My first experience of pluralism took place on the second floor of the sunniest side of my elementary school building, in the Goose Room. The Goose Room (inside-the-box thinkers might call it an art classroom) was the quietest place in the entire school. While other teachers struggled to negotiate or enforce an appropriate volume level with groups of energetic young people, my art teacher floated from one quiet pod of students to another, asking as many questions as she answered. We learned that there were infinite ways to mix colors, and that mixing ideas, cultures, backgrounds worked the same way.
Many of us, myself included, were raised in a world where competing with the people around you is the norm—even when it leads us nowhere. Don’t get me wrong: I’m an incredibly competitive person at heart and have been forcibly removed from a number of casual board game groups. But when it comes to art, I believe that competition creates a false sense of scarcity among artists and keeps all of us hungry for the everyday magic of art.
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Shoccara Marcus and Tamara Irving wanted their children’s children to know the stories of Atlanta’s Black dance pioneers. So Shoccara, a dance photographer, and Tamara, a dance education consultant, joined forces in 2022 to create a documentary chronicling the history and impact of Atlanta’s first Black dance studios. We sat down with them this summer to learn about the process of creating a documentary, the art of collaborating (with your friends), and what supporting artists means to them today.
In a world where our time and attention are continually mined as a resource, reclaiming your focus and directing it towards creative work is nothing short of a revolution. But if you’re anything like me, devoting time to your creative work is an ongoing process with perpetually shifting seasons. Some months, you might be on a roll and fall into a nice, smoooooth rhythm: making art before breakfast, chores after dinner, plotting revenge plus resting on the weekend. In my busy bee era, an entire year could fly by with plenty of creative gigs (and all the admin work that they bring)—but seemingly no time left over for a personal, creative practice.
If you’re a New York artist or arts organization, we think this article is worth screenshotting, bookmarking, silk screening onto a shirt, or wheat pasting onto your in-laws front door (“my bad, I thought you said you support the arts!”). NYSCA funding veterans already know about the secret season between spring and summer, affectionately dubbed “NYSCA season.” But if you’re new to the block, fear not. From “what even is NYSCA” to “gimme that app deadline,” Fractured Atlas has you covered.
If the internet is like a big, beckoning watering hole, what makes some shores more welcoming than others? You may have noticed the waters becoming choppier this year as big, new players enter the scene—the AI gorilla and a Twitter tarantula, to name a few—raising profound, evolving questions about how we build, cultivate, and engage with online spaces. I decided it was time to sit down with one of the most thoughtful internet builders I know. For the past 12+ years, Laurel Schwulst has brought to life networked tools as a designer, writer, educator, & power user. Currently, she teaches web design at Princeton and directs the Are.na Gift Shop. Here’s a selection of projects she has enjoyed working on:
Hold up. Gig work is work? We know this news may come as a shock to some readers. Unless you’re an artist, in which case you are intimately familiar with the hidden costs, expectations, and contradictions of 1099 work. Like many other unacceptable realities of American living, the financial precarity of gig workers has been normalized in day-to-day life and entrenched in our laws. But there are growing networks of people working to change this reality and offering promising visions for the future of gig work for artists. We’re here to bolster 1099 arts workers with a bundle of statistics, a not-so-secret stash of resources, and a heaping spoonful of hope:
I love getting attention. The only thing that beats getting run-of-the-mill attention is getting attention for my creative work. Thankfully, I’m not alone. Craving attention for your work is a painfully relatable experience for most artists, especially those of us trying to make a living within the attention economy. It can take a lifetime to cultivate a marketing mindset, and the process often raises profound, unanswerable questions about the nature and boundaries of artmaking and attention.
Join Tom Luther and Vicky Blume on a daring, intergalactic quest. The mission? Express Tom’s creative practice in words. Their conversation is the first in a new series of artist interviews called in practice. The series is a collaborative time capsule for the Fractured Atlas ecosystem, creating snapshots in time of our evolving creative journeys. This interview, and all that are to come, will live on Inciter Art—a writing, co-learning, and resource sharing space for creatives with big ideas and bigger questions.
Behind every artist is an encouraging herd of supporters. Our herd can include family, friends, teachers, counselors, mentors, partners—often growing and changing shape over time. Whether it’s my fellow staff members (many of whom are artists in their own right) or the artists we serve on the daily, I’m perpetually curious: who helped you become an artist? What support does an artist need from their community? And in turn, how does art sustain and strengthen a community?