Congrats to Big Red on the 50th issue!
Turning 50 usually means that one re-examines their goals and/or sets new goals.
Here are some of my goals that I hope happen by the time Big Red has its 100th issue: To have all artists (that includes all artists- visual, literary, theater-based, music, etc.) become citizen artists on all levels. To have politicians and civic leaders will want to court the artists vote and include artists on their staff and teams. That artists will once again be appointed to civic leadership roles. That artists will no longer be at the bottom of the food chain in the art world, but will be equals to those who now hold the power positions.
This all starts with artists voting in the up coming November 7th elections. So make sure your and your fellow artists are registered to vote and VOTE- This is especially true for college age artists. Make sure you vote.
One of the biggest things the I constantly hear from legislators, "We never see or hear from artists- we only hear from the heads of arts organizations. We would like to hear from artists." It is my desire to change this.
The Artists Foundation founded the Creative Alliance just for this reason- to empower artists. It is an online project that is non partisan and is dedicated to empowering artists to become part of the public policy dialogue on issues that directly impact their livelihoods. The Creative Alliance (CA) also works to educate policy makers and advocacy groups on the unique needs of the artist community. The Creative Alliance does not endorse political candidates for office or political parties.
By joining the Artists Foundation list serve you will be alerted to legislation, initiatives, policy models, and other organizations that are relevant to and are impacting working artists in Massachusetts and beyond.
We hope to give artists and those who care about artists, the tools needed to become empowered artist advocacy citizens.
The CA launched earlier this year the Become a Citizen Artist Campaign
A statewide campaign to empower artists to become more involved with their elected officials, and with public policy, legislative, and community issues that directly impact their livelihoods.
To have artists sign up for the AF free list serve, to have artists votes, to have them become more involved with their elected officials on all levels of government, and to have them become involved with the AF's Creative Alliance on line project and the issues the CA is currently working on as outlined on the AF’s website.
1) Get artists to vote and to register to vote if they are an US Citizen.
2) Empower artists to know their elected officials on city/town, state, and national and levels Encourage artists to introduce themselves to their elected officials
Steps to take...
If you are a US Citizen make sure you are registered to vote. To register to vote see DeclareYourself.com
Get to know your elected officials on city/town, state, and national levels. These folks work for you. First you need to find out who represents you. Then you need to introduce yourself to them. Let them know that you are an artist who lives in their district, that you vote and that you will be in touch with them on issues that are important to you and your lively hood. Also put them on your mailing list. Personally invite them and their staff to your events.
Artists need to be visible in the public policy debates - especially those that directly impact our art making and livelihoods.
How to find out who your elected official are:
Vote-Smart.org (national and state legislators)
Elections division - where to vote and who your elected officials are on state and county level (Massachusetts).
Massachusetts City and Town Directory to identify who your local city and town representatives are (city councilors, etc.)