Making a Mark, Making a Difference in Your Town
“There is no limit on the amount of good one turned-on person can do.” If there is a nugget of inspiration in this blog post for you, then seize it, turn-on and turn it into something good for your community and yourself.
We’ve all seen or heard of the “Day in the Life” type series where hundreds of photographers spread out around a city or area to capture its essence on film. Arguably, the most famous and ambitious would be the Day in the Life of Africa project. An offshoot of such an idea comes from conceptual artist Carl Pope with his The Mind of Cleveland project where he asked people to share their inner voices in 10 words or less to become part of a poster-mural artwork for Case-Western University’s Humanities Week. It also will become an art exhibit at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
Projects like these are worthy on multiple levels. They raise awareness for cities or countries, they raise money for needy causes, they raise awareness for the artists who participate in them. The question then becomes what can a single visual artist, or perhaps an art league or art school do to create such a worthy project for their town or region? I think plenty could be done. One of the things they have in common is one person had the idea and energy to make something happen, to make a difference.
Depending on how fast one works, as with Carl Pope, it could be a solo project. Or, depending on how well one plays with others and exudes leadership qualities, it could be a marvelous collaboration. The project doesn’t have to be a day in the life. It could be a year, a week, a month or have no time frame at all.
For example, my hometown is Alton, Illinois. It is a picturesque hilly river town situated on the Mississippi just east of St. Louis. If local artists there decided to paint whatever about it they find special the results could be produced into a book to be sold online, in local gift shops and visitor bureaus. Individual prints could be sold via Imagekind.com. A Web site could be created. It could become an annual project. The proceeds could be used to fund an existing charity or a new one if that were more appropriate. The sky is the limit on what and how such a project could be used and how much good it would do.
What might you personally get out of starting such a project? Notoriety, new customers, new galleries, a wider circle of influence, sense of accomplishment, benefit of doing something worthwhile for others and your hometown.
If you have read my book, How to Profit from the Art Print Market, (click on the cover top right of this page for more details of this shameless bit of self-promotion, which is something I hope each of you practice regularly), you know Stephen Covey is someone I greatly admire. I paraphrase one of the things he says here, “There is no limit on the amount of good one turned-on person can do.”
It is easy to fall prey to the false notion and think our individual contributions can’t make a dent or difference. Stephen Covey and I would disagree. If there is a nugget of inspiration in this blog post for you, then seize it, turn-on and turn it into something good for your community and yourself. You’ll never regret you did.
Happy New Year!
P.S. An excellent tool to help you conceptualize and manage such a project is The Brain touted in my previous post.