I believe this was partly in response to arts advocacy day and the two main arts advocacy groups in DC historically and generally having a strong representation of arts managers from instiutions and organizations (which was also clearly evident in seeing who showed up to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities hearing), but the individual artist voice not being as present. I know part of the challenge is that artists are often juggling a lot, and sometimes don't even know what's happening regarding arts advocacy to begin with, because most just don't have the time or energy or simply know where to start. It's also a challenge with folks who balance being both arts manager (or simply employed) once place and a working artists everywhere else.
Thought I'd put it out there. And while I will definitely be continuing my own pursuit regarding arts advocacy conversations looking at policy level issues (funding, legislation, etc.), I also wanted to gather a..."council" of artists from across the District and nearby areas. It'd be especially great to get participants representing each ward. Definitely not trying to reinvent the wheel, but thinking this group could be a way to compliment existing arts advocacy organizations and their efforts, while making sure to hold them accountable not just for the interest of arts organizations, but individual artists working and/or living in DC as well.
If you're interested, just leave a comment, along with which ward you live in (if you live in DC), or whether you're in MD or VA but still work in DC. I'll start:
JR - Ward 5
- P.S. This is also my thesis at American University, where I got my M.A. in Arts Management, coming full circle. The topic? How working artists in the DC area defined "community" and "arts advocacy".