As Studio Two Three celebrates our tenth year, I’ve been reflecting on our role as an a nonprofit art organization in Richmond. In less than 10 years we have come so far because of the generosity of our community of artists and those who believe in the power of artists to enrich our city.
I wrote an op-ed for Style Weekly to share some of the learnings of the past 10 years. You can read the whole article in Style Weekly.
Here are the commitments we are making to our community:
"After 10 years, we remain committed to do-it-yourself production as a tool for democratic engagement. We are embracing the growing pains of becoming an anchor institution. We've come to terms with the fact that sometimes, in the course of building an organization, the biggest, most transformative lessons come only when you screw up, own up to it, and do better going forward.
We still have work to do, but here are some of the concerted efforts we are making today:
Clarifying our core: Artists are our reason for being. They are our members, instructors and teachers. To support them even more, we are working on a career training program so that artists can be successful on their own terms.
Artists aren't one color, or gender, or orientation, or economic status or ability. We are working to ensure that our board, staff and artists reflect a broader diversity in order to create a place that is welcoming, inclusive and always changing. We're not there yet but we are committed to a long-haul vision for this transformation.
We remain grounded in printmaking's rich history as a tool for civic engagement. Our community has asked for programs to help it use art-making as a tool for voice and we're listening. We will continue to build programs that are informed by the organizational values that we are working to articulate through a strategic planning process. However, right now, at a high level, we are comfortable saying that we will never enable racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic or bigoted speech.
We're grateful for the booming creative economy that has given us our livelihood, yet we are now tasked with growing into an organization that is deeply rooted in both Richmond and RVA."
HELP LAUNCH OUR NEXT 10 YEARS
I hope you’ll join us September 28th at The Silver Factory art auction to kick off our year of celebration. This one night will launch the next decade of Studio Two Three and we need you there!