More Than Money Can Buy: What Do Artists Need to Succeed? (Part Two)

Kemi Ilesanmi, Creative Capital’s Director of Grants & Services, introduces a consultant at the 2012 Grantee Orientation in New York
When we think about what artists need, money is often at the top of the list. Money for artists is crucial—but there are other means of support that can make a huge difference to artists. Resources, opportunities and professional guidance may be less flashy than a big check, but they are incredibly valuable services and tools that build artists’ capacity to realize specific projects and reach long-term goals.
After our first 10 years of helping artists achieve success on their own terms, we went back into the “laboratory” to determine key resources we should add to our Artist Services. As a direct result of our recent evaluation and survey (described in Part One of my post “More Than Money Can Buy“), Creative Capital has developed an exciting suite of expanded services for our grantees!
Our new class of 2012 grantees in Visual Arts and Film/Video, announced last week, will enter a significantly enhanced artist services program that includes new support structures:
•       Project support teams consisting of a staff member, artist advisors, discipline-specific arts professionals, and experts and entrepreneurs who work in a field connected to the content and issues explored in each artist’s project.
•      Each team will work with an artist to make a Project Plan and tailor a Professional Skills Toolkit to help achieve the artist’s vision and thrive over the long term. The plan will include specifics like Getting the Work Made, with an emphasis on the money, space, time and people required in the creation/production phase; and the Public Life of the Project, to develop concrete strategies to maximize its impact.
•       Project support team meetings will take place during the grantees’ first year working with Creative Capital, beginning with orientation in January and continuing through the summer Artist Retreat and beyond.
We are also thrilled to roll out new opportunities and resources that will serve all our grantees:
•      Phone-in clinics for PR, financial planning, technology and business-planning advice will offer artists the opportunity to speak with experts in a variety of fields to get support for their professional practices.
•       Organizational partnerships give our grantees access to crowdfunding and fiscal sponsorship partners, as well as memberships with organizations that offer group rates for insurance or health care, or information about residencies and teaching opportunities.
•       Focused gatherings among our grantees will foster more peer-to-peer interaction for exploring collaborations, networking, work presentations or learning opportunities featuring a guest speaker.
For our alumni grantees (whose Creative Capital-supported projects have already premiered), we recently launched The Creative Capital Loan Fund for the Performing Arts, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to offer short-term loans to all past grantees who are working on a new work with a performance component.
Part of our venture-capital-inspired approach is to surround artists with the kind of support their project needs to succeed. Now more than ever, artists need an entire network of resources, people and organizations that can help them achieve their goals. Creative Capital continues to find new ways to build strong support networks for artists and help them sustain their artistic careers for years to come.

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