LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - October 17, 2016) - WeTheArtists, 18th Street Arts Center's first Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, runs through the month of October and has a goal to raise $30,000. It asks "What artist has made a difference in your life?" of people around the world, because everyone has a story of being inspired by an artist.
But what if those artists were never encouraged or supported? Out of all the funding in Los Angeles county for the arts, only 2% goes to artists (California Community Foundation, 2011). The rest goes for exhibition-making, schools, etc., but not to the actual people that make the actual art. Just to add to that, a 2003 survey by the Urban Institute found that 97% of people in the US value art as a concept, but only 27% value artists. Those that don't seem to experience a disconnect between living, working artists, and the objects that they appreciate, covet, and want in their homes and museums and on their city streets. As a population, artists are relatively low-paid, precarious workers with very little job stability compared to others of similar education and skills. (NEA Artists in the Workforce Study, 2013).
This is the reason 18th Street is relying on crowdfunding to bolster their traditional fundraising efforts, and their hope is that the community will value the unique role that 18th Street Arts Center plays in Los Angeles. Because the funding picture for artists is so dire, 18th Street is getting creative in how they raise funds to support working artists in this day and age.
18th Street Arts Center truly believes that the world needs the voices of artists more than ever, and artists need the support of organizations like 18th Street.
This campaign raises funds for a world-class artist residency program, but 18th Street is so much more than that. 18th Street is a place where the public can learn about evolving contemporary artist practices. 18th Street Arts Center commissions new artwork and curatorial research and presents it in an array of free experimental programs throughout the year. Through artist residencies, exhibitions, print publications, new media platforms and public events, 18th Street has helped over 8,000 artists develop new work and has hosted more than 450 international artists from 54 countries since their founding. By providing space, time, funding, and visibility, 18th Street Arts Center incubates artists so they can create without precarity, make ambitious work and ask big questions.
As part of this campaign, 18th Street produced 8 "Artist Stories," 2-3 minute edited videos that follow a single artist through their daily lives as they speak about what it means for them to choose to be professional artists. All the artists are local 18th residents or visiting artists in residence. These include:
Dan Kwong (Los Angeles)
Luciana Abait (Los Angeles)
Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic)
Michael J. Masucci and Kate Johnson - EZTV (Los Angeles)
Angela Bonadies (Venezuela)
Mella Jaarsma (Indonesia)
Jumatatu Poe (Philadelphia)
Cristina David (Bucharest, Romania)
18th Street Arts Center is also hosting Instagram Takeovers each Tuesday through the month of October from some of their international and local artists. Miha Strukelj took over the feed for 24 hours on October 11th, 2016, posting photos and missives from Ljubljana, Slovenia. http://www.instagram.com/18thstreetarts
18th Street Arts Center is a non-profit, and every year the arts center needs to secure nearly one million dollars annually to keep the programs and five buildings running.
With the money raised from this campaign, 18th Street will be able to bring 30+ American international artists to Santa Monica next year to make new artwork, work they will take out into the world -- 18th Street Arts Center is a vibrant cultural institution serving a global constituency. 18th Street consistently aims to elevate the voices of artists around the world, and be a place for social and civic engagement. 18th Street Arts Center's crowdfunding campaign is online now at: http://wetheartists.us.
WeTheArtists Indiegogo Crowdfunding Site: http://wetheartists.us
WeTheArtists YouTube: https://youtu.be/IltP-yFtuf8
WeTheArtists Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/559771040885368/
18th Street Arts Center Artists: http://18thstreet.org/artists
18th Street Arts Center Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/18thStreetArts/
18th Street Arts Center Twitter: https://twitter.com/18thstreetarts
18th Street Arts Center Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/18thstreetarts
18th Street Arts Center YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/18thStreetArts
Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/10/13/11G118008/Images/wta_full2-32bc824fc38b850fac740d6d3a8a94ac.jpg
Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/10/13/11G118008/Images/IMG_7852-10ef3456945dbc90a10c72e72e22b2b4.jpg
Embedded Video Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IltP-yFtuf8&feature=youtu.be