Our passion for artist centers

By | June 12, 2012

Four months back or so an Internet acquaintance also interested in the work of arts centers emailed me a link to an academic paper titled Artists’ Centers: Evolution and Impact on Careers, Neighborhoods, Economies. The paper examines the history and success of artist centers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region, where they are plentiful. Putting significant time and energy towards preparation for the birth of our first child, I made my way through it very slowly this spring, and recently came to the conclusion that I was already aware of everything it presented.

This didn’t occur to me at first. Considering my passionate interest in the idea of an art center, I began reading the paper eagerly. I expected to learn a lot, having no formal experience working with an art center. Yet.

I realized after reading the introduction (the remainder of the publication profiles the numerous Minneapolis/St. Paul art centers) that all of the thought and research my wife and I have thus far put into the Scissortail Art center idea had already brought to light all of the ideas and challenges presented in the paper. The financial challenges, the cultural challenges, the reasons behind establishing a center or retreat in the first place and so forth. In one respect this was surprising, then again not so much.

I’m not sharing this to boast. If I was able to do the research and critical thinking to plan for an art center without having first-hand experience, anyone interested in such a venture should be able to do the same. I’m sharing this simply to express the depth of my interest in this idea.

Hat tip to Shannon Newby for sharing the paper with me earlier this year.


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