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.

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

Connection to Community Is Paramount

One success is that our agency is now investing time and resources in gathering broad input from our community. We can now develop new approaches to support artists in 2017 and beyond that reflect artists needs. We understand that we are providing meaningful support, and the program going forward will be designed in such a way that that the connection to community is paramount to any other element of the support.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Community Connections

Building Connections Between Residents and Artists

I’ve spent many hours in the field with artists in their studios, in their homes and having conversations with them about being publically supported so that they can both connect with communities and develop as artists. I think what’s been successful about that program is that it’s helped them to see their ability to create and connect with the community in a new way. We are exploring new approaches to provide meaningful support to artists in line with our mission over the next year, but that program was designed to really foster connections between residents and artists, and I think that has been successful in ways of building connections between the arts community and other local communities. As we revamp the program this year, our focus isn’t really on creating new opportunities, but to more overtly build connections between residents and artists, to position artists as problem solvers in the community, and to more directly enable residents to come together through a network that can more directly foster collaboration.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Community Connections

Understanding How Residents Want to Connect with Artists

Over the past eighteen months our organization has spent hours connecting with over two thousand residents through online surveys, street team intercepts, and focus groups. It has really been an opportunity for us to cast the vision for our next decade: a vision where all of our county’s residents can experience a meaningful cultural life. We are on the road to understanding access and barriers to participation, understanding what support artists and residents find meaningful, and understanding how residents in our community want to connect and benefit from our local artists and cultural institutions.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Community Connections

Artists Joining with Communities

In the media arts field, there is a challenge for media artists around technology and innovation. Everything is changing so fast and these guys are storytellers, and making films is a completely different field than it was 20 years ago. All of a sudden you have to deal with making film, digital video, being on mobile, and seventeen platforms – and now augmented reality and virtual reality. The creative field is changing every day and for us the idea is you can’t chase technology and so we really try to foster within our organization this idea that when one organizational artist comes up with a new model, we’re really generous and open with sharing that model and helping other organizations riff on that idea. We try to give money to projects that are creating those models and looking for how they can be a benefit.

One of these was a project that was developed by a filmmaker who did a documentary in India about young kids who were really changing their community. They lived in one of the poorest slums in India, and had no running water but they were really incredibly resilient young people. They were collecting public health data and bring out health officials to inoculate the babies against polio. During that process, the filmmakers wanted to actually help them deepen the impact of the work they were doing. So, they got some additional grants and brought Google into the partnership. Instead of the kids going door to door and just writing down yellow legal pads which babies had not yet been vaccinated and making sure they were, they developed an open data platform where the kids could have these Google tablets to collect public health data that became part of the public record. They were doing things like lowering the rate of polio by like 70%.

It showed how artists could join with the communities that they were documenting and creating deeper impacts for all. And the story of that process became something that we invested in. That project is still going on years later and doing amazing things. And that was a small $5,000 grant that wasn’t paying for an entire project but was paying to amplify the stories on the ground and spread them across the network. In that way, we can embolden a generation of artists to think differently about how they work.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Community Connections

Prototyping Community Ideas

Cindy Ornstein, Director of Arts & Culture for the City of Mesa and Executive Director of the Mesa Arts Center, describes a new initiative funding artists to create prototypes in response to community input.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Community Connections