Since Sonoran Arts Network began publishing in May 2013, we’ve tried different publication schedules – monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly. The schedule experimentation has been directly linked to SAN’s financial resources – or more accurately, SAN’s very limited financial resources.
In 2016 we’ll be publishing quarterly with one slight modification. At the beginning of each quarter, we’ll bring to you a large number of features and interviews – more than you’ve seen in the monthly issues. For example, this January-March 2016 issue has three features and five interviews. The modification to a strict quarterly publication schedule is that we will add reviews throughout the quarterly period. The reviews will be linked to exhibition or performance schedules.
The email newsletter will continue to be sent as a reminder. It will be issued early in the quarterly period to remind you of what’s new on the website. The newsletter will also be sent out whenever new reviews are added throughout the quarterly period. If you are not subscribed to the newsletter, be sure to do so by clicking on “Free Email News” on the top menu.
A heartfelt thanks goes out to each of you who sent a donation during the past year. We encourage those who enjoy reading our on-line arts journal to click on “Donations” on the top menu. You can sign up to donate as little as $3 monthly. Every dollar is appreciated.
FALL OPEN STUDIO Tour 2015
Representatives from Tucson Pima Arts Council, Art Trails, and Heart of Tucson Art met at TPAC headquarters on December 15 to review the results of Fall Open Studios tours.
Art Trails conducted a survey of studio visitors and Heart of Tucson Art (HOTA) conducted a survey of studio artists which also included comments from studio visitors. In both cases, tour participants, both artists and visitors, were very enthusiastic about continuing the multi-weekend tours in different sectors of Tucson. Sample comments from the HOTA survey:
Debi Chess Mabie, TPAC CEO, expressed a sincere commitment at this meeting to assisting these new artists’ groups in the coming year. She will be seeking funding throughout the year. She also expressed a commitment to transparency in how TPAC handles Studio Tour funds. Lack of transparency has been an issue in the past.
Obviously, there is a considerable amount of enthusiasm among these artists to continue the multi-weekend, city-sector tours. Art Trails has already selected its 2016 fall tour dates, October 22-23; and Heart of Tucson Art has selected October 29-30 for its fall studio tour dates.
Media relations were also discussed at this meeting. The local media did not do an adequate job of covering the three tours. The Arizona Daily Star published five column inches and no photos on the fall studio tours. Zocalo published an article only about TPAC’s tour despite receiving advertising money from both Art Trails and HOTA. The Tucson Weekly gave scant attention to the three tours. A wrap-article in the Weekly by Margaret Regan was published on the same weekend as the TPAC tour which meant the earlier tours were ignored. Regan recapped the cancellation of the TPAC tour, the formation of Art Trails and HOTA, and the reestablishment of TPAC thanks to a large financial donation. Regan wrote, “Some artists liked the smaller-scale format – and geographic unity – of the DIY tours. Stay tuned to see what happens next year.”
Indeed. It appears that most participating artists are curious themselves to see what will happen next year. Some artists have thrown their lot in exclusively with one of the new groups, believing that the one weekend, city-wide tour is not working for them and hasn’t for a long time. Quite a few others signed up both for their sector tour (Art Trails or HOTA) and also for TPAC’s tour just to see what would happen. Several of these artists shared that visitors to their studios on the TPAC tour weekend came primarily from the artist’s own email promotions, not TPAC’s promotions. These artists were gratified to discover in most cases, that the new tour (HOTA and Art Trails) brought in more visitors and sales. One person reported having 24 visitors from the HOTA tour and 4 from TPAC.
As reported in August 22, 2015 on the Editor’s Page (scroll down to re-read), the model of a one weekend tour for all of Tucson, a city of over 1 million, is antiquated. Other cities of even smaller size have abandoned the one-weekend, city-wide tour in favor of multiple weekends in different city sections. The old model has within its structure an inherent bias in favor of clusters of studios. In this case, the cluster is downtown, and for many years, artists in the downtown area have benefited whereas artists in other parts of Tucson have not. The time for change has come.
C.J. Shane is the publisher and editor of Sonoran Arts Network. She is an artist and writer. Visit her website at www.cjshane.com to learn more about her.