Monday, January 16, 2012

On the "Pay to Play" Game

With finances still being tight and a lot of funding cut, a lot of art organizations have been forced to rely financially more and more heavily on the artists and art community to keep their doors open. Entry fees, member dues and other expenses are on the rise everywhere, with many organizations charging more for Professional Artist level memberships than ever before.

The whole situation unfortunately reverberates with a "pay-to-play" mentality where those who can afford to be involved are while those who can't are bystanders that aren't always included, which is really quite saddening. It can all be rather dissuading and depressing, since many artists don't have a lot of funds and are trying to make ends meet themselves, and so it seems rather akin to trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

I have even personally struggled with feeling like I am not genuinely appreciated for myself or my art by those groups I have been involved with, and that I am just being taken advantage of monetarily or regarding volunteer time. But I'm not going to rant about that since I don't that feel complaining in and of itself is the most productive course of action, and because I feel that it really just evidences the fact that I've been far too overextended for far too long.

So now that I'm looking at having to cut back, I thought I'd write about weighing the benefits and costs to be more selective about involvement, since I know this affects a lot of artists beyond just myself. I'm going to organize these thoughts in a new post so that they are easy to navigate (outside of this rant) and can act as some advice to those in similar situations and circumstances, so look out for that coming up in my next blog post.

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