ABOUT THE ART PARTY
For Creatives & Changemakers
The Art Party began as a promotional campaign for the Main Art Drift – local small businesses supporting local artists on Main Street, Vancouver in 2010. Today, we have evolved to a focus on the development and promotions of Creatives & Changemakers in the Creative Economy globally.
Our vision is to build and connect a community of Creatives & Changemakers who endorse Earth Charter® principles for a just, sustainable and peaceful planet.
We provide services that build and connect our communities with social networking, as well as space for arts cultural events and skills training for Creatives & Changemakers. This empowers them to make a positive social impact.
Our philosophy endorses the Earth Charter as an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action.
Our approach is social networking to attract, build and connect Creatives & Changemakers to startup hubs: co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators. Startup hubs are a proven model that can take place within government; for-profit sector, nonprofit sector, or in the spaces between them. There are over 30 startup hubs in Vancouver that help business startups grow, but few for conscious changemakers and creatives in the creative economy, which received $60 million in BC funding for artists and arts and culture organizations in 2017-18.
The Art Party has grown an audience of +10,000 social media contacts with +1000 Mailchimp contacts for workshops and talks. We have a track record of audience / volunteers / partnerships development since 2010.
GROUP EXHIBITIONS / FUNDRAISERS
The Art Party has co-produced and co-promoted over 30 live workshops, talks, networking events and group exhibitions with our Facebook Page (2013-19). Speakers and trainers had backgrounds in sales, marketing and copywriting.
The Art Party has been promoting group exhibitions / fundraisers of local artists from Golden Brush Art since 2013 and Independent Artists Market At The Waldorf since 2019.
GROUP SKILLS TRAINING WORKSHOPS
Our skills training workshops / talks occurred during evening hours or on Saturdays to ensure the highest level of attendees, as many are working in day jobs Monday to Friday (2016-19).
The typical agenda of Skills Training Workshops were:
- Registration and networking (first 30 to 60 minutes)
- Skills training workshop with facilitators / trainers (2 to 3 hours)
- Networking with snacks and refreshments (last 30 to 60 minutes)
The Art Party focus is to provide the space and promotions only. With COVID-19 bans of large gatherings, all workshops and events are hosted on Zoom or another web conference platform.
We intend to continue to focus on evenings and Saturdays for skills training to meet the needs of most attendees. There are almost 20,000 cultural workers in Vancouver, of which almost 5000 are artists, the highest per capita in Canada. There are not enough collectors locally. Artists need skills training in digital technology to reach a global audience (2020-22). Qualified / certified third parties will be delivering the skills training workshops:
Program Development: To unpack a complex issue and to identify the systemic behaviours that have created that issue, or that are holding the issue in place; and to generate ideas for a project plan.
Skills Training Program: Unemployed, underemployed or precariously employed participants obtain full-time employment or become self-employed through qualified / certified job coaches and other service providers.
Expand employment or pre-employment training and skills development for underserved communities, including marginalized youth (ages 14-18), as well as improve the not-for-profit sector by supporting sector networks, resource sharing within the sector, or advancing not-for-profit leadership.
Earth Charter Cities (ECC) Certifications: ECC certification frameworks can reach more cities, communities and educational institutions. These opportunities can help you with your mission and to grow your client base as well as give you access to information and opportunities for partnership and collaborations.
The Art Party has a history of promoting the Main Art Drift, an annual event of local small businesses supporting local artists along Main Street, Vancouver. This resulted in over 10,000 attendees visiting local artists at small business storefronts and studios in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood (2010-11).
The Art Party co-produced and co-promoted Coinfest at an 8,000 sq. ft. media hall with an art auction to benefit a local charity, as well as other art events. We’ve shared and promoted over 400 live local art and music events on The Art Party Facebook Group since 2010 to help build our community.
The Art Party co-produced and co-promoted Crowdfunding Success Workshop to Help 270 Creatives & Changemakers get their projects funded at The Tribe (sponsored space), FundRazr (keynote speaker), and support from Groundswell, Spring.is, Conscious Living Radio and Blackbox Print. Crowdfunding has a successful track record funding artistic and creative projects, or community-oriented social entrepreneurship projects.
