Monday, April 25, 2011

The Arts: Opportunities & Funding

These days, I am grateful for the opportunities I have to make and share work. When I was young and dreaming of a career in the arts, I used to wonder if anyone would every want me—if anyone would ever offer me an opportunity to perform. (Part of that is the glassy-eyed dreaming of youth, and part of it is the way performing artists, in our entertainment economy, are disempowered—a subject for another post!). Thankfully, for now, opportunity to create and share work abounds—the issue, at this point, is how to pay for it.

Photo by Sheila Fox
Duncan was no stranger to the struggles of fundraising to support her artistic goals. Though audiences paid well to see her dance, she battled with managers and producers who swindled funds, and she also had moral issues with being a high price ticket item and ultimately wanted to share her art for free. She also wanted to found a tuition-free school (needless to say, developing a capitalist business sense was not high on her agenda). Many artists follow this pattern—we want to make work and we want to share it. But, somehow, we also have to figure out how to eat and pay rent…and repay student loans (yet another topic for future consideration).

The best solution I can currently come up with a lot of jobs. And, right now, I have a lot of jobs! Miraculously, they all seem to be jobs in the arts. In addition to creating, performing, and teaching, and I am also deep in the process of fundraising for Austin’s Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. This Thursday, April 28th, from 6:30-9:30, we are having a party—with food, wine, music, and fabulous silent auction items. This year’s check-in and check-out processes will be computerized through Auction Source, so get ready for bar code stickers for the bidding. If you’ve not bought tickets and want to come, visit Garden Party for more info and a link to online tickets.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, Photo by Sheila Fox

Day jobs, or multiple jobs, generally provide financial support, but there is a cost, and the data entry for this recent event has been no small feat—hence the eight and twelve hour days I have put in. Must be why I dreamed of dancing Duncan Dionysians last night—my body must be neurologically compensating, while I sleep, for those long hours of sitting at the computer. (Hmm…the neurological effects of dreaming about dancing—definitely a future subject to explore).