As an artist, it has been tough lately. As I have said many times now, I am so thankful to still have my job with the Arts Council of Johnson County. My husband and I would definitely be struggling without it. I am fortunate enough to still be making a steady income which advocating for the arts in Johnson County, Kansas. Our two-person team (the Executive Director and myself, the Administrative Assistant) are working really hard to continue to support the arts through the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are connecting artists and arts organizations to resources and working to help them build a plan of recovery now that businesses are scheduled to open back up across the nation.
Working with the ACJC has absolutely opened my eyes wider to the world of art advocacy. I feel more strongly about my work of advocating for mental health support through the arts and that it can make a difference. I feel more connected to the arts than I have in my two and a half years of living here. I definitely feel like I'm doing something worthwhile (and worth getting an art degree for). The hardest thing over the last few years has been justifying why I got an art degree and now I feel like I don't have to.
My Sacred Spaces: Cultivating Hope project is still moving along. I had to extend my timeline and business plan because of the pandemic, but I'm making good progress! Recently I was invited to submit my artwork to an art consultant's platform. This consultant finds artwork to furnish new health facilities and nursing homes. Right now I am working on selling print reproductions to fund my project. All prints on my website are still half off.
I have also started a Pay What You Want sale on social media for Mental Health Awareness Month (which is May). I upload a new painting every day and whoever is the first person to message me with interest to buy gets the painting. The point of the sale is that they can pay what they want for the piece and that money goes into my fund for my SS:CH project.
On May 15th from 6-9pm Arts KC and KC Crew are hosting a Friday Night Arts event on Zoom to promote six local artists and their practice. I will be one of the six artists! Each artist gets 30 minutes to talk about themselves and their art to potential patrons and supporters. Tickets are $10 a person and you can also donate directly to the artists during the Zoom event. Here is the link to buy tickets: https://kccrew.com/events/friday-night-arts/
The event is to help support artists who aren't currently able to make an income from their artwork because of COVID-19 and to also allow artists to share about themselves and their work.
We are all doing what we can and hopefully we can get back out there and continue furthering our practices!