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.

Providing Working Capital for Artists

We tend to utilize a tool known as the “Individual Development Account” or “Match Savings Account” for artists. So, this is something that exists in many communities to help people who are usually low-income to be able to build some assets, and to access some capital for investing in small business development, home ownership, or higher education. We make a lot of use of that tool. It’s funded by public agencies that have a real focus on providing that kind of working capital for artists. So, what we find is very successful for artists is providing these match saving accounts that artists will use to invest in the implementation of a business plan that they’ve worked on with us through professional development training and one-on-one coaching. That match savings account incentivizes them to save their own funds, to gain some more financial literacy skills, and then to have access to some working capital. This way, they haven’t just worked through some plan; they have some additional resources available to implement that plan. These are modest size grants – a couple thousand dollars at a time – but for artists it goes a long way. One thing that’s unique about that form of grantmaking to artists is that it’s not project based, and it’s not a one-off. We enter into a relationship with the artist where they’re saving. We provide training upfront and then work with them over time to create a business plan. They only get their grant after they’ve been working with us for a year, two years, sometimes maybe three years to develop their plan, implement that plan, and get their financial house in order. Then they receive the matching funds and utilize those funds to fix and take the next steps and try to take their art practice to the next level. That kind of multi-year relationship that we have with artists and this kind of grant facilitates a really powerful impact on the artist. Partly, because it’s not just project based but it’s really about their whole art practice.

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

Creating a Platform for New Work

We have a grant that gives artists money to create new work, and then we provide a platform for them to speak about that work and how they see that work in conversation with the community. We take the backseat to that process. We allow them to shape and provide focus for that process to happen, for them to connect to the community. So, we just set the table, and they take charge of what they do or say on that platform.

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