Julie Burros published Please Welcome Boston's Artist Resource Manager! in News + Updates 2017-03-17 14:44:28 -0400
The long-anticipated Artist Resource Manager is on board! This new role within the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture was conceived of during the Boston Creates Cultural Plan process. It’s a direct response to all the creative people who expressed to us again and again their frustrations with navigating the channels of city government.
Throughout the Boston Creates process, we heard about a lack of clarity as to what permissions or approvals are needed for cultural events or art installations in the City. We were also reminded about the difficulties faced by those who plan the same event every year. Others are discouraged by the whole idea of needing permission to do something creative, they end up not pursuing their project. We recognize that there is a lot of room for improvement and with the establishment of the Artist Resource Manager position, we aim to provide an entirely new level of service to the cultural community.
Julia Ryan will be available to the creative community in Boston as a resource - a cultural “maven” if you will - who will listen, inform, connect and troubleshoot. She will walk you through what’s needed from City government to ensure your project is a success. In turn, we’ll provide your feedback to our colleagues at other City agencies on how the processes can be improved. We want to make city government more accessible, welcoming, and responsive to artists.
We also hear from artists who are looking for other resources, ranging from finding space partners to looking for potential collaborators. The Artist Resource Manager is meant to be “one-stop-shopping”, connecting people to information, organizations, and grant opportunities. As we help more and more folks, we’ll be aggregating the information on who we serve, what their needs are, and how we were able to help. We will create FAQ’s and information summaries which we will make available on our web site. We’ll also use the information to more closely focus our efforts on issues that are most widely impacting the cultural community. Removing barriers and obstacles to success and connecting artists with resources and partners are key to creating the “fertile ground” necessary for a vibrant and sustainable arts and culture ecosystem in Boston.
Julia Ryan can be reached at 617-635-ARTS, at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at City Hall in Room 802. You’ll likely see her at a cultural event or a City of Boston Open House - be sure to say “hi” and tell her how you create in Boston.
Creative workers are a critical part of Boston’s thriving economy. They offer unique perspectives, bringing innovative ideas and solutions to complex challenges. But because of their nature of their work, they are also often undercounted and thus, underserved. When we released the Boston Creates Cultural Plan this summer, keeping artists in Boston and recognizing their contributions to the city was identified as a key goal of the plan.
The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) has recognized this need as well. Last month, with the support of New England’s state arts agencies (including the Massachusetts Cultural Council) and the Barr Foundation, NEFA launched Creatives Count, an online survey to uncover the needs of creatives and artists across New England. We are encouraging all creative workers here in Boston to take the time to participate.
The Creatives Count survey asks creative workers (including artists, dancers, musicians, designers, craftspeople, architects, digital media creators, culture bearers, makers, and more), working full time at creative work or not, about various aspects of their work life, including the type of work, how much time is spent on those activities, and how much of their income comes from this work.
The survey includes questions on demographics, education, training, income, employment status and sector, as well as specifics on creative pursuits, and the need for space. The survey will also offer an opportunity to identify key resources and needs for advancing a creative career.
Why does this matter? By learning what the work life is like for creative workers, we’ll be better able to connect them to resources. Ultimately, this research will showcase their economic contributions, highlight areas for potential investments, show which creative occupations and industries are showing growth and how the creative sector relates to other significant sectors in the New England region.
Here in Boston, we’ll use this data to inform decisions about housing, live work space, presenting and production space, grants and professional development opportunities and other needs of the creative community. It will also greatly inform the work of our forthcoming artist resource desk in City Hall.
The survey will be open through November 18, 2016 and should take 20-30 minutes to complete. Please take the time to complete the survey and encourage others to do the same. The results will inform a comprehensive report on the whole creative sector in New England that will be released in spring, 2017.