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.

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Empowering Artists to Be Advocates

A lot of people actually are not aware of the power that one voice can do by just picking up the phone and just speaking out. We provide all of our individual artists with phone numbers, emails, and access to information to teach them how to advocate by and for themselves. We teach them how to call their local, state, national, and federal politicians, and we link them with Americans for the Arts and similar organizations. By empowering them inform themselves, we’re teaching them to advocate for themselves.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Struggle Advocacy

Advocating for Artists as a Code Switcher

Our role in advocating for artists often comes as a code switcher. We try to speak as many “languages” as possible. We listen to organizations that might be potential partners to artists, and we act as intermediary to increase accessibility for artists. Some artists really excel in running organizations and speaking these languages, and we’re here to help the others.

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I work with Artists Artists Struggle Advocacy

Rallying Artists for the Greater Good

We had just experienced budget cuts of fifty percent, so we did a very wide-reaching campaign. At that point, we also had galleries where artists could show their work. It did affect all of those things. We had some good timing on our side and a really nice pipeline into all the individual artists at the start of our campaign. And we brought a lot of people together. We actually brought in an outside facilitator to help us do this as well. We rallied the artists and many of these artists, who weren’t recipients of the grant program, understood the greater good of why the arts were critical to the city. And I think because we invited them to the table, the artists really came out in support. We ended up having a First Friday – a gallery night – which is a huge celebration across the region. It happened, I want to say, literally three weeks after we heard that the budget was going to get cut, and we worked with artists to create a number of things that talked about funding for the arts. We made tee shirts that talked about funding for the arts. We had somebody underwrite the production of those tee shirts and we raised about $5,000 just by giving out the shirts. We said, “These are free, but if you wanted, you could give some money to help support this advocacy campaign.” And they became kind of collector’s item. They were created by artists, and we gave them away in all the different galleries.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Struggle Advocacy