This week, the venerable ArtsJournal is hosting (with Fractured Atlas, Future of Music Coalition, and the National Alliance for Media Arts + Culture) a discussion about artists’ creative rights and arts policy / advocacy more generally. I’m one of 22 featured bloggers, along with my Fractured Atlas colleague Justin Karr and some other great voices including Jean Cook, Clay Lord, Molly Sheridan, and Bill Ivey. Below is an excerpt from my first post, which went up just moments ago. I encourage you to follow along with this lively and important conversation. (PS: if you are in the mood for some background reading, check out the “Future of Digital Infrastructure for the Creative Economy” document that was developed by the three organizations mentioned above in connection with Americans for the Arts’s Green Papers initiative.)
At Fractured Atlas, as a national service organization ourselves, we’re starting to think about arts advocacy in a new way. Since our focus is on using technology to build infrastructure for the arts field, naturally we see the future in that frame. What if there were a way for artists to engage with policy issues directly rather than through the intermediary of a service organization with which they might or might not have any meaningful relationship? What if there were a way for them to obtain crucial, unbiased information about their own communities, their own representatives, and how the arts fit in? What if there were a way for them to organize themselves around that information, determine their own agendas and priorities, and create email/social media/grassroots campaigns centered around specific actions? What if there were a way for them to hold elected representatives accountable for their decisions by easily and conveniently tracking legislative outcomes, whether at the national, state, or local level? What if there were a way for them to actually play a role in drafting legislation itself, in collaboration with their peers?
Read the rest of this post over at the Creative Rights & Artists discussion.