Arts Manifesto

To all my visual and performing artists and writer friends. Know that I love you and I have for many many years. I have gone to your shows, bought your CDs and books. I’ve directed a few of you to arts grant funds and gigs – hell, I managed to convince an arts council officer that burlesque should be eligible for a dance grant.

Now could you do me a favour?

Would you PLEASE do me a favour and hire yourselves an arts/communications manager?

And don’t tell me you can’t afford one – you can’t afford NOT to have one. Create a collective and share the manager. Pay her or him and spare me this unpaid intern crap. Your gigs all overlap anyway, particularly my musician and dancer friends (one oud player for 5 different bands? Really? *grin*). Or come up with another way.

I have said this before – I am spoiled rotten.  I know some of the most brilliant performing artists, writers and visual artists there are. Right here in Toronto (and some across the ocean in Italy and France.   I know quality – I have been witness to it for over 4 decades.

That quality should be part of your promotions. Some of you have put together some great stuff – e.g. points to Nomadica for hiring a brilliant designer, Seth Rowanwood, for their latest CD, Dance of the Infidels. But you can’t do everything.  You have rehearsals, and gigs, and recording.  Add to that having children to raise and classes to teach.  But promotions too?  That’s just too much.

I’m not an artist. Never was. I’m the audience doing the 9:15am to 5:30pm.  I am not working Harris era  job-share jobs able to notice that there’s a bug in your website or to point out that the link to the ticket purchase page is missing as quickly as I used to. You need to pay people for that now.  And you are part of a creative industry, my darlings.

Be creative.