The excerpt below is from what was spoken at the Council/Community meeting 1/16/2019, regarding our plan and movement forward with arts funding. Sitting in the room I can always feel more than what is being said. Today and like last meeting, I felt frustration, unease, unknown direction-- but I witnessed and also felt something miraculous. As a person who came from a small-ish town in WNY it was remarkable to be surrounded by people who devote their lives to causes for greater good, by people who believe. They believe (even if it wasn't said out-loud) if we work together, we can construct an inclusive future where the arts are considered in this community a fundamental asset, a market player, a pillar of our vibrancy and economy.
I witnessed organization leaders from all arts sectors coming together to listen and learn from one another. Like others, I think I am still pensive about this undertaking, mostly because of the time and energy involved in carving out a better reality and stronger market. But if we can work together, communicate effectively and execute strategically, some of the greatest issues will be addressed. In our "millennial" society, we have been dealt an advantageous hand; we have resources, like the internet and cloud based data storage, to gather and disseminate information, to reach a wider audience and hopefully engage others to participate in the change- by some typing and a few clicks of the mouse. The real question is do we believe we can do it? (This is where we say YES)
My name is Amy Vena- I am an artist, arts advocate, administrator, and writer. I Manage a Corporate Archive & Art Program, for a decentralized pharmaceutical corporation. I have served as an adjunct instructor in fine arts at RIT, and community/corporate liaison for the Henry Lomb Memorial Restoration and re-dedication Project with the City of Rochester. I also pride myself in working with Garth Fagan Dance on their 75/45 Gala, and with the Garth Fagan Dance School.
Since last meeting, I hope many of you have had the opportunity to read through local arts articles, watch the news regarding last meeting and watch the video of the last meeting, posted to Your tube by the Flower City Arts Center. (Thanks Amanda for recording!). I hope you have had the opportunity to read through the latest issue of AHP. Janice Gouldthorpe’s article “Creating Inclusion in the Rochester Arts Scene,” and my article , Fulfilling the status Quo, Generating Sustainable Vibrancy in the “City of the Arts” address many of the variant issues we are addressing today and in the near future, head on.
Since last meeting Olivia Kim has started the Facebook Group Roc Arts United to disseminate information and keep dialogue relevant. If you use Facebook, please join this group. She is also looking for willing administrators who are able to keep the page moving forward.
-Rome Celli is doing great things with the Rochester Art Collectors group – and would love to assist in driving the economy forward
- Olivia Kim and other feel like we need a unified art media campaign
Many others have a vision of igniting the arts & cultural economy and spreading awareness about consumer engagement with peers outside of the art industry.
I hope these events and campaigns can happen but without unified communication, funding and competent administration we are still far away from these goals. It’s great to think Proactively but we need to focus our energy on where our system is currently failing us. We need to fix our engine, all hop on the same boat(or bus), before we can drive forward.
Organizing the arts in this city is very complex because, we are a large city, our arts offerings are diverse in size and offerings and our audiences are vast. The "Art for Everyone," mentality entails contribution and participation from the broadest spectrum of practitioners and administrators. Something we have been struggling to do in the past: find a unified voice. We need to look at Art and arts participation from a very broad approach; and we need to figure out how to disseminate and communicate with each other effectively, way before we can think about submitting any type of proposals for funding or reformation to the current administrative practices.
We need to focus on the City, Monroe County and the State of New York.
What can we do from an administrative perspective now?
Who do we speak to, and for what? --a great example would be live music in the Airport --we have billboard for U of R, why not Eastman students playing live?
What are our current and most critical issues?- like the Rochester Historical Society.
How do we(citizens, working artists) find out about Open Calls & RFP's?
We like any other business industry, need economic associations or economic development groups for the arts and culture market; Similar to the Downtown Development Corporation, AIA, RAF or CDCR. We need a team that can manage the reformation effort, operations, and a team that's not going to do it for free.
We need organizations that will nurture a broad range of projects and be a resource for information dissemination to the Rochester Arts Community. We've come a long way with ROC Arts United, but we need to host frequent programming and be accessible to people with limited economic resources.
We need a vibrant and economically strong association with a board of engaged business masters/leaders, curators, organizers, accredited advertising/graphic designers, PR directors, communication specialists and proven event planners who will launch campaigns and initiatives for artists in our area. We need to strengthen and build our economy and that is not going to be done by the internalized cyclical culture we currently have, we need to campaign beyond Rochester and drive people here.
When it comes the Arts economic sector we need a major shift from non-profit to for-profit; we need to think more like independent business owners & entrepreneurs, in our association development.
Thoughts on Where to create action…
Just my two cents, to Join the movement- follow ROC Arts United on Facebook or get in contact by filling out a contact form.
