“We Have A Culture of Paying Artists”

Always happy to draw attention to the good work of arts organizations, I was pleased to get a comment on yesterday’s post about creating contests and engagement events which expect artists to work on spec.

In her comment, Eva Buttacavoli, Executive Director of The Contemporary Dayton in Ohio writes about her organization’s efforts to create the expectation that artists should be paid for their work.

In EVERYTHING we do, we have and will continue to, pay artists for their work. We actually also pay for all RFP finalists’ specs – and, as the city’s art center, we use requests for art (for festivals, lobbies, walls in blighted areas), to teach community leaders (and the folks who ultimately write the checks) that we have a culture of and expectation to pay artists – and we actually will not help promote or support any project that does not. Our artists have learned to champion themselves and their work – and have passed that expectation along to most projects for which they are invited.

She includes a link to a recent effort where artists designs were used on vinyl wraps placed on electric boxes around downtown which seems like a fun idea for other communities to pick up on – https://www.downtowndayton.org/artwraps/

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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