It’s been three (3!) years since ArtSpark was hatched (for real) rather than remaining a vision and aspiration. Every year we’ve had triumphs and mistakes, yet ArtSpark has stayed true to its mission of “igniting widespread creative expression.” The wild state of U.S. and global systems (economy, politics, education, healthcare, + activism!) has challenged us, but our trajectory remains clear as we collaborate with diverse artists and arts organizations to discover strategies that support sustainability (keeping creativity and art-making alive and kicking, making a decent living as an artist, continuing to present and produce artists, etc.).
These successful strategies have proven to be part technology like online communications/social media, online fundraising, e-newsletters and analytics, AND part “high touch” and in-person contact like impromptu art and performance showings, inviting supporters to celebrations, and having face-to-face gatherings with other artists (as making and producing art can be isolating…).
The magic, it seems, comes from that “sweet spot” of overlapping technology and personal connection without losing the time and concentration needed to keep the creativity flowing. ArtSpark is documenting what works and what doesn’t work, including what differences there are between artists and arts organizations (and we are noting some REAL differences).
This year, 2012, will be a year of ArtSpark expansion beyond ABQ, particularly in Santa Fe and also the San Francisco Bay Area. We’ve been invited to participate in a Creative Capital professional development workshop on “Internet for Artists” hosted by the Santa Fe Art Institute in mid-January. And later this month (January 26/27), a small group of ArtSpark-ers will descend on San Francisco to co-host a cocktail-hour mixer and interactive learning session with our fabulous tech partner, Aspiration Tech. It’ll be a great opportunity for ArtSpark artists and arts organizations to connect with their SF Bay Area counterparts, and we will share pics and learnings from both these exciting events in future blog posts.
Happy New Year to all, and remember to practice your own brand of creativity today.