I am so glad some of you are reading this and finding it useful and interesting – thank you for letting me know!!Â This is a continuation of my life as an artist. Â A bit ago Butterfly wrote a very thoughtful response to my post. Part of what Butterfly wrote is “It seems to me that you spend a tremendous amount of time organizing your own and other people’s work that only indirectly have to do with the actual art of creation.Â It seems that you hardly ever have time to sit down for hours on end to craft your art, or am I getting completely the wrong impression now?”
Bubble Tsunami, Digital Â© Diane Clancy
Earlier in the week, I went to the board meeting of Fostering the Arts. This organization focuses on building the Creative Economy in Franklin County.Â We are a fairly rural area with a very high (and unorganized) concentration of artists – of all kinds – and other creative people. We have lots of artists, writers, photographers, musicians, actors, craftspeople and lots of the technology support industries.Â With online access, many local people work with businesses in New York and Hollywood.Â I have even worked with a client from Paris, France.
There is a lot of mythology about artists not contributing very much to the economy .. but there has been a lot of research of what are the real facts – and they differ wildly from the established wisdom.Â Â We had a Creative Summit here a couple of years ago (as part of this initiative).Â There was a presentation from an expert (from outside the area) that showed lots of facts and figures.Â It turns out investment in the creative arts has a much greater financial return than investment in most other industries. That was shocking to me!
But very reassuring and gave me that much more reason to focus on building art – both in my own career and in the county. So when I was asked to be on the Board of Directors, as an artist representative, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge.Â I know I have good organizational skills so I decided this was important enough to go ahead and get involved.
We now have gotten a grant to develop a marketing plan – to bring up the whole creative economy in the region. A grand idea – but a necessary one to build the economy in this area.
At the board meeting this past week, the AWE Project (Artists Window Exhibit) was brought up as an example of a very successful artist initiative.Â We are seen as a model of what artists can be doing to promote ourselves and the community.Â I was amazed and gratified!!Â They were even using us as THE visible example of the continuity of the whole initiative.
Sometimes I think about trying to get one of the jobs by doing some of these things … but I keep remembering that would divert my energy from my own work – and say, thanks, but no thanks – not that any of these jobs have come my way.Â Having the grant for the AWE Project is a good addition to my art – mostly anyway – but anything approaching a more involved organizing job would not work for me. Tomorrow I will be working on my entry for the 2 Things Challenge, but Monday we will, at last, get to the grant. And thus to the press releases that I have been working on so hard. I am thrilled you are interested in hearing about my art life! Thanks for coming by!
~ Diane Clancy