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Providing Opportunities for Local Artists

June 27, 2017 | Features

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Chapman Cultural Center is committed to promoting the Arts as a way of becoming an even more culturally diverse and better Spartanburg. As part of that commitment, we strive to provide artists with ample opportunities to use their artistic talents throughout the area. This week, we sat down with Melissa Earley, Chapman Cultural Center's Community Outreach and Impact Director to discuss the opportunities that exist for artists in our area and how to find them. 

What is the artist opportunities Facebook group? 

It's a group where people can specifically post opportunities for artists throughout the area. So, [for example] the library has a yearly juried show and we can remind them that it's coming up. With Spartanburg Art Museum, the Artists Guild, HUB-BUB, and the West Main Artist Co-op, there are opportunities for exhibition space, for grants, anything that is going to help artists further their careers.

I look at it as a place where you can go that is going to help you out. We're not going to ask for money. It's not a place to advertise your work or get a critique, so this is really just specifically for opportunities to help artists out with their careers. 

Who can join the group and how do they join?

Anybody can join the group. It is a closed group on Facebook. The reason for that is we are able to look at your profile and see that you live in the Spartanburg area and you actually are an artist or an Arts supporter.

Anyone who's currently in the group can add their friends and then I just have to approve it on the backend. That usually doesn't take more than twenty-four hours. 

Why should artists want to join the group?

It's a nice one-stop place to go. Instead of having to go through your feed and search your way around various groups to see what's going on. You go to one place, scroll through and see what's been posted the last month or so.

"Artist" is interpreted very loosely too. There are calls for musicians, performers, culinary artists, it's very broad. Someone may reach out to Chapman Cultural Center who needs calligraphy, or a musician for a wedding, or a sculpture for an award or to paint a portrait. I will post those kinds of things and anything else that comes across my desk. 

Are the opportunities mainly regional, local, national?

I don't discriminate against any of those. If you live in Spartanburg County and you are eligible to apply, whether it's an international photography festival being held in Brazil, an artist retreat opportunity in France, a gallery in New York calling for artists from across the country. If I or a Spartanburg artist is eligible to apply then they'll be included.

We have over 500 people in the group. So, it's a pretty good mix of artists in different mediums. They're not just Spartanburg County artists, there are artists who've joined the group who live in Asheville and Greenville and things like that. They know what I'm posting may be Spartanburg specific, but a lot of what I'm posting is also for national and regional opportunities. 

How can an employer or individual looking for an artist get in contact with one who may have an opportunity?  

I have added several people to the group because they are Art supporters. They have asked us to please share an artist opportunity. I will also post descriptions of what someone may be looking for, how much it pays, and if you are interested you can contact that person directly.

We don't want to become the middleman, so we are not going to negotiate any contracts, or payments, or anything like that but we will put non-artists in the mix if they are looking for an artist. 

How would you like to see the group evolve or improve moving forward?

Well, I would like to see the group be a bit more active in posting things that may come across their Facebook feeds. There are a few people who are very active about posting opportunities, but by-and-large, it's mainly me. I may only post two or three things because they just happen to catch my eye here and there. So, I would love to see the group just become a little bit more active. 

If you're an artist or arts supporter and you're interested in joining, send a request to the Chapman Cultural Center Artist Opportunities Facebook Group!  

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