The commercial world is profit-driven; therefore, whatever efforts corporations dedicate towards art will not extend beyond the point they cease to benefit from it. That’s where non-profits come in. Here’s how non-profits are helping the arts thrive.
Non-Profits Fill in Gaps Left by Commercial and Public Sectors
Non-profits contribute a lot to the arts industry, including providing employment for artists. Statistics show that there are currently about 113,000 non-profit arts organizations employing 2.2 million. This has made the arts a strong economic force.
While every non-profit also has its own organizational goals, they go further to cater to issues that won’t translate into direct gains for them. For instance, they advocate issues such as art education, art activism, and the promotion of unrepresented artists. It can be difficult for corporations to deal with such issues because there is always the issue of return on investment. Therefore, such matters can only be handled by an organization that doesn’t have profits as its driving force.
Non-Profits Establish Artist-Run Platforms
There are several non-profits that have established artist-run exhibition spaces. For instance, New York’s White Columns has pioneered the establishment of such spaces that have gone on to become independent organizations with dedicated programs. Other non-profit organizations, like Art + Practice based in Los Angeles, have created platforms geared towards addressing social issues and enabling children from foster homes and low-income families to access arts education. All of these are part of the efforts that are being driven by non-profit organizations as far as the arts are concerned.
Non-Profits Promote Unrepresented Artists
Non-profits also help to promote unrepresented artists. This is made possible by the fact that non-profits don’t have to deal with commercial pressures. Therefore, these organizations can be much more responsive to the needs of the arts community. It can be difficult for an unrepresented artist to get a fair art valuation. At the end of the day, even work that is supposed to be worth a lot of money will end up not rewarding such artists fairly. These are some of the problems that non-profits are working to address, and this is helping a lot of artists.
Non-profits are able to dedicate their time and resources to non-object-based work and projects that are more socially engaged, like helping unrepresented artists with art valuation. This is being done through several initiatives, including the establishment of galleries across the country.