As I mentioned in the posting last week about Tucson Pima Arts Council's (TPAC) cancellation of fall Open Studios Tour, I will do my best to keep you updated.
First you need to read the article by Kathleen Allen that ran in the Arizona Daily Star this past week about TPAC’s cancellation of fall Open Studios. Here’s the link:
You’ll no doubt notice that last fall’s Open Studio Tour costs TPAC $21,000. The high cost is why the Tour was cancelled.
For many of us who actually try to make a living in the arts, or who depend up art sales to supplement a meager income, the cancellation is a real problem for us. In my own case, I’ve participated in Open Studio Tours for 8 or 10 years, and each year my art sales increase. I’ve also made contacts at Studio Tours with collectors who have returned later to purchase larger works. The loss of Open Studios is a big loss for me personally, and for many other artists, too. I’m committed to doing what I can to keep it alive.
The folks at TPAC are kind-hearted individuals who have done their best to keep arts alive in the face of continuing budget cuts enacted by certain legislators in Phoenix who seem to have no care at all for the arts. In this case, I do think it would have been better for TPAC to give us all a little warning instead of waiting until the last weekend in July, the week we would normally register for fall Open Studio Tour, to tell us the Tour was cancelled. The arts community is scrambling now trying to respond. There have been only two options a) a very expensive tour; or b) no tour at all. I’m convinced that there has to be a third or fourth option.
We artists are already responding.
1) There is a group calling itself Art Trail which is organizing a studio tour on the West and Northwest side of Tucson.
2) There is a group calling itself Heart of Tucson Art which is organizing in Mid-Town Tucson now. I live in this area and will be working with this group.
There may be more artists’ groups. If you hear of any, let me know.
Jerry Peek of Tucson.Art.Info is evaluating the situation now and is considering a modified, less elaborate and less expensive method of support for Tucson artists and the fall Studio Tour. I hope we’ll hear from him soon. There is a comment on last week’s Editor’s Page posting by Natalie Fruciano. She said, “Hey everyone, I got in touch with someone at TPAC, they said they are reviewing how to support artist led efforts for an open studio in an organized matter and will be in contact in a week or so.”
So maybe there is some hope for us yet. I think if we all work together, we can keep fall Open Studios Tour alive and well.
Meanwhile, I’d like to remind you that there are ways to create websites very easily and for free on platforms like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and other sites. You can create your own website or create one for a group of artists. Sonoran Arts Network is a Weebly site. Also I want to introduce you to Tour Builder https://tourbuilder.withgoogle.com/ , a free Google app, that makes it possible to create maps of tours in your part of town. We’ll be adding a Sonoran bioregion tour map soon to our website.
Stay in touch.
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.