The project started in Philadelphia and has spread to Baltimore and South Carolina. Since they train artist facilitators to lead workshops elsewhere, their sessions may be coming to a location near you.
Artists U grew out of founder Andrew Simonet’s observation that:
“I went to so many [professional development workshops for artists] when I started out and so much of it was useless,” Simonet says. Workshops were often run by arts professionals, not artists, who didn’t understand or address the real struggles that artists face.
After attending a Creative Capital Foundation development workshop, Simonet “says he was “blown away” by “how wrong artists are in their vision of the world.” So one of the focuses of the training sessions and part of the Artists U website is to change the thinking and practices which undermine artists’ efforts.
The website also has a free to download book, Making Your Life As An Artist which addresses these issues in greater depth.
I have only generally skimmed the book thus far, but a section that immediately caught my eye was suggestions on reframing the way you discuss your work so that it will be engaging rather than alienating to most human beings. This is an area in which every artist and arts organization needs to evaluate their practices.
Take a look..