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. Read our Guidebook for more suggestions on how you can use Artists Thrive, putting the tools to practice, and sparking conversations with Artists Thrive.

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

A Blade of Grass | FIELDWORKS: Artist Dread Scott

A Blade of Grass features artist Dread Scott in this episode of FIELDWORKS. Scott seeks to engage with the community to create a work of art that will reenact the largest rebellion of enslaved people in American history.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

A Blade of Grass | FIELDWORKS: Artist Adaku Utah

In this episode of FIELDWORKS, A Blade of Grass explores the work of artist Adaku Utah. Utah, in conjunction with Black Cis Women, Queer and Trans healers, artists, health professionals, magicians, activists, and ancestors, leads an intergenerational healing village called Harriet's Apothecary.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

A Blade of Grass | FIELDWORKS: Artist Mel Chin

In this episode of FIELDWORKS, A Blade of Grass features the work of artist Mel Chin. Chin galvanizes 400,000 individuals across the country to end childhood lead poisoning.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

A Blade of Grass | FIELDWORKS: Artist Pablo Helguera

Artist Pablo Helguera is featured in this episode of A Blade of Grass' FIELDWORKS. Helguera opens a pop-up bookstore in Red Hook, Brooklyn housing twenty thousand used Spanish-language books.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

A Blade of Grass | FIELDWORKS: Artist Brett Cook

In this A Blade of Grass FIELDWORKS, artist Brett Cook promotes health and wellness through participatory portraiture at Oakland's "Life is Living" festival.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

A Blade of Grass | FIELDWORKS: Artist Fran Ilich

In this episode of FIELDWORKS, A Blade of Grass features artist Fran Ilich. Ilich created a coffee service that connects Zapatista communities to political movements in New York City.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

A Blade of Grass | FIELDWORKS: Artist Jan Mun

In this episode of FIELDWORKS by A Blade of Grass, artist Jan Mun combats one of the largest underground oil spills in the world by way of bioremediation in Newtown Creek, Brooklyn.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

A Blade of Grass | FIELDWORKS: Artist Jody Wood

In this episode of FIELDWORKS, A Blade of Grass features artist Jody Wood. Over the course of three months, Wood travels to nine homeless shelters throughout New York City with her mobile beauty salon.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

Jessica McCambly shares what generosity means to her as an artist

Photo:

Generosity has been indivisible from my experience of being an artist. I cannot personally separate the two. I have found that taking an active role in creating the scene and being a supportive peer has served me well as an artist and as a human. I was fortunate to come out of a grad program where there was a strong spirit of kindness and collaboration among my peers. I was also lucky to be a part of Texas’ oldest, artist-run collective, 500X. At the same time, John and I opened an experimental project space. We named it good good things. This time of sharing and generosity truly formed the core of what I wanted my creative life to be and has been at the center of my life and career ever since.

When we relocated to San Diego for our teaching positions, we altered the idea for good good things, redefining it as a transitory curatorial project. As good good things, John and I have worked collaboratively with an artist run space (Helmuth Projects) in San Diego, to curate two notable exhibitions, both known as Object Object!.  The idea behind the show was that artists would meet, and that an artist-driven network would bloom. And this did happen. And it was beautiful. The secondary piece that we didn’t count on was the line around the block, filled with art lovers,collectors, arts administrators, and curators. In a city where artists struggle for support a nd visibility.. it was amazing. From these two shows, studio visits were scheduled, commissions were requested, curators curated, work was collected, artists felt awesome, friendships were forged, and a community came together.

A valued piece of advice that my mentor, Annette Lawrence, shared with me while in grad school, was to “not get caught up in the art world noise.. just focus on the work and the rest will follow.” She was right, and would like to add that being both a lover and champion of art other than my own has also been so important. I feel that generosity and gratitude go hand in hand. I am so grateful to know other artists. I love their art. I love knowing that they are making art. It makes me want to make my art.  I believe that there really is room for all of us. We make the room. When we, as artists create the scene, we drive the scene for each other, and we own the scene together.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Communicating and Connecting

Building a Network of Support

Artist Margie Livingston shares how she has intentionally cultivated a network of artists that she depends on for support.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

Advocating for Fair Pay

Artist Dylan Neuwirth describes his experience advocating for artists to charge a living wage, and also offers advice for artists on establishing their rates.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Money

Valuing What Matters to You

Artist Matthew Deleget explains how he sets goals that reflect his values as opposed to only looking at the traditional markers for an artist’s success, i.e. money and fame.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Planning and Capacity

Recharging Your Creative Batteries

Artist Linda Enfante-Lyons shares how she maintains balance in her practice by both protecting studio time and also getting out of the studio to generate new inspiration.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Thrive Practice

Sharing Knowledge through a Community of Artists

Chris Parmelee relates how producing and sharing knowledge is one of the best things a community of artists can do to expand their experiences in the world and support one another.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Practice

Broader Access to Networks & Resources

The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, COPPeR, uses the AIR Institute curriculum to provide workshops in Colorado Springs that teach collaboration, design thinking, business planning and entrepreneurial mindset to local artists, creatives, business people, and community members. COPPeR has four trained facilitators who can teach the AIR:Shift Workshop. Individual artists now have broader networks and access to community resources, accountability buddies, and business planning skills. Also, because the program is designed to create local, implementable programs that encourage connections between the arts, business and community, we now have a new program that our local residents designed - Innovation Acceleration. The pilot program was purchased (new earned revenues) by our local workforce development agency - artists were paid to train 50 of their employees to access creativity and foster new ideas.

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

Connecting Artists with City Planning

C4 Atlanta is working with The Department of Planning and Community Development to engage artists in the planning and re-zoning process. This is a new partnership but the Department and the Planning Commissioner (and his team) value artists and welcome input as the city begins a new zoning ordinance (the last update was 1980).

C4 Atlanta is offering the training to help artists better understand city planning, and to better understand the complexities of civic-centered art making.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Community Connections

Making our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy Public

C4 Atlanta has maintained a diverse service population since its inception. However, three years ago the Board decided to ensure that we should strive for inclusion at all levels of the organization in respect to backgrounds, but also in respect to privilege. The organization takes very seriously its role in the community as a convener; however, we also examine our relationship to individuals and how that power dynamic may have unintended consequences.

For this reason, we made our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy public this last year. We also reference this site in many of our public facing materials, and we ask that our partners understand our policy. Because we carry this through our work, many of the artists with whom we work began to examine their roles in relation to community, each other, and their practice.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Power (open, equitable, and culturally relevant)

Changing Perceptions

Artists who we invite to co-present workshops, convenings and meet & greet encounters are continually surprised when we mention that we will be remunerating their services through AZ ArtWorker. I seem to encounter the general perception that artists and culture-workers are lucky to be in these roles; therefore, we need not remunerate their work when it is not a tangible thing that we can touch and admire.

It has been most rewarding to treat local Arizona artists with the same degree of thoughtfulness and respect and financial support that we offer our national and international artistic partners. Changing and engaging in conversations around money and fair compensation of intangible creative work has been an unexpected and welcome part of the work the initiative is undertaking.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Paying Artists

Improving Your Relationship with Money through Language

Ewa Szypula describes how changing the way she talks to herself by using the language of a producer and not a procrastinator has improved the way she thinks about choices, money and work.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I am an Artist Artists Survive Money

Seeking Out Artists in Crisis

Jenifer Simon, Director of Programs + Outreach for CERF+, shares how they work to respond to artists' needs in a timely and relevant way.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Engaging with Artists