Five Los Angeles Arts Organizations You Should Know

Five Los Angeles Arts Organizations You Should Know About

Incredible arts organizations that provide resources that every artist needs.

By Karina Vahitova on November 2, 2017

Putting together this article, I had one of those moments of, "Wow how lucky are we to live in a world full of people!" As artists, we may sometimes feel really alone in the day-to-day processes of our working lives, but the reality is that we are here together with others who have invaluable advice and skills to share. The best part? We can reach out and pull this beauty into our practices. Today, I am excited to share with you all a list of five fantastic Los Angeles arts organizations. These folks are doing great work to push our arts future forward. I hope you will find something you need below!

Center for Cultural Innovation

Center for Cultural Innovation has been helping individual artists acquire resources for sustainable entrepreneurship since 2001. With their myriad of professional development workshops and social impact grants for artist-entrepreneurs, CCI is a wonderful hub for all things art business. Their website has a resource directory, a workshop calendar, and opportunities for artists and art workers to apply for professional development grants.

Sustainability and social impact for the arts is at the center of this organization's mission. Their vast understanding of the arts ecosystem through copious field research and community engagement is evident in the kinds of programs their offer. CCI works as a catalyst by empowering artists and art workers with skills necessary to create a better future for the arts.

Women's Center for Creative Work

Women's Center started as two dinners for women hosted by its three co-founders Katie Bachler, Kate Johnston, and Sarah Williams in 2013. The topic in question was the trajectory of contemporary feminism. Now WCCW offers a co-working space in Frogtown (with a Risograph printer!), nightly events, and long-term programming, and is the home to the Feminist Library on Wheels. All over the website and in the physical Women's Center space you will be reminded that this organization centers trans women, cis women, femme, and non-binary folks, in their own words: "unqualified & unapologetically." Their resources and programs are grounded in a radically expansive and intersectional understanding of feminism and provide the kinds of interactions between women that push us to learn from one another. You don't have to be a member to come to the events so check out their calendar!

Pieter Performance Space

We all need a space in which to get in touch with our bodies. Whether or not our arts practice involves performance or working with the body formally, we all have one...and it asks to be considered. When I lived in New York and danced at places like Gibney Dance, I'd tell people that I was moving to LA and they would all remind be about Pieter. Oh have you been to Pieter?! Have you heard of Pieter Performance Space?! You should go to Pieter when you're in LA! 

Now I understand why. Radically inclusive, with a focus on mind-body-spirituality, this is a beautiful space to come into yourself. I'll just copy and paste from their About page because they said it better than I can: "Through workshops, classes, public performances and residencies, dancers work and play together in a non-hierarchical environment. Ideas are embodied, exchanged and transformed rather than owned. There is a belief in abundance and goodness. There is a belief that everyone has something to give. At Pieter, brave dancing bodies are at home."

Rhizomatic Arts

Rhizomatic Arts is run by the interdisciplinary artist Allison Wyper. Doubling as both a consulting agency and a collaborative making space, this is a great resource for both some one-on-one professional development with Allison and some hang time with a community of other artists working interdisciplinarily and helping each other make art.

In my opinion, some of the best advice on sustainability for artists comes from people who are artists themselves. When it comes to writing copy, learning how to talk about your work, or making a website for your art work, who better to help you than a person who has not only been doing this kind of consulting work for over a decade, but has also been producing and showing their art for even longer than that?

Reach out to Allison for a consulting session, take one of the workshops, or simply join the Rhizomatic Sustainability Network of multi-talented artists for skillshare!

artEquity

As artists and art workers we are constantly working at the intersection of politics, the cornerstone of which is our ability to consciously fight systems of oppression. This work is nuanced and never-ending, especially in the genres of performance and theatre. This is why we are lucky to exist in the world with Carmen Morgan, who is the founder and director of artEquity — an educational organization that works with arts institutions and individuals in the performing arts who want to grow the activist within them by receiving diversity, equity, and inclusion training.

artEquity has a yearly training program for people who work in theatre specifically, but it is also possible to receive a custom-made training for your arts organization by emailing artEquity directly at info@artequity.org.

