Whenever we’re out networking, people hear our organization’s name and are intrigued. “Spacetaker? What’s that?” they’ll ask. And since the name doesn’t really help us out much, we typically have to field a few questions about our affiliations with NASA or real estate interests before we have a chance to explain that we’re an Artist Resource Center. The easier way to make people understand what we do is to simply say, “We help artists become better business people.”
Our answer is usually met with a confused face (as if we’d just announced our plans to permanently end world hunger), and the next question is inevitably, “Well, how do you do that?” At which point, we get to tell them about all the different ways we work with artists: like our workshops or online resources or even our Cultured Cocktails series.
Which got us thinking: there are so many new ways for an artist to plug into our programs and services that even those people already familiar with Spacetaker as an organization may not be totally aware of everything we’re doing these days. So, we thought we’d take the next several weeks to try and get everyone on the same page. Here goes!
If you’ve been around Spacetaker a while, you probably remember us primarily as an online event calendar. (This is how Spacetaker first hit my radar: the weekly newsletter opened my eyes to a whole new world of art events I wouldn’t have otherwise heard about. Kind of like a gateway drug.)* What you may not know about our Culture Guide calendar now is:
--- Our Culture Guide is 100% user-driven– anyone can add their events, performances, and exhibitions. (Over 1,200 users are adding content!)
--- In our related Art on Tap newsletters, we do our best to feature Spacetaker member events, but also do a lot of digging to bring you a variety of events from indie artists & upstart collectives. The more unusual, the better!
The Artist Registry has also been an important trademark of Spacetaker from the beginning, but here’s some new stuff of which you might not be aware:
--- To our knowledge, the Spacetaker Artist Registry is the biggest registry in Texas.
--- Partnering with the Houston Arts Alliance, Spacetaker’s Artist Registry the official registry used for culling public art proposals for the city.
--- Every day, we hear about the Registry serving to connect artists with a variety of opportunities: whether it be curators or consultants scouting artists for jobs or exhibitions, people seeking to commission artists for projects, or teachers inviting artists from the registry to speak to area students.
Helpful Hint for artists: Sure, you’re an artist with a fabulous flash website you sold your first-born to pay for… but how are you driving people there? Facebook is only one tool (and again, relies on your existing network)– our Artist Registry is another. Take advantage of it!
The newest section of our website is the Artist Field Guide, which is a growing database of opportunities like calls for entry, residencies, job openings, and workshops… basically, anything useful for furthering the careers of creative types.
--- Anyone can add opportunities and calls to the Artist Field Guide, but Spacetaker interns are hard at work doing the research that artists (with their day jobs) so rarely have the time to do.
--- Bonus! Spacetaker’s working on a searchable database of rentable venues of performances, exhibitions, rehearsals and all that good stuff. We’ll give you a sneak peek… but keep in mind, we’re still working out bugs, as well as verifying/updating over 600 space profiles before we publish them publicly!
And within the Artist Field Guide, we’re hard at work on the ARC Library: a comprehensive database of online resources related to the business of art. (See some content mock-ups below!) What’ll be in the library?
--- Links to relevant resources & articles on Marketing, Accounting, Financial Management, Fundraising & more
--- Sample forms, contracts, templates
--- Timelines & checklists (Everyone works better with deadlines, n’est-ce pas?)
--- An online archive of all our ARC Workshop programming, including slideshow presentations, handouts, and videos
So, here’s your first snapshot of what’s going on in the Spacetaker offices. Stay tuned for more programming updates from Team Spacetaker in the coming weeks… signing off!
~Captain Stephenson and First Officer Scharnberg
*A gateway drug of the legal variety, of course. Like coffee or queso.
PS: If you want to jump ahead to the next blog post on our programming, click through here!
ARC Library Mock-ups!