Artists in Conversation:

Renee LaVerné Rose

The great transition: who says I can't be a visual artist?

I have never been a woman who played it safe or followed the crowd—that just hasn't been my nature. When I decided to stop working as a lobbyist at the height of career and instead pursue my dream of becoming a visual artist, people were not lining up to wish me well.

Elizabeth Burke Dain

Elizabeth Burke Dain - Public Relations for the Arts

On How Arts PR Shapes an Organization's Message

PR is the strategic crafting of your brand story. It's the focused examination of your interactions, programs and community engagement that determine what and how people talk about you. Publicity is the act of getting ink. It's is getting unpaid media to pay attention.

Lauren Levato

How An Artist Transitioned from Textual to Visual Language

I am always a storyteller first. Some stories are better told with language, some with images, some in non-linear, poetic formats. It's about choosing the format that best fits the narrative, even if it’s a non-narrative.

Kate Hampel

On Balancing Studio Time and Part-Time Teaching

Chicago-based, Virginia-located artist Kate Hampel uses sculptural objects to investigate unvoiced traumas implicit in our social constructs. Through her material-based practice, she seeks to unravel the underlying narratives that enthrall the public through the 24/7 media sensationalism cycle, but ultimately vanish from deeper collective thought, swept under the rug like just another dust bunny in passing. How are we all implicit in these cultural narratives of rape, murder, trauma and incest? Why do we selectively silence them in our day-to-day lives?

Career Moves: Mieke Zuiderweg - Gallery Media Director

How I Got Back to My Real Passion: From Photo-journalism to Gallery Director to Studio Art

It was only after the third month of volunteering that I realized I wanted to be this giddy more often. It took me two years to save up enough to leave my newspaper job and start down a more creative path.

Halfway There

Using the mid-year review to assess the state of your art

Well everyone it was a great and extremely hot summer, and unfortunately it’s coming to an end. Your band has played at a music fest or two, you’ve sold some art at a few craft fairs or your film premiered at a film festival, all and all it has been a very busy and very productive summer.

Julia Haw

On the Marriage of Art and Writing

I’ve had a diary since I was in the fourth grade. My first one had cats on it and had ivory pages and wide-rules lines. I felt absolutely compelled to relay every minute detail.... “After recess I had lunch.  I had a hot dog, a salad and some chocolate milk. After lunch we went back to class and did some work. Then we went to computer and music. Then I went to Diane’s house. There’s a girl named Alice there.  She’s mean.  It was another boring day.” At times it felt like my writing was a duty. I HAD to report this - whatever happened in my life. 

Cultivating Arts Partnerships with the Chicago Park District


Opportunities for Artists in Chicago's Parks and How You Can Get Involved

The Chicago Park District offers arts programming in two forms: cultural events and instructional programs. Carol J. Mayer discusses the CPD's Arts Partners in Residence Program as well as other opportunities for artists in Chicago's parks and explains how you can get involved.

René Romero Schuler

What does it mean to be an artist in Chicago?

What does it mean to be an artist in Chicago? Those of us who have decided to stay here in the Midwest, as opposed to moving our operations to New York or Los Angeles or Berlin or wherever else is touted as being “better than Chicago” have made a conscious choice to go against the grain. Or at least, many believe this to be the case. I, however, have a slightly different opinion on this topic.

Arts & Culture Promote Economic Development in Low-Wealth Communities

Highlights from The Grantmakers Concerned with Poverty and Arts & Culture Funders Group Panel

As cities and communities make plans for economic development and poverty alleviation in the aftermath of the Great Recession, there is growing interest in how public and private investments in the arts and cultural initiatives can develop human capital, promote economic development, and create vibrant communities, especially in low-wealth areas.

Joyce Fernandes

archi-treasures: Raising Community Involvement in the Urban Landscape

Artists and curators spend a great deal of time obsessing over the various relationships between the artwork, the audience, and the artist. They mull over questions like: Does the exhibition enhance or diminish the meaning of the artwork?

Jessica Cochran

Studio Visits 101 (by way of Stephen Colbert)

Studio visits. Most curators would agree that the opportunity to engage with artists in their studios is a core reason we do what we do. I tend to arrive at them after a long day at work—I am often tired, hungry, and thinking a little too much about getting home and catching up with the Real Housewives.

Jason Foumberg

How to Get Your Work Reviewed: Tips from an Art Critic

I once overheard an artist say, “I’m going to die if I don’t get a review!” Although art criticism is not normally the type of journalism that places lives on the line, it can sometimes feel like total failure if, after so much labor and effort, an exhibition goes entirely unacknowledged.

Rebeca Mojica

Rebeca Mojica - Chainmaille Artist

On Surviving an Audit by the I.R.S.

The words “audit” and “IRS” can strike terror in the hearts of many Americans, individuals and business owners alike. It’s hard not to have visions of a monstrous institution filled with agents dressed like characters in a Dick Tracy comic, waiting in rooms with interrogation lamps and you with your box of crumpled receipts.

Kathleen Garness

Smart Volunteering

I have gotten into a lot of trouble with fellow artists for giving my work away: it demeans their own work’s financial value, lowers expectations of payment and creates a cultural attitude that artists should work for free. Unfortunately, these arguments are all too valid.

Dina Rabadi

Global Alliance of Artists: Where Art Meets Action

Groves of olive trees, Russian tanks, and radio broadcasts in Arabic—these are some of the things I think of when I think of “childhood,” but they're also things I think about everyday, even now, at 37.

I don’t believe in some sharp divide between “childhood” and “adulthood”—some cliff that, once surpassed, remains there

Steven Fischer

Old School New School: Exploring the Nature of Creativity

I’m in the Hollywood home of William Fraker, the six-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer of such legendary movies as Rosemary’s Baby, Bullitt, and WarGames. My crew is shooting our conversation for Old School New School, a documentary on the nature of creativity.

Laura Shaeffer

Setting Up SHoP: Find Things That Aren't Happening and Make Them Happen

SHoP (Southside Hub of Production) is a collective of artists, writers, filmmakers, craftspeople, educators, and local civic organizations who have come together to create a local cultural hub space in Hyde Park, Chicago. SHoP’s main aim is to stimulate local creative activity and to foster artistic and cultural enrichment of all kinds in the neighborhood.

Elizabeth Myers

Women and Leadership Archives: Providing Care, Preservation and Access to Women Artists' Papers


If people think of archives at all, they usually conjure up images of long-dead authors of dusty tomes, brittle paper, and strange attic smells. In a medieval, historic sense of the profession, that is not far from the truth.

Chris McAvoy - Awesome Foundation

Philanthropic Micro-granting for the Arts

The Awesome Foundation was founded in 2009 as an alternative to conventional forms of philanthropy. The basic idea is simple: ten trustees commit to a pool of $1000 per month. The trustees give away the $1000 as a grant to an "awesome"project.

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