Finding Unlikely Art Advocates
When you think of “Art Advocates” you may think of really big organizations like The National Endowment for the Arts, or a really, ubber famous and rich person like Bill Gates. We often don’t think about the business owner next door or the school principal down the street or the local historical society, or local church. But what if these folks are your best connections when it comes to advancing the arts in your community? What if YOU are the best Art Advocate around?
As an artist on the Loveland Art Studio Tour, I’ve seen this idea in action during the last several months. Unlikely Art Advocates have allowed us to bring art to our community at a time when it was desperately needed. Here’s a couple of art advocate snap shots for you from the Loveland Art Studio Tour:
Loveland Museum and Gallery--The museum has always been a great supporter of the arts and specifically the studio tour, but this year, they gave above and beyond by allowing us to use their new Beet Education Center for a pilot program we tried this year called Kid’s Art Bags. They volunteered time and staff and space to allow us to have a location for kids to pick up their bags and do simple workshops with local artists. Through the museum’s help, we were able to provide children and families with a brand new art experience with artists in their town.
Local Downtown Businesses--The Gressiwick, Shadow Play Films, and Verboten all opened up their space for two weekends to allow artists to show their work. This can be a big sacrifice for the businesses as we use up valuable space and business time for them, yet, they believe in the arts and want to provide us places to show. I’ve seen this time and again with our downtown businesses. They are amazing! Verboten put tables and other furniture in storage so Tatiana and I would have room to show. They shifted their schedules so we could be open during the tour hours and came hours early so we could prepare for studio tour opening day. They bent over backwards to accommodate us and I know all the other involved businesses did the same.
Local Business Sponsors-- Right now, money is tight, but we had many business sponsors that found creative ways to support our tour because they believe in the power of art. Sometimes, a business did a materials or service donation. Other times, they were able to do monetary amounts. Not thousands of dollars, but they gave what they could. Many gave materials to support the Kid’s Art Bags and others provided discounted printing for marketing and promotion. Several small businesses donated services and products to help us raise general funds for the tour. If you want to see the list of all the sponsors and thank them, you can visit www.lovelandartstudiotour.com
Individual Volunteers-- Art advocates are also just people like you and me. All of the Loveland Art Studio Tour Board Members are volunteers and have given countless hours to put this tour on for the public. Local artists stepped up to provide workshops for our community’s children. Other rock star art advocates are the partners who watched kids so that artists could do the studio tour. The friends and partners who helped set up the spaces and continued to watch kids and pick up the routine chores that got left behind in the foray. All these small moments of help are art advocate moments because these people allowed art to happen.
These are just a couple of snap shots. This would be a book if I talked about all the amazing ways our city, businesses and our community have stepped up to bring art to the public. I share all this to not only express my gratitude, but also to encourage YOU as an art advocate. Art in our towns and communities only happens when we have lots of unsung art advocates showing up, doing small things that add up to big things.
Thank you to all the art advocates that helped us with the 2020 Loveland Art Studio Tour. You are amazing!