Uncategorized | September 29, 2008
From Mike Shay, individual artists program specialist:
Greetings to all Wyoming artists!
Wyoming Arts Council Manager, Rita Basom, wrote about the importance of individual artists in the latest issue of the WAC newsletter, Artscapes. She noted that one of the agency’s priorities is the support of individual artists. The WAC’s 2006-2010 strategic plan lists a goal to support “individual artists with awards and associated programs designed to create an appreciation of and a heritage for the arts in Wyoming to benefit the economic and cultural climate of its residents.”
The programs for individual artists were consolidated under one arts specialist two years ago. I didn’t anticipate how busy I would be. Up until 2006, we had a specialist for literary arts (me), one for visual arts (Liliane Francuz) and one who devoted part of her time to the performing arts. That was Rita Basom, who was kicked upstairs to be our director.
At the same time, the Wyoming State Legislature agreed with our constituents that the WAC needed to reinstate a print newsletter. The staffer with the requisite writing and editing experience turned out to be me. I received permission to hire an excellent assistant editor in Linda Coatney, and we were on our way. To make matters a bit more complicated, the WAC had signed on to be one of the co-sponsors of the Equality State Book Festival in Casper. I was WAC point man on the committee that year. Now it’s all Casper College, ARTCORE, and a group of very dedicated planners in Casper. I’m pleased to have been on the ground floor of a very successful event, but my time now is devoted to individual artists in the state.
So, as I catch up with fellowships, Individual Artist Professional Development grants, artist roster, Artist Image Registry (AIR), and the planned visual arts symposium in Laramie with the UW Art Museum next April, it’s time to survey our artists. We need to know about your priorities. Do we need more fellowships? Is there a need for statewide gatherings for individual artists? What about technology grants to writers, artists and performers?
So, please click on the link below and answer our 10-question survey. Don’t be afraid to complain, or to compliment. We need to know how to best serve you.