Creative Exchange is the national program of Springboard for the Arts, based in Fergus Falls & Saint Paul, MN. This piece is adapted from the main Springboard website here.
Springboard for the Arts is an artist-led organization, and as artists, we know that we need to do the work in order to see the results we want. When things are tough we always go back to our guiding principles and our tools and try to see what we can build. More than ever we are steadfast in our commitment to equity, reciprocity, abundance and the role of artists to connect us, build power and agency in their communities, collaborate on solutions and illuminate truth. This commitment is the foundation of all our work, and we also recognize that these times demand more and new kinds of work. Beginning today we are doubling down and expanding these parts of our work:
1. EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
We are re-launching our Emergency Relief Fund in partnership with Emergency Arts, led by Amelia Brown. The fund operates in Minnesota and will continue to support artists’ personal emergencies like healthcare, theft and flood, and we are expanding the fund to provide rapid support to artists who want tomake projects in response to community emergencies: community trauma, protests, violence and natural disaster. You can read more about process for requesting funds for personal or community emergencies here.
2. RURAL-URBAN EXCHANGE
We will place an even greater emphasis on Rural-Urban exchange. Examples of this exchange include the upcoming Rural Arts and Culture Summit and our Hinge Artist residency program in Fergus Falls. As we plan this work, we are working with our partners to build in more opportunity for conversation across rural urban divides and among practitioners who can learn and share together. In addition to these established programs, we welcome informal exchange, please let us know if you are interested in bringing a group to visit us in Fergus Falls, to see how this community engages with its creative people. Visit Fergus Falls!
3. AMPLIFYING STORIES
We will lift up and put a spotlight on more stories of people working at the intersection of rural communities and identity, racial justice, LGBT rights, local economies and women’s leadership. We know that there are amazing people working for opportunity and social justice in neighborhoods across the country and we need their stories and inspiration more than ever. We will begin this work by partnering with artist Ashley Hanson on her Public Transformation tour, as she travels across the country in her school bus, interviewing, making art and documenting artists and leaders in rural America. You can follow along on Creative Exchange at springboardexchange.org.
4. LEGAL DEFENSE
We will work together with partner organizations to raise new money for an artists’ legal defense fund so that we are prepared to help artists who face first amendment and immigration legal threats. Get more legal information and resources here.
We will continue to be a resource for healthcare for artists. We worked in community partnerships providing access to healthcare for artists before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and commit to continuing that resource whatever happens next. Find more health resources here.
And as always, we do this work with our mission – cultivating vibrant communities by connecting artists with the resources they need to make a living and a life – at the core. We also want to be a home for artist-led ideas for the challenges and opportunities of our communities and our time: we want to hear from you, so be in touch, and thank you for your work.