Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saving Annie Leibovitz

The financial problems of Annie Leibovitz have brought the question of financing art into publications such as the Financial Times. This article describes some innovative ways of financing art and artists, as well as sports. Those of us who think very differently of art and sports might cringe when we here those two in the same sentence,  but, in fact, the economics of art and sports have much in common, not the least of which is that people go and pay money to watch them. Both have superstars, though athletes are far more likely to end up in the gossip column, I think. You may be surprised to learn that participation rates in arts activities are higher than in major league baseball games. That does include a variety of performing arts, galleries, etc., and it should also be noted that participation rates in the arts have fallen significantly.

Self Employment in the Arts

Most of the faculty members involved in this course took a trip to Chicago in February to attend the annual Self Employment in the Arts conference. The conference website tells you more about that conference, and also has links to other, similar conferences, to artists' blogs, conference videos, and other resources. This was the conference program. The conference is for art students, and features independent artists who make a living as an artist. Some of the sessions we went to were: the Angry Filmmaker  on guerilla marketing, Victoria Lyman, owner of Allegro Dance Boutique, on turning your passion for the arts into retail, and Elizabeth Russell on legal issues for artists.  The conference takes place every year.