What am I worth to you?

Folks are split on when artists deserve to be paid. Photo from Images_of_Money on Flickr.

Earlier this year, the New York Times reported on the controversy over the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre’s policy of not paying its performers. UCB is almost universally considered the leading improv theater in New York, and attracts much of the top talent. It’s not a small side project, or an isolated community; it shapesRead More

Audiences at the Gate published in Grantmakers in the Arts Reader (and why it’s still relevant)

Readers who have been with us for a while will recall that in 2010, Daniel Reid and I wrote an article for Edward P. Clapp’s 20UNDER40 anthology called Audiences at the Gate: Reinventing Arts Philanthropy Through Guided Crowdsourcing. The article contends that traditional models of philanthropy, in which a single program officer or a handfulRead More

Art and Democracy: The NEA, Kickstarter, and Creativity in America

(This article was first published on NewMusicBox on April 4, 2012. I’m grateful to Molly Sheridan, Kevin Clark, and Frank J. Oteri for their helpful comments on previous drafts.) Every once in a blue moon, an arts policy story breaks into the mainstream media—and as with most poorly understood subjects, it’s usually for some profoundlyRead More

Corporate vs. Government Influence on the Arts

Britain’s Independent has a short feature on the growing influence of corporate arts sponsorships in the wake of recent cutbacks from the government. While the article doesn’t offer much in the way of data or even examples demonstrating the purported trend, writer Emily Jupp does manage to get some beautifully candid on-the-record quotes from corporateRead More

The Critical Supporting Role of Curation in Making Innovation Possible

(This post was originally published on Americans for the Arts’s ARTSblog as part of the “Emerging Ideas: Seeking and Celebrating the Spark of Innovation” salon going on this week. Read the other contributors’ posts here.) Through the work of the Emerging Ideas Committee this year, I’ve become acquainted with a wealth of new approaches toRead More

TEDx Talk

[slideshare id=7972366&doc=tedxpresentation-flatversion-110515131309-phpapp02] [Remarks as prepared for TEDxMichiganAve at the Chicago Symphony Center's Club 8, May 7, 2011.] “Never Heard of ‘Em”: Why Citizen Curators (not Daddy’s Money) Should Decide Who Gets to Be an Artist For the past few months, you’ve probably been besieged with emails and Facebook posts asking you to convince our politiciansRead More

Supply is Not Going to Decrease (So It’s Time to Think About Curating)

Image by Flickr user Waddell and Condor

(Cross-posted from the NEA’s Art Works blog. The version that appears there was edited for length; this is the original.) I’ve been waiting for a while to respond to the controversy that erupted after Rocco Landesman’s comments on supply and demand in the arts at Arena Stage in January. (Createquity’s previous coverage, provided by AaronRead More

Audiences at the Gate: Reinventing Arts Philanthropy Through Guided Crowdsourcing

Program theory v2

(This article originally appeared in 20UNDER40 anthologyi edited by Edward P. Clapp, and has been republished with permission.) Spurred on by major technological advances, the number of aspiring professional artists in the United States has reached unprecedented levels and will only continue to grow. The arts’ current system of philanthropic support is woefully underequipped to evaluate thisRead More

Fictional Foundation Fun, part III

So, a few weeks ago while we were working on this project, I asked Adam Forest Huttler to post a question on the Fractured Atlas blog asking what types of bills artists find difficult to pay — either because of fundraising restrictions or because they’re just too expensive. My basic goal with this was toRead More