Learn to fundraise for artwork

Delaney Lovett

Abigail Satinsky, program director at Threewalls Gallery in Chicago, will speak about creatively raising funds for art grants at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3 at the DeVos Art Museum.

The lecture is called “Making Art, Making a Living: creative ways to sustain an artistic practice,” and will give students ideas of how to fundraise for art expenses.

“She’s going to talk about her experiences of how to raise money for your own practice as an artist or how arts administrators can help raise money for individual artists,” said Melissa Matuscak, director and curator of the DeVos Art Museum.

Oftentimes, Matuscak said, individual artists are unable to apply for grants without belonging to a nonprofit organization.

Satinsky is interested in microgranting, which provides small grants, usually a couple hundred dollars, that can go to individual artists.

“Making art is expensive sometimes,” Matuscak said. “You have to frame things, you have to ship things and sometimes you have to travel.”

Matuscak said she thinks anyone who wants to pursue a creative career, artists or otherwise, should attend Satinsky’s lecture.

“I think this talk will be an interesting thing for students to think about creative ways that they can make some money as an artist,” Matuscak said. “It’s not an easy thing to do, and you have to be very dedicated.”

Raising money is not Satinsky’s only goal, though, Matuscak said. Creative fundraising is also about creating community and giving people a chance to network.

An example of a creative fundraising activity Santinsky was involved in was called Sunday Soup in Chicago. Santinsky and a group of artists and curators encouraged people to purchase a subscription for a bowl of soup every Sunday in a gallery.

When a certain amount of funds had been raised, they began accepting grant proposals from artists. Soup subscribers would then be able to vote on the proposals and distribute grants.

Satinsky is a member the research group InCUBATE, which focuses on developing new ways to fundraise for the arts.

“Abigail has done a lot of research and has done a lot of practice that involved arts funding,” Matuscak said. “It’s something that she’s really naturally been interested in for a long time.”

Some of the publications she has written for are “Proximity Magazine,” AREA Chicago, “The Journal of Aestehetics” and Protest and “The Artist-Run Chicago Digest.

The Devos Art Museum is hosting Satinsky and funding the lecture and her visit.”
For more information about this event, call or email Melissa Matuscak at (906) 227-1481 or [email protected].