If you'd like a sneak-peak of the kinds of things you will be talking about in a training like this, you can watch this free artEquity webinar on Youtube.

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Five New York Arts Organizations You Should Know

Five New York Arts Organizations You Should Know About

Incredible non-profits that provide resources that every artist needs.

By Noah Blumenson-Cook on October 25, 2017

One of the greatest challenges for working artists is the balancing act between managing the mechanics of business and the creative work you need to do. Taking on everything yourself is a daunting task. Fortunately, you don't have to. Today, we're going to take a look at five New York organizations that are built to help you get the resources you need to create your work.

Spaceworks

Artists need space to work. And in New York City, space is a luxury that very few can afford.

Spaceworks is a non-profit organization that uses city funding and donations to subsidize rehearsal and studio spaces for artists of all kinds. Anyone can apply for a membership that allows you to reserve rehearsal space in their Queens and Brooklyn spaces. Spaceworks is non-curatorial, all you need is an active art practice to apply.

Art is the soul of any city, and with skyrocketing rent and chain stores on every corner, New York could use a little help in the soul department. Spaceworks is a big part of the solution, and we're proud to support them. Spaceworks will be offering a special deal for our members, so hop on our mailing list to be the first to know about it!

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Dealing with contracts, copyright and non-profit applications are not part of the skillset of your average artist. Yet, every working artist will come across any or all of these things over the course of their career, and they're vitally important to understand and get right.

VLA provides low cost or no cost legal help with oft-overlooked, but essential parts of every artists' practice. If you have questions about intellectual property rights, or you want to mediate a dispute over a contract, this is the best free resource we know of.  They also offer affordable classes on how to navigate everything from nonprofit incorporation to immigration to contracts and trademarks.

We've linked to VLA NYC, the largest and oldest VLA in the country, but there are many other chapters across the country. If you're not in New York, check this Wikipedia page to see if there's a VLA near you. Artists need lawyers!

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Fractured Atlas

Let's say you've got a project that would be a great candidate for grant funding or tax-deductible donations. You could spend months assembling a board of directors, drafting bylaws and filing for state and federal tax exemption to form your own 501(c)(3). Or, you could give Fractured Atlas a call and apply for fiscal sponsorship. Guess which one's easier?

Fractured Atlas goes above and beyond providing fiscal sponsorships. They also have a technology team that builds amazing things for artists like an art space finder, a course library and a free platform that lets you sell tickets to shows, take donations and keep track of your patrons, all in one place.

Not only are we fans of theirs, they're also our fiscal sponsors! Stay in touch to find out more about our partnership, we have cool things in store coming soon.

W.A.G.E. (Working Artists for the Greater Economy)

Getting invited to exhibit at a nonprofit art institute or public gallery is a profoundly exciting event for any artist. The sad truth, however, is that most artists simply don't get paid for the shows, talks, workshops and readings that create value for these organizations. WAGE has been working to solve this problem since 2008, and they've certified 47 institutions (and counting) that pay artists reasonable fees for their work.

If you're unsure what kind of compensation you should receive for a show, WAGE provides guidelines for negotiating with institutions to make sure you receive the payment you deserve for your work. And if you're looking for a place to exhibit, their list of certified organizations is a great place to start.

NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts)

NYFA has been around since 1971, providing fiscal sponsorship, unrestricted grants and learning resources for artists. We love their focus on the business of art, with articles covering everything from what kind of insurance an independent artist might need to the legal specifics of creating an online art business.

We're also big fans of their classifieds. They get more posts per day than any other arts focused job board we've found.

Last but not least, find them on twitter every third wednesday of every month with the #ArtistHotline tag. It's a live, all-day Q&A session that's incredibly helpful for those hard-to-google questions.

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