The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

McKnight Foundation Launches State of the Artist Blog

The McKnight Foundation has a new blog for the community to follow. State of the Artist made its first post today from Laura Zimmermann. Here’s a bit about the blog’s focus:
Within the cultural sector, conversations about artists often derail in one of two ways: Either the discussion quickly turns to one about “the arts” rather than artists, spinning unspecific platitudes about “intrinsic value” or building wobbly arguments about the economic benefits of having a big theater next door to your restaurant.

Or the talk is about artists, but becomes rather hyperbolic. We characterize artists as perpetually under attack by the narrow minded and short sighted, by shallowness or prudishness, or greed, or laziness, or evil. Somehow the artist becomes our only chance against mediocrity and meaninglessness. It’s a hefty calling. One wonders that artists don’t crumble under the weight of their own specialness…

So we decided to start a conversation about artists—or perhaps several conversations about artists. In the months to come, we will invite to this space contributors who identify themselves as artists and those who do not, those who are advocates for artists and those who think them scoundrels, those who think the artist’s time has come and those who think the very notion is outmoded, outlandish, or elitist. In the next month, look for articles from Patrick Scully, Laura Zabel, Marcus Young, Diane Ragsdale, Mary Ellen Childs, Bill Cleveland, and others. We’ll also launch a video series by Works Progress, introducing us to a diverse group of artists and the big questions they want to ask.

Read the blog here.

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