Artist Stories is a project created to raise awareness about the challenges of living a creative life. People who pursue creative careers are often at risk for lack of health insurance and health care, steady income, and/or stable housing. As one might imagine, challenges in meeting basic needs due to the precariousness of a creative career can lead to stress-related health and emotional conditions. Unfortunately, this is not even an exhaustive list of social issues faced in the creative community, which you will find out more about when you watch the videos and read the stories.
As a society, we demand the arts in our lives — from paintings to theater to poetry to music to hand made products and more. Yet, we have not established that artists are to be paid fair wages and given basic benefits like health insurance, retirement, and time off. In other words, we want the goods but do not want to pay for them. Furthermore, artists need to raise awareness about these issues by taking advantage of the wide net that social media casts and by using the creativity that we are gifted with in order to come up with new and innovative solutions to our problems. The videos and written stories themselves are a tool for communication, a library, and can be shared in creative ways to raise awareness.
Ways to Use this Site:
- Read the stories. Watch the videos.
- Share the stories with people and relevant organizations.
- Build a partnership or coalition: Reach out to anyone who has made a solution-focused suggestion and work with them to make change.
- Submit a story. Learn how by reading the Submission Guidelines.
- Encourage your friends to submit stories.
- Come up with another creative way to use this website to create positive change for creative people.
Personally, I hope to gain the attention of policy makers and leaders in the arts, but you might have some other ideas.
For more details on how to contribute a video to Artist Stories, please review the Submissions Guidelines page.
Artist Stories is run by JRow, a New York City-based artist. She is also an LMSW (social worker) who has been working on arts advocacy issues for several years. You can learn more about her art and other online community-based projects by visiting jrowart dot com.