Artists: Diversify your hustle!

A number of recent panel discussions have sought to project a way forward for artists and arts organizations impacted by the ebb in collectors and private donors. Last Thursday's "(Alternative) Arts Funding for Sustainable Creative Practice," organized by guerrilla bake-saler Tracy Candido at NYU, provided several examples of business models that source their local communities, hinge public services on profitable, private sector businesses, or just have their foundation's fingers in many pies to minimize the impact of the bubble-break.

In the spirit of sharing, we're reposting a number of the resources discussed here:

Creative Capital Foundation
Reminding us of their beginnings as young upstarts who funded artists in the wake of the NEA culture wars in the '90s, Creative Capital has turned their decade of professional-development programming and workshops into an online database available to all.

Fractured Atlas
Providing affordable health care, funding, and business guidance for artists, FA supports their services through a profitable software business at the organization's center. This financial base, and their focus on creating services that also generate income, ensure that they are relatively untethered to the caprices of donors and outside interests.

Creative Time
Creative Time plows ahead with their expansive public-art projects. Their "open door" program can lend a hand to those navigating the ins and outs of public-art projects and grant writing. Allowing occasional corporate-sponsored projects, CT offsets drops in donor money, while ensuring its freedom to continue sponsoring challenging, visionary projects.

InCUBATE (based in Chicago)
This collective's Sunday Soup Brunches fund artists' projects by way of a door charge. The ad hoc jury votes with its stomach. An upcoming project amounts to an artists bank, a kind of merry-go-round savings account that pays out the total monthly dues collected from all members to each artist in turn.

Feast
A Brooklyn venture based on the InCUBATE Sunday Soup Brunch model, Feast stays local in its practices, drawing on artists from the community, who munch on a seasonal, local repast and then vote on a project that will be fulfilled and presented at the next monthly gastronomic go-round.

Next event: Church of the Messiah, 129 Russell St between Driggs and Nassau Aves, Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Sat 9. 6-9p; $10-20, no one turned away.

WAGE (Working Artists and the Greater Economy)
This artists group advocates fair compensation for artists, who generally suffer from a "cultural discount" attributed to their services as their labor is assumed to be "intrinsically rewarding" and thus not deserving of a proportional wage.
Go to their site to support the Artist Museum Partnership Act 2009!

Additionally: check out these upcoming panels on Artists in the economy:
Wednesday, May 13th
The Field presents New Economy Smackdown

Saturday, May 16
NYFA's The Low Down: Strategies for Artists During the Recession

Brian Zegeer