This post is the second in the series of posts (see the introduction here) examining the feedback and concerns expressed in the OVAC artist survey. We received over 250 responses from artists around the state.
The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition strives to meet the ever-changing needs of artists in our state. To do this, we actively cultivate an environment of learning, adapting, and growth.
We know there is always room for improvement and this annual artist survey is one of the many ways we gather feedback to help guide our growth and decision-making.
In this post, we’d like to highlight some of the most common suggestions from our survey and some comments about them. If you have additional feedback, please leave them as comments to this or future blog posts.
|At the Artist Survival Kit workshops, artists share resources, learn business of art skills, and expand their networks.|
Suggestion #1: Repeat/duplicate [insert program name here] in my community.
As a statewide organization, we do our best to serve artists in all areas of the state. To do so, we often partner with other local arts organizations to help us deliver programs in their community. We are pleased when there is such interest in one of our programs that it creates a demand for it to be duplicated in another geographic area!
While we do consider this demand when making decisions about program growth, unfortunately repeating programs in multiple communities requires additional resources of time and funding that are not always available. Also, we consider the face-to-face interaction of artists from multiple parts of the state a vital part of the program. For instance, the Artist Survival Kit workshops cover professional information that might be readily available online, but we know that artists gain much more by meeting other artists and sharing with each other. OVAC is purposely statewide, considering that artists need more than just one town or community to find their audiences. So, if we offer a workshop in Tulsa and artists drive from Stillwater, Enid and Oklahoma City, we hope that creates a larger network for them all.
Also, we are always looking for ways to make our programs more accessible beyond geographic barriers. Here are some ways we are doing that now:
- ARTiculate: The Speaker’s Bureau for the Business of Art provides a menu of Artist Survival Kit-style workshops that are packaged and ready for any community or organization that would like to host one. These OVAC-certified speakers can bring the workshop to you, and in many cases their speaking fees are negotiable.
- The OVAC Blog features many resources for artists, including recaps of Artist Survival Kit workshops, business of art resources, artist profiles, and more. We know it isn’t always feasible for artists to travel to be face-to-face for events or workshops, so we try to share the information online to expand accessibility.
- The 24 Works on Paper exhibition is a biennial partnership with Individual Artists of Oklahoma gallery. This exhibition travels the state for at least a year, this year going to eleven venues!
Occasionally we do partner with other organizations to present joint programs, but we never want to duplicate something another organization is already doing. As an example, while OVAC presents the Tulsa Art Studio Tour each year, that need is already being met in Norman by the Norman Arts Council through the Norman Open Studios and in Stillwater by the Stillwater Art Guild.
Stay tuned for more posts in this series, outlining additional suggestions from our survey.