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.

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

Creating Trust

It’s one thing when a large organization says, “We want to give grants to artists” and they award applicants with a check. The artists are rewarded for the quality of their art and the strength of their proposal. But the kind of relationship we have with artists requires a different level of trust: we are trying to understand their financial situation so that we can help them get to a better financial place. We’re trying to understand their business practice to help them get to a better place with how they run the business side of their art. That takes a high level of trust and that kind of trust is challenging to build in any circumstance, and especially challenging when you are at a distance from where the people you serve are living.

We’ve gotten around that in a couple of ways. When we first began our program nine years ago, we only worked locally. So we had several years of experience working in our local region. The trust issue was something we had to deal with, we had more personal connections and the ability to meet with people more easily one-on-one. As we’ve expanded state-wide and into other states we’ve been able to rely on our growing reputation and the artists who vouch for us and recommend our services to their friends and acquaintances. The circle of trust has grown.

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

We Value Artist Input

Another thing that we’re really careful about is a lot of our programming, like with the arts exhibitions that we do at the community center for the arts, we don’t just employ a curator to choose what shows that we’re going to do. We have an advisory council that’s made up of local artists, and we value their input on deciding what shows, what exhibitions and what art programming is going to best serve the local community and also consider what artists are doing locally. A group will sit down for about a half-day meeting and they will review concepts, both from outside the organization and from within, and make determinations about what shows we should be planning in 2019, 2020 and beyond. It has been really great to see many of the artists step into that role and share ownership of the organization and its programs.

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

Working with Artists to Shape Our Conference

There were two components to our state-wide convening, where we worked with artists from all across the state to really shape our conference. One was a leadership development program on day one where we brought these artists together. There was really lively and intense, vibrant, dynamic conversation. Then, on the second day, in the larger convening, it included cross-sector people and arts organizations and we had those individual artists present their work in a “Pecha kucha” format. Being able to convene so many art sector people in the same room at the same time, the impact of that is really felt years later and people refer back to those moments of, “Yeah, I found out about that artist because of this event and the ideas that we were exploring.” So, the engagement is really dynamic. A large team of artists were provided an opportunity to show their work with more than two hundred people across the state. And then there were also parts of that conference where we had an additional team of artists that were doing hands-on work with conference attendees at a different time. So, there was actually a making component, in which the engagement was really intense and exciting.

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

Removing Obstacles to Artists Thriving

Jenifer Simon, Director of Programs + Outreach for CERF+, shares what motivates her in working to support artists.

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