We’ve had a few questions over here at Crusade for Art regarding the grant and what exactly it’s for.  We want you guys to feel clear on why we designed this particular grant, so you can let your ideas solidify and get in the game for this cash!

First, let’s address the subject of marketing in general.  Marketing can oftentimes be viewed as a dirty word in the art world.  All too frequently an artist can be so eager to express their creative ideas and put it out for the public to see, they forget that not everyone in the public shares their same enthusiasm for their chosen subject, or even understands it.  This can breed resentment, on both sides of the artist and the public.  This is what we over here at Crusade for Art are trying to combat.  We want the artist to feel valued for the creative work they are producing, but we also want the public to understand and value the work they are seeing.  Marketing comes into play here.  It’s not just about shoving products into consumer’s faces.  Marketing goes deeper into the psychology and motivations behind people and their actions.  It addresses how people connect to products and what entices them to buy.  As an artist, it’s not enough to just put your work out there and hope people flock to it (though we wish it were).  It’s not that the work isn’t deserving, it’s that the public doesn’t understand and isn’t engaged.  This grant isn’t designed to manipulate the public into buying art or turn the artist into a marketing professional.  It is designed to educate and engage the public in a new way that fosters appreciation, knowledge, and yes, hopefully motivation to purchase works of art they treasure and value in a way that feels authentic to the artist.

Second, why should the artist have to spend time working on the marketing when they already struggle to find time to make their work?  The mission behind Crusade for Art boils down to creating demand so the arts can continue to flourish and artists can be supported not just through grants and initiatives, but through public acquisitions as well.  This grant was created so that new ideas can be put forth to attract more demand for art.  We all know the economics behind supply and demand.  If the public isn’t educated or doesn’t have access to art, it doesn’t matter how much art you make, your business won’t be sustainable.  With any business or vocation, there is a balance between the practical and creative elements – both are vital.  This grant aims to bring together groundbreaking ideas and methods to champion the arts, so that artists don’t have to constantly worry about how they are going to sell the next piece.  It’s about getting creative with how to engage with the public, getting creative with how to put your message out there, not just being creative in your particular medium.  No one knows your art better than you, and today’s world appreciates connection and feedback.  The market today is moving toward a desire to support a person, a vision, not just a filler piece they bought at Target. We believe the connections between artist and viewer are invaluable, and we aim to bring together ways to forge stronger connections through this grant.

Third, why can’t I use this money to make a body of work?  This is where we think you can have some fun.  There are plenty of residencies, programs, schools, and projects aimed toward supporting artists to make a specific body of work.  We are encouraging you to approach this grant in the same creative way you would any body of work, except with a restrictive purpose.  How can you connect an audience to your work in a way that hasn’t been employed?  How can you promote the arts in a meaningful way that is aligned with your ideals and provokes the public to invest in your work?  The opportunity to engage with the marketplace, introduce your work, and cultivate relationships with the public is wide open.  We believe art and the message of art is vital to the world.  We also believe art in general is severely underappreciated, and largely due to miscommunication and misinformation.  The aim of this grant is to bridge the gap between misunderstanding and appreciation, perception and reality, and a general underlying belief that true art is inaccessible to the public.

Please comment and let us know your feedback and opinions!  We are always open to hearing new ideas.