When I was little, my dad would tell me about what it was like to be a child during China's Great Famine. He told me that he would eat ants off the ground for a brief sensation of what food tasted like, and laugh because in America I didn't have to do that. He always served me first when he cooked, and I wondered if I could ever do that, if being grown-up meant feeding other people first.
The creative industry is at a standstill during the coronavirus quarantine. What does this mean for artists? And how can you support your local businesses?
Come join me as we say, we are here to claim space. We are here to cultivate the role of the arts in a community's ecosystem. We are here to define a creative economy that works for all of us.
If we want to talk about an economy as an ecosystem, then consider the arts and humanities as an "indicator." The US arts industry is 88% white, 12% people of color, and almost entirely men regardless of race. Women of color represent half of one percent of arts representation. The arts and humanities are where culture-making happens. So is it much of a surprise that we struggle with a diverse business ecosystem, the same way we struggle with biodiversity in nature when the primary infrastructure is centered on supporting a monoculture lawn?
From personal to professional to political spaces, I have paid attention to disputes between people who plead for common ground yet gloss over perspectives and leave issues unresolved. I have wondered that if instead of common ground, we should advocate and claim space for identities and representations that are rare.
As a child, I was afraid of spiders. I was one of those girls who ran away at the sight of any creepy crawly bug that was not either a ladybug, butterfly, or roly poly. I didn't see the irony or hypocrisy of my fear, as a girl who got called boyish, called out for being too rough, too temperamental, too strong, too aggressive for my sex.
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Anne Katz is the Executive Director of Arts Wisconsin. After reading my last post about Arts Spending in Wisconsin, she asked if she could write a guest post offering action…