Friday, January 27, 2017

Why Word Matter - The difference between arts advocacy and advocacy for artists

So here's a post I shared on Facebook:



This is the full text:
Why words matter as it relates to arts advocacy and advocacy for "artists". 
I realize I might be overanalyzing it, but if you look at other organizing efforts, the Women's March, the Immigrants' March, the Scientists' March, even that word choice puts the individuals first, rather than institutions. And it puts the latter in service of the former, not the other way around. 
A March for Arts is an inherently different thing than an Artists' March, because the former and "arts advocacy" in general, is primarily focused on systems and supports for the institution of art, rather than the needs of individual artists.
I suppose all this is to say that, although I am terribly worried about the threat to the NEA, nothing's really changed when it comes to the plight of individual artists. Many are still worried about affordable housing, healthcare, simply earning a living wage for our art and not subsidizing our primary creative job(s) with non-arts related endeavors. And those concerns are nothing new. 
Don't get me wrong, I think artists more than ever should be involved in "Arts Advocacy", especially with the threat to the NEA. And I recommend all hands need to be on deck for Arts Advocacy Day coming up, March 20 to 21. But I think we're long overdue for a more intersectional platform of advocacy that puts artists first. And it's one that will need to be led by artists and supported by organizations.
What do you think?
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