways to go to build all of the right kinds of partnerships to make sure that we’re hitting all aspects of the community. We want to serve more artists of color, we want to be sure that we have community partners that will help us reach more artists of color. We want to introduce them and other underrepresented groups to our services so that they can build their art practices.

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I work with Artists Artists Struggle Power (open, equitable, and culturally relevant)

Promotional Toolkit

Artists who participate in our annual wholesale/retail event, Craft at the Market, all receive a promotional toolkit that has everything they need to promote their participation and their business, to promote their participation in the show through various means: whether that be through print media, radio communications, television, or more and more through social media. We provide them all the tools they need to do that, at the local level. We do our own promotions at the state and national level for that show, but also encourage them to promote themselves through their own channels and networks. That’s a really good example of something that is sometimes successful and is sometimes not successful, and it depends on the artist’s willingness to use the tools that are provided to them. What we have found is that the artists who will use what is sent to them, those who are really go-getters and who will share the information, that they have much better results than the folks who use one or two pieces of the information sent to them.

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I work with Artists Artists Struggle Services and Programs

Trying to Create a Norm of Paying Artists

We often think about paying artists during our state-wide arts convening, which is for both individual artists and arts organizations to build networks and introduce new concepts. As an agency is that we’re working really hard for the norm to be that we always pay artists. We are also in a position of feeling that we would like to pay individual artists more for their work. So, during convenings, we will pay artists, via contract, to perform – or, present or do contracted work. And then times that we haven’t paid artists, we usually work to compensate them with a full conference attendance fee waiver. It’s a way to provide a non-monetary incentive or non-monetary benefit to them as a professional artist.

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I work with Artists Artists Struggle Paying Artists

Good Relationship with Artist Cooperative

There is a good relationship between the foundation and the artists in the cooperative. They’ve managed to create a wonderful and successful governance structure where they have a steering committee with rotating officers and committee chairs. We feel like it is such a win-win. They have gained this community of artists that they are a part of, they get income for their work and the affiliation with us, and they meet new clients with whom they may be able to have an ongoing relationship. And that is separate from the co-op with people who may purchase their work or commission their work. This way, people can see artists working onsite and meet artists whose work is on sale. It lets people know what artists are up to, and it gives artists agency in the community.

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I work with Artists Artists Struggle Engaging with Artists

Making Opportunities Available

We had people talk about available commercial space. We’ve created the opportunities, we haven’t really tracked how people have followed up with these opportunities, but we have created the opportunities. We also have resource fairs, particularly around artists who are also educators. So, we make it available but I don’t think we’ve followed up.

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I work with Artists Artists Struggle Services and Programs

Informal Connections

It’s not about bringing artists through our doors and introducing them to one another or an institution. It’s about trying to get people out to their openings, gallery exhibitions, things like that, because that tends to be where you have the best chance of even having people already there to introduce them to. So, we can’t be relying on them coming to us; we need to be doing a decent job of staying on top of the arts scene and its programming throughout the area, and making sure that folks in this city know about folks in that city. Sometimes that’s even just very casual: “Oh you’re looking for a studio, I know someone who is leaving theirs.” I wouldn’t say we have a lot of formal things encouraging that.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Struggle Services and Programs