According to staffing company Randstad, if you add up all contingent workers, freelancers, independent contractors and consultants, this is about 20 to 30% in Canada. Among creatives, that percentage could be even higher. For example, global business intelligence company IBISWorld, reveals the graphic design industry has been growing for the past five years, and freelancers now account for almost 90% of industry participation.
There is a need for skills training to help creatives to “cobble together a living” with various side gigs to supplement their creative practices.
Creatives that include artists (painters, sculptors and other visual artists (NOC 5136) have an annual BC median salary of $24,304. Source: 2016 Census (Full-time full-year median employment income).
British Columbia has the highest number of artists in Canada, and Vancouver has the highest concentration of artists per capita among Canada’s major cities. In Vancouver, artists make up 2.3% of the labour force with the broader category of cultural workers representing 9.7% (almost 20,000). Regrettably, 65% of artists (approx. 3,000) in Vancouver report a total income under $40,000 per annum and are living below the poverty line (Statistics Canada, 2011).
This amount is way below the average annual full-time income of $54,000 in BC. In 2015, British Columbians working full-time earned an average weekly wage of $1,054.47 with an average hourly full-time wage of $26.58.
An arts education provides academic studies and practices for art-making, but does not provide adequate skills training in business and digital technology to enhance income. Creatives & Changemakers may work in the Green Economy, BC Social Enterprises and the Creative Economy:
- Part of Vancouver’s Green Economy of Seven sub-sectors. As the third greenest City in 2017, Vancouver has a goal to become Greenest City 2020.
- Involved in BC Social Enterprises which has generated at least $60 million in revenues, trained 6,250 people, provided services to more than 695,000 community members and provided opportunities for 5,520 volunteers.
- Artists, writers, dancers and musicians are in the Creative Economy. The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation award a combined $10.1 million grant funding each year to non-profit arts and cultural organizations. According to the Canadian Arts Database, in return for every dollar invested by the City another $16.24 is raised from other sources.
For our 3-year Skills Training Program, we will be measuring the total number of workshops / talks, students and completion of surveys. Our Program will leverage the best practices of the Tribe in Gastown from 2016-17 and the S.E.A.R.C.H. Program, Alliance for Arts & Culture Program (SEARCH) in Downtown from 1997-07. We will be seeking regular advice from the founders of the Tribe and S.E.A.R.C.H. Program, Mike Nabavi and Judi Piggott respectively for the development of the Skills Training Program.
The Tribe in Gastown was an accelerator and a co-working space focused on Vancouver’s technology startups. It offered services such as office space, management advise, marketing support and connections for startups to the right investors. It had an excellent exit and sold to 7 Gate Ventures Lab, backed by 7 Gate Ventures VC. (Mike Nabavi)
SEARCH helped unemployed and under-employed artists and cultural workers create sustainable income. With funding from the Federal Canada as an employment assistance program for artists, over 1600 individuals participated in the month-long process, many of whom remain connected through a list-serve. (Sustainable Livelihood Systems: A Framework for Understanding the Economic Role of Artists in the Creative Economy, 2008 (Judi Piggott)
1. Pursue a diverse portfolio of funding sources as an organizational policy. That includes grant writing for governments, foundations and corporations grants. Upon incorporation Q4 2019, we will apply for the Google Ads Grant through TechSoup Canada. Google Ad Grants works just like Google Ads online, by displaying our message to people who are searching for nonprofits like ours. As a qualifying nonprofit, we receive up to $10,000 USD in Google Ads / month.
2. Build a network of supporting partnerships. Our program involves a number of different organizations committing resources in the event some of the responsibilities of the program can become regular parts of everyone’s work, even after the funding is not available.
3. Have a strategic funding plan at the highest levels of our organization. We have a board-driven 3 year strategy that looks at program growth and funding development that our organization has committed to.
4. The 3-year Skills Training Program is a demonstration. This alleviates the concern about sustainability as the program is intentionally designed as a time-limited or research-oriented pilot project.