Erin Washington thinks a lot about lineages as a descendant and as a future ancestor. As an artist and educator based in Atlanta, Erin recognizes her relatives who participated in the Montgomery bus boycott and supported her creative ambitions by taking her to auditions. She also recognizes her spiritual, creative ancestors like Audre Lorde who paved the way for later generations of Black artists and thinkers.
As the world reopens after over a year of shutdown, it’s hard to know how to keep people safe while bringing back entertainment and the arts. How do we protect artists, performers, crews, and staff at events? What about audiences? How do we balance safety and our need for connection?
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Social media is in many ways ubiquitous. It’s how people stay in touch with far away friends, family, and colleagues. It’s how many of us find out about art events, political happenings, and show ourselves off on the days when we are really, as they say, feeling ourselves.
Peter Michael Marino is a theater producer, performer, director, and educator. And in 2020, he really missed the theater. A lot. So, he took inspiration from a Victorian trend called “toy theater,” learned a whole new set of skills including puppetry and digital performance. He created a show inspired by the movie “Planet of the Apes.” The final result is PM2 Entertainment’s “Planet of the Grapes Live,” starring a cast of grapes and corks and supplies from craft stores. Currently, it is in an open-ended run with tickets available for June performances from the Cincy Fringe Festival.
It is impossible to ignore the magnitude of need for financial support locally, regionally, and globally. People are finding it harder and harder to access the resources they need to create art, to live a dignified life, and to even secure basics like food and housing. Because of this, there are lots of different individuals, groups, and organizations who are working to get money to people who need it.
As you apply to jobs and interview for them, there are plenty of red flags that can let you know that a workplace isn’t healthy. I can start with just the ones I have personally experienced.
Every month, Fractured Atlas provides a list of upcoming grant opportunities for artists and arts-based projects so that you can discover more opportunities to get financial support for your work. As a fiscal sponsor of 4000+ artistic projects, we provide access to grants for artists in every discipline.
As an artist, you are always working with other people. You might be working collaboratively to put on a performance or create an interactive installation. You might hire a freelancer or work as a freelancer. But even if your work doesn’t appear to be collaborative, you are probably still working with other people. You might rent a studio or performance space or work with a retail location or gallery. For example, my work as a ceramicist is very independent in terms of the creative process, but I still am a member of a shared studio space and sell my work at a neighborhood shop.
Lowell, Massachusetts only has one professional orchestra. Founded by Orlando Cela, who serves as its music director, the Lowell Chamber Orchestra “provides the area with an ensemble that presents music at a very high level, of all styles and time periods, entirely free to the general population.”
For many artists, fundraising is the way that you get your work financially supported. Through strategies like crowdfunding campaigns, grant applications, membership drives, and end-of-year appeals, fundraising can help you secure the financial resources to realize your creative vision. While fundraising isn’t the only way for artists to bring in funding, it can be an important part of your life as a working creative.