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.

Building a Coordinated Cross-Sector Partnership

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville (ABC Nashville) created Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training, a program to ensure that artists can thrive in Nashville with a team of partners who bring different expertise and resources: Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, and Nashville Mayor's Office of Economic Development. ABC Nashville identified these partners and built consensus around the importance of retaining artists as well as attracting more artists to Nashville.

With a shared goal as the focus, the partners were able to combine traditional business expertise with artist expertise to create Periscope, a program tailored to the unique needs of artists that is much more robust and sustainable than a multitude of individual programs would have been. Further, having one coordinated program is much easier for artists to access and navigate!

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I work with Artists Artists Thrive Services and Programs

Training Adapts to New Art Forms

In 2016 the Arts Council New Orleans debuted a Local Artist Training Program to teach a small group of our artists skills and tools around making large-scale installations with light and technology. This was in preparation for our LUNA Fete, in which we commission such projects largely from international artists although we're changing that with the help of the program. Immediately following the completion of the program one artist had made and displayed at a gallery an entirely new series of work made possible by the use of the MadMapper program she had learned. Another artist was offered a scholarship to attend the New York University Interactive Telecommunications Program, which is where we sourced the primary instructor for the initiative.

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I work with Artists Artists Thrive Services and Programs

Developing Teaching Artists

In our spoken word program we partner with an organization that has multiple teaching artists in their core. We have now been working in partnership with them for about five years, where those artists work with us in numerous schools, five to six schools a year, in afterschool programs once a week. They work with the students in gaining all kinds of literacy skills starting with creating a safe student centered work environment, and then building their confidence and their voice for writing, for performing what they write, for collaborating in teams with their fellow students, and ultimately for participating in public presentations of their work. Those artists have been paid, so they have been given paid opportunities to hone their own skills.

They’ve created a community with likeminded artists from some of our other engagement programs, where they can share and grow and develop opportunities for mentoring. In many cases those artists end up being put in situations for projects with us where they’re getting to meet national artists who work in their field, and work with them in different ways on our campus. And so, there’s both professional development in that relationship, there’s the experience that is so important for someone to hone their skills and be able to market their skills to others, there’s the incredible relationships over time with different schools and students, and the kind of exposure and promotional value of having it be a program we are proud of and that we market to the public as a free public event that culminates the program in each spring.

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I work with Artists Artists Thrive Services and Programs

Training for Art School Faculty around the Country

We have one training program that’s for arts school faculty to be able to teach their art students about career protection. We subsidize their attendance. They can come from anywhere around the country, and then we do the training at a specific place. So their attendance is subsidized and we get twelve to fifteen art school faculty members who are also practicing artists to engage in a training. Since it is such a small group, they really get to bond. We do a site visit to a makerspace so they get a sense of what an arts community is like in an area that they’re not from. Those tend to form really strong bonds over the years for the folks that have attended to that workshop.

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I work with Artists Artists Thrive Services and Programs

Celebrating Artists with the Whole Community

When I was first hired here we started an awards program – like the Oscars – for the arts in the city. It was about recognizing and celebrating the work of individual artists in a way that would excite and engage the whole community. When we first started it, we didn’t know if the community would really support it or get behind it, and they did. The event kind of blew up and has become, now nine years later, one of city’s most anticipated events every year. What I think I’m most proud of is that, at the core, it’s about recognizing artists individual work and celebrating them in a way that the whole community can really rally behind and recognize.

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I work with Artists Artists Thrive Services and Programs