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Progressive Visual Arts:A Way to Fund Art

link to art of Michael Godey

A large number of visual artists have low incomes. This is a problem not addressed by NEA

The New Deal created Federal programs in the '30s based on concern for a labor market: including professional artists, and others engaged in cultural work. The concern for professional artists' employment dovetailed with the New Deal federal programs.
Today: Many Americans, which would include a sizable number of visual artists, live at or below the poverty level. It is important to remember the original role of government arts funding and provide an opportunity for these artists and other artists who live at a low income to work at their craft. In individual grants ecconomic need should be a qualification in the selection process. The challenge is to reestablish funding for visual arts based on economic need as it was when it began in the New Deal.
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as one consideration when giving out individual art grants.

Other Suggestions for State Cultural Affairs
(1)Encourage communities to create arts districts featuring art galleries and studios. Often cities with art districts used selective zoning to create, preserve art districts and to provide cultural, environmental, and economic advantage to the community. Old outdated zoning may only hinder the development of arts districts, but also undermine urban infill. This type of zoning can be applied to blighted business districts and residential areas that location would be useful galleries. Separate requirements could be established for needs of an art gallery. A result of this could be affordable spaces for galleries not in competition with larger and richer commercial establishments. Other ideas include residential zoning or modified residential zone include art galleries or studios which must have a small number of parking spaces only one art event or so a month and limit the amount of sound created by art gallery or studio. Sales would be allowed. The studio or gallery would be on a paved or well-graveled street and approved by the town. This might work in small town. Zoning simply called Art Gallery could also be established.
(2)Allocate money to support these artists, galleries and studios. When possible low or 0% interest loans could help the people buy and /or set up the gallery. Property when possible could be bought and resold by the state to visual artists based on merit and economic need. This assistance would encourage a community to use selective zoning to create an art district.
(3)Create an arts magazine for artists of merit economic need printed 2 to 4 times a year. Their studios and other places that represent their work would be listed. Other artists would be selected the artists. One piece of each of jury's artworks would be displayed inside the magazine on one or two pages. The rest of the publication would show the artists they selected.

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Established galleries and art venues tend to keep to “safe” established artists. Now more galleries, if they represent new artists, require fees. Using economic need together with merit as two criteria could help further the supply of new, unique, and exciting visual arts.
With the increasing division of rich and poor created in part by backward conservative government policy and irresponsible conservative government spending, it is important to look at the first major government spending for the arts.
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