The United States supports the arts and artists less than any other developed country in the world.
This leads to a situation in the United States wherein many artists can't support themselves (and forget about having families; unless an artist is the one-in-a-million who makes it big, or does lots of other non-art work on the side, they often can't feed themselves, let alone afford kids or healthcare). I know, I'm one of the creative people who works full-time in one type of work to support what sometimes seems to be a totally riduculous dream; its frustrating and disheartening to know that your government‚ and presumably, the people who elected them into office, care so little about what you're passionate about. And while this is not exactly a new state of affairs (the term "starving artist" isn't a new one), it does seem that the arts, which contributes so much economically (movies, books, furniture design, music, etc.), as well as culturally, to society surely merit more support from the U.S. government than the .02 percent of the GDP it currently receives.
Which is why it's so great to see new initiatives to help artists get paid for their work, like IndiegoGo, Kickstarter, and now, Wonderroot
. This Atlanta, Georgia-based program works like Community Supported Agriculture programs do (though in this case, the A means arts, not ag.) Shareholders (aka art lovers) put $300 into the pot, and over the course of a year, will receive nine works of art (one from each of nine artists who are participating in the program). What a cool idea! That's just $33 each for work you can give as gifts or keep for yourself. How great would it be to see CSA's for art like this in many cities across the United States?
"With only 50 shares available at $300, shareholders will receive a total of nine original works from Atlanta artists in 2013. They will receive the work at three pick-up parties beginning Feb. 1, 2013. Each pick-up will be an “art box” with three of the nine works included. Artwork ranges from photography and printmaking to sculpture and painting.
WonderRoot has commissioned nine artists to create new work for this initiative. The artists are: Jessica Caldas. Bethany Collins, Henry Detweiler, Jill Frank, Michi Meko, Nick Madden, Noble Beast, S. Patricia Patterson and Wret Rausaw."
What: WonderRoot CSA
Price: $300/share = 9 original works by local Atlanta artists