Every artist has a different journey. Some have opportunities early on, but most artist take a longer route to success.
For that reason, Creatives Rebuild New York recently launched a $135 million initiative to provide guaranteed income and employment opportunities for 2,700 artists in New York State.
In the Finger Lakes, there are 7 collaborations, 23 artists and $4,542,200 in funding available through CRNY.
NY artists share stories of culture, community through funded art projects (video)
Related: Syracuse artist receives grant to work with Schweinfurth Art Center for two years
What is CRNY?
Christopher Mulè, Co-Director of CRNY’s Artist Employment Program, explained that CRNY is a three-year initiative to fund artists through two separate programs: The Artist Employment Program and the Guaranteed Income for Artists Program.
“We found that there are some artists that don’t have a strong tie to an organization where there’s trust already built, but this created an opportunity for the organization and the artist to build a new real relationship,” said Mulè.
The two programs aim to alleviate the unemployment of artists and help lessen their financial strain.
“A lot of artists have financial and certainly and the COVID impact certainly heightened that uncertainty. So both of these programs are intended to serve as some type of assistance in some way.”
Related: Good news for NYS artists: Creatives Rebuild New York launches $125 million initiative to help 2,700 artists across state
Opportunities for African American women quilters
“Ellen immediately came to mind as a possible partner, she was really the one and only person we considered working with partly because we already knew and when we had worked with her before, we loved her artwork. She knows our community, and she was a really perfect fit for the kind of project that we hope to do,” said Donna Lamb, the Executive Director of the Schweinfurth Art Center.
Ellen Blalock has been an artist all her life. She said she’s never been presented with an opportunity like this one before.
“When they think of Auburn, they think of Harriet Tubman and pretty much stories don’t go too much further than that. I am a little bit concerned about that because we are making history here every day. I want to help tell some of those stories, especially within the African American community,” said Blalock.
Related: Local artists from Finger Lakes Community College’s class of 1977 will display their art in Wayne County
Showcasing indigenous methods of pottery making
Garth Johnson is the Curator of Ceramics at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. He said he’s excited to be working with Seneca Nation/Haudenosaunee artist Natasha Smoke Santiago. Santiago is a pottery artist specializing in the Iroquoian style of pottery.
“Natasha is an artist who came to my attention fairly quickly as kind of one of the young Haudenosaunee practitioners making pottery and trying to rediscover older ways of working trying to connect with indigenous foodways across New York state,” said Johnson.
“CRNY gives us the ability to do long-term planning for finding ways to both give Natasha opportunities, but also for her to think about ways that she can work with the Everson and build things long term with us.”