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.

Artists Know the Best Use of Funds

When artists apply for our financial assistance, we don’t dictate for them what the funds have to be spent on. If it’s somebody who has flooded their studio, they can spend the money on their studio – or they can spend it on getting their car retuned, or paying for care if they are taking care of a loved one. So, we empower them to know that what they think is the best use of those funds is their decision.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Funding Individual Artists

Flexible Award to Create New Work

We have a choreographer’s program, which is a $10,000 award that is given to the four selected choreographers with very few stipulations. The stipulation is to create a new piece. And there aren’t any requirements on what line items that money needs to be used on. You can quit your day job so that you can create this work. You can pay your rent with this so that you can focus time and energy. You can use this for your dancers to pay their salaries or your venue rental to create the piece. However, you spend that $10,000 is all right with us as long as in the end a new choreographed piece is developed. And the jury for that is three individuals from around the country who are as diverse ethnically and sub-disciplinarily – so ethnic dance, modern dance, ballet, hip hop, whatever – as possible. Nobody can say “These three people only knew about ballet or these three people only knew about…” They select four choreographers to award this to. And it’s been extremely successful. My only wish is that I could take it a step further and actually after having the piece created, assist in producing it.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Funding Individual Artists

Funding Artists to Experiment & Collaborate

In addition to having artists from our studios do smaller projects, we have four big projects that have many, many artists involved. They each have $15,000 to spend to build, curate, and hire for this large exhibition at the festival. It’s very exciting, but it’s also important because it gives these artists an opportunity to try experiment and collaborate with new people, or to strengthen collaborations they have. They also get to showcase all different kinds of local and regional talent.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Funding Individual Artists

Streamlined Micro-grants for Experimentation

I was presenting at a conference where they were doing a lighting round of grant proposals and awards. The figures involved were modest: $400-$800. But they had artists who had applied get up to give a two-minute pitch, and then at the end of it based on how the audience felt, they awarded these small grants to the artists with the idea of no strings attached. There was no follow-up reporting that they had to do. All they asked was that whatever they did, they credited the organization. I found that following up on a number of the artists that received those, it let them do projects that weren’t necessarily of huge career importance, but were something that they were just able to experiment with.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Funding Individual Artists

Artist Fellowship Has Long-term Impact

Another artist who lives in the western part of the state also received an individual award from the arts council, which he used to buy equipment to update his studio. He’s a custom wood furniture maker – very contemporary furniture. His work is beautiful and is in collections all over the world. Before his involvement with the arts council, he was about to go out of business because he was at the point where he couldn’t figure out how to continue making a living as an artist and promote himself the way he needed to in order to be able to stay in business and work how he wanted to work. When he learned about the arts council and began to take advantage of many of the arts council’s services, he applied for a fellowship. He basically has credited all of that string of events plus the fellowship together with not only saving his business, but also growing his sales by 400%, thus demonstrating the value of investing directly in individual artists.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Funding Individual Artists

Streamlined and Transparent Funding Process

Heather Pontonio, Art Program Director for the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, shares a previous experience overhauling an individual grant process with an eye to transparency.

Rubric Spectrum Category
I work with Artists Artists Survive Funding Individual Artists