All too often, artists who are attentive to the “business” of their creative practice are accused of “selling out.” But for many working artists, that attention to business–to revenue generation, asset accrual, the arts economy—is what enables an artist to not just survive, but to thrive. When artists follow their mission, or organizations theirs, they don’t sell out, they spiral up. As I talked with artists and arts infrastructure leaders about what makes their work sustainable, an unexpected theme emerged: property ownership.
So starts Essay Nine, the last before I complete the speculative fiction of the epilogue. The essay is inspired by two complementary quotes:
Art is a way of survival (Yoko Ono)
I had a dream. My father had just died, and in my dream … I called my Dad and I said, “Should I give up my art?” He said, “No. Don’t give up your art, but keep the house.” (Beth Ames Swartz)
Another update: after consulting with my editor from Intellect Books, the title of the book now aligns with this blog, where I tried out so many of my ideas:
Creative Infrastructures: Artists, Money, and Entrepreneurial Action