New art. Not old, used art.


Art Work at SPACES
Art Work: A National Conversation About Art, Labor, and Economics; Photography by Jerry Mann


We are all coping as best we can with the aftermath of the tremendous global economic collapse, the depths of which seem to still be unknown, the criminals who created it still not held accountable. This prolonged economic crisis has already had a transformative effect on the arts. It is disastrous for those who in recent years benefited handsomely from the way things operated. There are a large number of us, however, that did not, and the crisis has caused an even greater reduction in the few resources that were once dependable.

We think that there are some really good things that can come out of this crisis. The established ways of doing things and the treatment of artists and arts professionals were not working well for the majority of people. We think it is an opportune moment to critically reassess the status quo and to push for more equitable working, labor, and economic conditions for artists and arts professionals. It is a chance to insist on an opening up of the infrastructures built for the dissemination of art far beyond commercial market interests and the domination of art discourse by commercial gallery centers and their university training grounds.

We would like to invite you to join us in shifting the discussion and opening things back up. In a collaborative effort, Temporary Services (a Chicago-based art collective) and SPACES (yours truly) produced and distributed Art Work: A National Conversation About Art, Labor, and Economics, a one-off newspaper that features regional reports, historical analysis, projects past and present that address economic issues within art, and more. After distributing nearly all of the existing newspapers we have in print, we urge your to visit and share the corresponding website where you can find the pdf of the newspaper (high and low res!).

The paper was designed by Temporary Services so that it can easily be taken apart and transformed into an exhibition. We hope to find people who will set up an exhibition of the paper and hold discussions in their cities around the topics within. We also hope that others will see the paper as a challenge and start producing their own publications and start working for a healthy resilient treatment of artists in our society.

The paper continues to be distributed in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. We have been mailing copies to artist run spaces, art collectives, individuals, artist networks and unions, all major art institutions, art media, and universities with art programs.

In addition to the printed paper, presents the contents of the paper and a calendar of exhibitions and discussions around the U.S. A PDF in various formats for use in classes, reprints, electronic dissemination, and other purposes is found here.

Here is how you can get involved:
– Distribute the paper in your city.
– Host an exhibition of the paper.
– Hold a discussion about the economic concerns your community has
– All of the above

If you and/or your venue can host an exhibition, an event, and/or distribute copies of this newspaper, please contact us as soon as possible. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions for the newspaper, related events, and/or the website at any time.

Here is a list of events that have taken place so far …

Thank you and we look forward to working with you.


Temporary Services and SPACES


Filed under: Artists, Arts Advocacy, call to artists, Cleveland, SPACES, , , , , , , , , , ,

One Click, One Vote: Help Us Win $$$!

Please take a moment to vote for SPACES on Chase’s Community Giving Contest on Facebook. Chase will donate substantial rewards to 100 non-profits and your vote makes us that much closer to the prize! Vote, tell others to vote, shout it from the rooftops!

Filed under: Arts Advocacy, Cleveland, Links, , ,

Remember Issue 18? It’s got a new leader …

Well, we’ve made it past Issues 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. for 2009!

Maybe you’re happy with the outcome of the vote on these issues, or maybe you’ve already forgotten what they were. In any case, all of those issues on the ballot got me to thinking about good ol’ Issue 18.  Remember that one? A little refresher: Cigarettes sold in Cuyahoga County + a 1.5-cent-per-cigarette tax applied through 2017 = $$$ for the arts.

As we know, Issue 18 passed in 2006. And according to the 2008 Annual Report issued by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC), in just three years, the tax has generated nearly 50 million dollars and enabled $33,560,000 in art-supporting grants.

SPACES benefits from one of those grants. It’s a huge source of income for us, and we’re grateful to the citizens of Cuyahoga County for their support through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

On a related note, CAC appointed Karen Gahl-Mills as their new executive director last week. Gahl-Mills has served as the president and executive director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra since 2006. Read the press release here.

I’m sure Meg, Achala, Donnie, and all of our friends at CAC are very excited to welcome Karen in 2010. Until then, they’re keeping busy with a whole slew of workshops to inform organizations about how to apply for CAC funds. Check out the calendar of events on their homepage.

And next time you’re out and about at your favorite Cuyahoga County arts organization — favorite besides SPACES, that is — look around for the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture name on the wall or in the program. Chances are, they’re a beneficiary of Issue 18, too.

— posted by Sarah McGreer Hoyt, Development Manager

Filed under: Arts Advocacy, Cleveland, SPACES Funders & Donors, , ,

Budget Update from Ohio Citizens for the Arts

Below is a “re-printing” of an email from Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Thank you to all you corresponded with your representatives and policy makers to retain arts funding. Please continue your efforts and do all you can to educate your politicians about the arts and their importance to our communities.  I recommend reviewing the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Advocacy FAQ page.

The final curtain in the budget drama came down with a thud as the Governor signed the state’s FY 2010-2011 budget.  In the worst economic crisis since the creation of the Ohio Arts Council, the good news is that there still is an agency.

Your advocacy efforts ensured we still have an Ohio Arts Council despite threats of extinction by some law makers.  Thanks to all of you who participated in this process.

The bad news is that the Ohio Arts Council will have fewer dollars to help Ohio’s vital arts community in the coming biennium. We are deeply disappointed in the final budget allocations for the Ohio Arts Council, which total $13,188,580 for the biennium.  This funding represents a 47% decrease from the original appropriation of $24.9 million for the previous biennium and a 38% decrease from the final allocation of $21.3 million. We are disappointed that the members of the Ohio legislature and the Governor, who heard our message and told us they agreed that the arts are important and worth the state’s investment, in the end did not provide adequate funding.

We must recognize that with tight budgets as far into the future as discernible, with the plague of term limits which restrict members to a few years of learning about the arts, and with increasing problems in the area of Ohio’s economy and education, it is now imperative that we do much more on a constant basis to educate members of the legislature, possible members of the legislature, and the Governor about the importance of what we do to help solve Ohio’s most pressing problems.  If you believe in the necessity of public support to keep our arts institutions and artists viable, we must redouble our efforts at communicating that which we know to a certitude to legislators.

Our policy makers must be made to understand the role the arts play in education.  We now have generations of tests which prove conclusively that children who are immersed in the arts do better across the board, in every subject and in their ability to learn.

The Board and staff at Ohio Citizens for the Arts have never been more proud of the arts advocates in Ohio.  During this budget cycle more than 25,000,000 emails were sent to the Governor and members of the Ohio House and Senate.  Arts advocates made personal visits with legislators at home and in Columbus. Arts advocates worked beyond the call of duty to enlist friends and colleagues to join in the advocacy effort.  Editorials, facebook, blogs, and websites all carried the call to action in support of the arts. We thank you for your dedication.

We must forge ahead in our efforts to educate policy makers about the value of and need for the arts in Ohio.  We must continue to deliver the message that the arts in Ohio are part of the solution.  The arts are economic drivers that generate revenue:

  • Creative industries contribute more than $25 billion to Ohio’s economy annually
  • Creative industries support 231,200 jobs in Ohio’s economy annually
  • Creative industries generate $1.06 billion in state and local tax revenues annually
  • Creative industries generate $1.78 billion in federal tax revenues annually

Ohio Citizens for the Arts is committed to help you, your organization, and your community to continue the fight for arts funding. Together we can educate and prepare legislators to be better equipped to make the right decisions about investing in the arts.

William P. Blair
Legislative Counsel
Donna S. Collins
Executive Director
Ohio Citizens for the Arts

Filed under: Arts Advocacy, , ,



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