Here at ArtSpark headquarters in ABQ, it’s reflection time (and we’re celebrating a bit too!). Although it’s not New Year’s (yet), December is a good time to think back on 2010.

It’s been a very full year for ArtSpark. We launched our blog/website to put our vision of “igniting widespread creative expression” into action by collaborating with the first cohort of 9 different artists and arts organizations here in Albuquerque to discover what social media and other online strategies truly help to sustain them as artists.

ArtSpark’s had some success in 2010: we drew in new audience and got the word out for ArtSpark’s first project, STREET ARTS by 516 ARTS, via blog posts, tweets and Facebook; and we helped create buzz for Deborah Gavel’s show, Rota Fortunae, which increased sales for her exquisite artwork. We’ve also had our share of trips and falls: we’ve been too optimistic about the short-term potential of micro/crowdfunding (we’ve learned that there needs to be much more true relationship-building with new audiences, especially), and our volunteer staff can only do so much given our day jobs and other commitments. However, we’re staying true to our vision to make change in the arts ecosystem, and are grateful that we’re offering what we can to help build sustainability for the arts in a bumpy, though evolving, economy.

December is also the most important fundraising time of the year. Please make a contribution this year to keep ArtSpark’s momentum going and growing! Click here (or on the “Help Fund ArtSpark” logo on the right hand of this blog/ website) to connect with easy funding options, including PayPal, Facebook Causes, sending a check, and contacting us by phone. Your donations will help ArtSpark accomplish three goals in 2011:

  1. Expand our community of practice with many more artists and arts organizations via ArtSpark gatherings adn training/coaching events on how to best use the internet and online social media tools to engage audiences and generate revenue – essential strategies for sustainability in the arts.
  2. Keep a close eye on what’s working and not working for artists re: communication and audience engagement via social media, and generating revenue with fans via online funding mechanisms and live events.
  3. Continue to share what “best practices” we’re learning with other communities and groups innovating around sustainability for the arts.

We wish you a restful and Happy Holiday – thanks so very much for your support and being part of the ArtSpark team!

"Flying Girl" by Ginger Beringer