Artists of Springfield and Indian Orchard - Be Counted!

Artists, musicians, craftspeople, performers, and creatives of all types who work or live in Springfield or Indian Orchard are invited to join the effort to be counted so each can be included when future opportunities to exhibit, perform, or gain access to grant funds is send out.  Whether artists work full-time, part-time, or some time at their art form, the Art for the Soul Gallery, Arts Extension Service and Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD) are asking you to Be Counted-Be Included in person or online. 

Rosemary Tracy Woods, Director of Art for the Soul Gallery has teamed up wth the UMass Arts Extension Service to be sure that no creative person in Springfield/Indian Orchard is excluded from learning about opportunities to present, perform, or be paid to create their work.  Woods said, “We offered two $25 gift certificates from the Springfield Central Cultural District, to those who completed a short form adding their contact information and art form and announce that the winners are Glen Rossi and Nicole Johnson.  We thought it fitting that we extend this opportunity, and offer two more certificates to those creative residents by May 25.  Just go online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YGJKZ6D and fill out the form.” 

Dee Boyle-Clapp, Director of the Arts Extension Service, is working with Woods to create a list of Springfield and Indian Orchard artists.  “We know how hard it is for artists, musicians and performers to find access to information that will help them. We know that local artists likely work more than one job, making it even harder for them to stay on top of grant deadlines, and to know what funding or performing opportunities exist. The Springfield Central Cultural District has two important functions that can help artists.  First, they aim to support local artists for small public art projects, and they need information to offer this information.  Second, they often gets calls from business leaders who want a piece of art for a lobby, or a band to perform for an event, and they want to connect paying opportunities with local artists. By Being Counted, artists are positioning themselves to be included in emails with this kind of information. Artists, musicians, graphic designers, and others are asked to complete the short survey today and are invited to invite friends and colleagues to Be Counted and Be Included, too!”

Why does this matter?  When asked for artists to apply for projects, exhibit, sell work or perform at a festival, or apply for grants, the SCCD wants to be sure that every Springfield artist is given the chance to participate. SCCD can also better apply for outside funding to create more public art and related projects if it fully understands the number of Springfield artists, their art form(s), and their needs. The Arts Extension Service also wants to understand what future trainings it can offer.

Who is asked to Be Counted-Be Included? Woods said, “We use the generic term ‘artist’ to mean visual artists, musicians, craftspeople, dancers, performers, film makers, public artists, artist who work for social change, teachers, designers, those who work in more than one art form, and those who work in any new or emerging media. We encourage college-age students, emerging artists, and mid-to-late career artists to complete the survey!”

For more information contact Rosemary Tracy Woods at Art for the Soul Gallery at 413-231-4598, or Dee Boyle-Clapp at the UMass Arts Extension Service at 413-545-2360 or dboyle-clapp@acad.umass.edu