At CHF, we often say that artists transform our communities. What do we mean by that?
Artists bring beauty to our world, call our attention to the issues of the day, and use their creativity to inspire us and get us to think, but they do a heck of a lot more than that. Their work has enormous tangible impact.
Here’s a Story That Proves Our Point
As Hurricane Florence barreled into the southeastern United States last month, all of us at CHF were concerned about artist Donna Lee Nyzio, one of our Accelerator Fellows who lives on the North Carolina coast. Thankfully, Donna and her loved ones made it safely through the storm, and her paintings survived as well, stored on higher ground before Florence hit. A week after the hurricane had passed, we received this message from her:
“I hire out my framing and photography work to maximize my time and capitalize on the skills of others so that I have more time to paint. Today, I brought paintings to my framer to get them ready for an upcoming show in Atlanta. When they saw all the work they needed to do for me, they shed tears of joy. Because of the storm, I represent most of their income for September. My business means that they’ll earn their rent and some additional income right when they need it most. It’s really nice to know that my work as an artist can support others, as well as myself.”
Artists Mean Business
Artists hire others, like Donna’s framer, to provide services and goods. They draw art lovers to their neighborhoods, where these visitors spend money—at restaurants, bars, cafés, and other local establishments. All of that spending creates jobs, spurs new economic development, and attracts customers and businesses who want to be where the artists are. Rinse and repeat.
We ALL benefit when artists thrive, but for that to happen, artists need business expertise and training. The entrepreneurial education that CHF provides through our Digital Learning Portal and Art-Business Accelerator makes it possible for artists like Donna to grow their businesses and weather the challenges that might otherwise derail them. We arm them with essential knowledge and a skill set that keeps them on track—powering their communities forward to a brighter economic future.