..THE PARCEL 5 CATCH UP
-So I've sort of been monitoring the ban of urban pioneers that have been petitioning a proposal for a creative green space in Parcel 5, the Space adjacent to Midtown- and after taking a little run by there this weekend- I just imagine the rejuvenation and development that is possible for the area- but I also hold firmly to the fact we need some more gathering space downtown. After running by there, I went over near Erie Harbor- People were in the Park. It's Sunday- people want to lounge and linger, shop, eat, see some art, listen to some jazz (you get the idea). I was running, which also is great to do past a Green Space/beautiful park.
Anyways; being an arts and culture lover- I’m drawn to the spaces that develop and embrace cultural identity by displaying works of art, incorporating public art or being genuinely unique:
New Orleans, Jackson Square
What fascinates me is that they always have artists on display and even on their website.
I've seen the changes in Wynwood over the past 5 years; when I first visited Wynwood, a friend of mine remarked, "yah-some guy from NY (only Tony Goldman NBD), who kind of started Soho has been making investments here." Now- boom..
First, was the Wynwood Walls- a small turf covered parklet- with some Street Art and a small restaurant.
Next came the gallery, and the rock-park for events and yoga (seriously, a green space with large boulders for sitting- very cool)- the juice bar- and now some crazy boxcars for shopping and additional galleries.
-Wynwood was a small warehouse district with some sketchy neighborhoods- Trust me I've also walked/ran these over the years.
Now million dollar properties, film studios, galleries, breweries etc.; and a few blocks away the Design District, which also seemed to explode with outrageous development and luxury goods.
- It has street art, is just a wee-bit edgy - but it has its own awesome IDENTITY.
I won't get into too much data on failing Performance Arts Centers, prevalent around this country. Or how their is a significant drop in Arts Funding, Cultural Event Attendance, no Funding for Public Art from the City of Rochester... or maybe I will just a little-
How many mega-venues have competed with the smaller cultural icons-and all but snuffed them out. Generally starving these small non-profits out of patrons...
I will note, many Performance Art Halls are funded and supported by their Cities- not the other way around. The Madison Overture Center, which brings in "BLOCKbuster shows" was aided by the "City of Madison Support Grant $1,675,000 TOTAL REVENUE AND SUPPORT." -Rochester, NY can't even get our 10% developer funding to the Arts regulation/bill passed- or an Arts Commissioner to represent the Arts Community at large.
"3,730 Madison donors gave $2.1 million in 2014/15. That's a 12% increase in donations (to the Overture Center) from nearly twice as many donors, compared to 2013/14."- This is unfortunately $2.1 million that could have been used to fund already established -small local theater companies- dance companies- or arts venues. Not to mention halls and institutions that have been around for decades. Sure you may boost tourism- but that money should best be set aside for the Performance Arts Center's future Bail-Out. - You could spend half the budget on a park- with sites for commercial development and job growth; and take the other half of the money to market already established performance art halls and music companies- or fledgling Art Companies.
... And don't get me started on the Casino...personally if you want to gamble and have a casino- fine with me- but we have PLENTY of vacant existing space that could be repurposed for a casino/hotel/bar extravaganza. Besides, who wants to live next door to a Casino? Who would rather live next to a park- where you can relax, have breakfast, enjoy a break from work..
Rochester has an identity, a unique culture- that needs a platform- only which is sustained by economic, and tourist growth. We need more safe gathering spaces that reflect and harbor our contemplative, scholarly, creative and innovative souls- a space that reflects our heritage, culture, class and general awesomeness. And most importantly a unique space that can be enjoyed, by any class- and utilized 7 days a week. The City can also hire an Architectural firm, to build a world-renowned green space too (seeming this is always the buzz when marketing the ostentatious Performance Arts Hall) .
Anyways- I came along this picture while cleaning my desktop- from Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties and along came these thoughts. Thought you would enjoy it.
If you have not already done so- please sign up and support Parcel 5 becoming an greener- unique destination and space. PROPOSAL DEADLINE IS 9/9/2016!!
What to do, when luck finds you?
It is general (Archive) knowledge that plant life and fauna are not welcome in an archive- unless you are an herbarium. So what did we do when we discovered this pressed four leaf clover?
The four leaf clover was likely preserved by J. Vincent Butterfield, in the book Microscopes and Other Scientific Instruments, published by Bausch + Lomb in 1929 and signed by J. Vincent Butterfield in 1932. Mr. Butterfield also taped an image of algae to the front cover. He seemed to have a great interest in botany.
The pressed four leaf clover has been in our archive for decades, and is conceivably 84 years old- so (omens aside) we could not destroy, or remove the clover. It was meant to be in that book and there it shall remain. A pleasant surprise to the next archivist who finds it years from now.
