For 25 years, ABC of Sacramento has run the Business Volunteers for the Arts program, facilitating over $1 million in pro bono services to artists and arts organizations. Sacramento’s arts scene has grown exponentially over that time, but the region still lacks a pathway to give emerging artists the tools, community, and exposure to establish themselves as sustainable businesses.
By curating a diverse group of the region’s top emerging artists, creative start-ups and arts organizations, ABC has been able to develop a pathway to sustainability for local talent, while also establishing our region as a hub for the arts!
Our first group of artists represents a cross-section of the capital region’s creative scene:
- Project4trees (a positive hip-hop group)
- Tapigami (a start-up based around the tape art of Danny Scheible)
- L/C Mural & Design (a muralist team)
- New Helvetia Theatre (a nonprofit musical theatre company)
- Sol Collective (a nonprofit based on community development and training),
- Sugar Skull Art (based on the Latino art of sugar skull making by Rob-O),
- Eben07 (a web comic series written by Eben Burgoon),
- Chalk it Up (one of the region’s most popular art festivals), and
- Juniper James (an online magazine/pr company for local fashion designers and artisans).
This diversity of disciplines and entity structures was a key component of the success of the group, as they are able to collaborate on inter-disciplinary projects, get feedback from outside their own industry, and form a community that is supportive and exciting.
Already, our inaugural year has proven impactful for the community as several of our residents have received regional awards for being at the top of their fields, high-profile commissions, and regular press coverage.
Professionals and Business Volunteers for the Arts are working with the group, providing trainings, workshops, consulting, and pro bono legal, accounting, management, and marketing services.
It’s an exciting process to arm them with the entrepreneurial tools they will need to establish and maintain a sustainable business that also contributes to the community in such a unique way.
(This post is one in a weekly series highlighting The pARTnership Movement, Americans for the Arts’ campaign to reach business leaders with the message that partnering with the arts can build their competitive advantage. Visit our website to find out how both businesses and local arts agencies can get involved!)