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Artisans' Ink

How Do You Art?

Name:
Artisans Ink
Membership:
Open
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
Artisans’ Ink (A.I.) is a not-for-profit co-operative of young artists who believe that community is the responsibility of all artists. A.I. has two purposes; the first being a co-op to provide the resources necessary to aid each member in the pursuit of his or her artistic goal, weather it be acceptance to their first-choice art school or simply learning to use oil paints. The second function of A.I. community strengthening through the arts. Since its development in 1999, A.I. has had a rough start. Because its primary members were of high school age, difficulties arose regarding its legal status as a non-profit, funding, time management, and many of the other problems associated with young organizations.
However, Artisans’ Ink has survived much and five years after its birth as an after school club in a central California high school it has produced a bi-monthly zine, generated articles of incorporation, has developed plans for an upcoming exhibition of members work in Massachusetts, and has formed a close knit network of artists young and old in five states. Specializing in genres ranging from fashion design to playwriting, the members of A.I. continually expand their artistic horizons by exploring new genres and techniques. Through the process of helping each other and their audience, Artisans’ Ink manages to strengthen ties in its communities despite having no central locale, due to the fact that its board of directors is spread across many college campuses in the Northeast.
Public benefit from the arts being the main goal of A.I., its members give back to their neighborhoods through art tutoring, public exhibitions, murals and environmental art. Members may choose any form of community service they wish, but all people join knowing that service is a requirement of membership. Dedication to this aspect of A.I. is such that the Vice President and myself; being the President, have joined a sect of housing on our current campus that requires 50 hours of community service per semester.
By making the arts a personal experience and thus a less abstract concept to the public, A.I. encourages funding and support for the arts from the sects of society least expected to give such. Most A.I. members come from low to middle income families and barely have the resources to support a college education, much less one in the arts. I have been personally funding all A.I. ventures since its beginning in my freshman year of high school, and in return, members contribute their time, energy, dedication and passion to A.I. This exchange has been the driving force of the organization and I plan on seeing a home base where our hard work can finally bloom.
On a personal note, my involvement in A.I. has become my saving grace and my calling. As many times as I have tried to do away with this organization, I keep falling back into it because of member enthusiasm. I believe there is a generation of artists ready to burst forth unto the American sociopolitical tumult, and I want nothing more than to have the education and the resources to aid in channeling that creative energy in a positive and constructive entity.

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