We did however place the clover in and archival envelope, to protect it from deterioration - with a little note. Perhaps we should add it to the database?
-Amy, the Lucky Archivist
After a long delay I have finally re-launched my Blog (NOTES page on my website) with the title, Creative Collector. Creative Collector was born out of my relationship and exposure to all things art particularly in Rochester, New York.
Some time ago my engagement in the arts community was constructively criticized as "casting a wide net." This is true and when examined optimistically- this approach is very effective for a young-ish professional. I am able to work in the arts industry (this is a blessing for many art grads) I am surviving- and I need my wide net to sustain my life. However, as I have grown, my net has become more refined- returning or passing on other opportunities to those in need of a catch to start their careers in the arts. You can't do it all- but you can do much with friends. Thus the Creative Collector.
Meet the Pterodaustro!
The art-world is so vast it can be like an ocean of information we are processing (collecting) everyday. I include- fashion, music, performance, media, design, historical exhibitions, advertisements, 2-D art, 3-D art & food, into my art sea, where we are splashing around daily. Some of the art we are exposed to is great- and it does affect us on a conscious or subconscious level. Like my friend the Pterodaustro, (selectively taking in the nutrients it needed to survive), we ingest the art we need to create a better sense of self awareness, identity and happiness. We all process, formulate an opinion about art, and create art every day.
Where this Blog will take us!
So here lies the Creative Collector where I take items, actions, plans, exhibitions, and art- and write about them. I am attempting to create a platform that will show the excitement associated with developing an exhibition or maintaining a collection. I aim to show you the behind the scenes (fly on the wall) look into artist studios, institutions, collections and galleries which house so many exciting objects and works of art which are not often seen. And Lets Face it- Back Spaces, secret hallways and behind the Scenes experiences are always cool and awesome to see.
The manifestation of an exhibition from theory- to plan- to opening, is one of the most creative and exciting parts about working in the arts. Creating an exhibition, there are many stressful, hilarious and educational opportunities that arise. The Opening Reception, opening night, or event is like the GRAND FINALE for the Artist, Curator, Director(s), numerous staff, students or volunteers. They go 'above and beyond' with details to create something beautiful, interactive and provocative. After all- they are creating an experience, a platform, a statement- with a great purpose. This blog will offer that rare chance to see and read about the surprises, stress and lunacies many arts professionals feel when creating an event. Sort of an homage to the artist, the creative professional and those institutions who house our great collections.
So Stay tuned!
Upon my arrival to Miami I have been surrounded by art, friends, sun, and fortunous opportunity. A friend we happened to run in to while walking gave us two tickets to The VIP Preview of MIAMI PROJECT on dec. 3, from 4:30-10:00. The art was fresh, contemporary, compelling, and very thought provoking.
Amongst my favorites were the works by Halim Al Karim. He is represented by Rodischon Gallery, Denver Co. The works are Lambda print on Dibond Aluminum. The prints are amorphous human entities that glow and shift. The ghostly imagery is hard on the eyes and mind, which long to focus, wipe away the haze and see the person hiding in the midst. The colors are vibrant demanding the viewer pause and look, beckoning further dissection into the artist's reasoning.
I can understand why MIAMI PROJECT was "heralded as best fair by the Miami New Times Last Year." It's exciting and refreshing to view quality works in an intimate setting.
ART Basel is an important experience to share, even if it is online, because it displays such a vast variety of contemporary and modern art. As a curator and artist, it ignites inspiration, imagination and self-confidence.
Basel Miami is fantastic because the art exhibitions and satellite festivals reflect the cities “something for everyone” attitude. Since Art Basel’s first fair in 1970, (with 90 galleries, 30 publishers and 10 countries, 16,300 visitors) Basel Miami has grown huge. With over 250 international galleries participating in one venue and approximately 50,000 visitors it’s not a festival for the timid or weary. And I haven’t even delved into the festivals that run in conjunction with Basel, which include Design Miami stating to be, “the global forum for design.”
Everything is on display and masterfully curated; from 2-D to sculpture, from video to vines, (yes vines of the organic nature, that precariously spell out SEX). It's all there to be contemplated, sensed and of course purchased. The convention center is busting with the world’s most prestigious galleries who pride themselves on their unique business branding. The art market menagerie, where champagne is served on vending carts can easily sweep the art lover into a higher sense of cultural ecstasy. Once you come back to reality, you’ll browse amongst thousands of others looking into select stalls, and finding a phenomenal reward.
I'm excited and happy to share. Keep you posted- Dec. 5-8, 2013
The Creative Collector
Amy C. Vena