Building a Healthy, Vibrant Arts Scene in Farmington/Hills

Free Art FridayA key mission for kickstART farmington as we promote the good of Farmington and Farmington Hills through the arts is to support the development of a healthy and vibrant arts scene in our community.

Several years ago, Renny Pritikin, an experienced director of arts organizations and galleries, and currently the Chief Curator of San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum, wrote a prescription for a healthy arts scene. It provides an interesting set of criteria for us to evaluate the health and vibrancy of the arts scene in our community.

Below are his 23 qualities or characteristics:

  • A large pool of artists: there’s a critical mass or tipping point that makes a scene
  • Teaching opportunities which help support the pool of artists
  • Active art schools which feed into the pool of artists and give artists teaching opportunities
  • Studio space that’s affordable as well as live/work laws that allow artists to occupy light industrial spaces
  • Alternative spaces that given exhibition and residence opportunities for new art and ideas
  • Adventurous art dealers who take on new artists, support artists with sales
  • Adventurous collectors who buy locally and buy new work (and) make their collections available to students
  • Sophisticated writers to document, discuss and promote new ideas/continuing regional development
  • Publications for them to write for
  • Newspaper critics who are thoughtful and sophisticated and talented
  • Fellowships and grants available for artists and writers
  • Accessible museums and curators who talk to each other and do studio visits with local artists
  • Interested audiences who attend all of the above and read about it
  • Access to specialized materials or businesses (such as high tech materials in the SF Bay Area or film industry in LA)
  • Social space where new ideas are being generated about art, about society, about the role of art
  • Hangouts, parties, salons, lecture series. Restaurants, bars where a sense of community is manifested
  • Articulate artist leaders
  • Heroes, iconoclasts, villains (people everyone love to hate)
  • Artist in residency opportunities
  • Progressive political climate that encourages art
  • Opportunities for artists to get involved in politics
  • Opportunities for public art (city or private)
  • Events that bring people together, for example, scheduled multigallery opening nights

What would you add?

What do you think is missing from our community in order to develop a vibrant arts scene?

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