I got so many great responses to my Facebook request for suggestions of ways to give back that we had to do another post. We’ve got ideas from everything from teaching to donating extra supplies, from opening your home or studio for inspirational tours to contributing to charity auctions. In whatever way feels right for you, there are suggestions for making it happen. Let’s start with ideas from across the Pond:
Suella says: “I’m chairman of a thriving local Embroiderers’ Guild here in the UK. We exhibit, share techniques, workshops and fellowship and are planning to be working with young people to bring them into producing textile art of all sorts. It is lovely seeing people travel for some distance to participate in our activities.”
Åsa says: “I’ve started up a national women’s shelter writing program here in Sweden, for women and girls who’ve experienced violence, mainly focused on auto-biographical writing, but also creativity in general. The response has been beautiful, with plenty of participants and funding from the government.” You can read more about her program here.
Barbara says: “I am a part of a local artists community. Recently a call went out for 12 inch squares (knit or crochet) for this yarnbombing at my friends’ studio and gallery. The squares will be joined by women in recovery and the resulting blankets will be given to our local homeless folks in need. I made and donated 16 squares, and I believe that around 150 squares were received total. It’s an ongoing project, so I will stay involved and make more in the future. It feels so good to be a part of my community of giving creatives, and the response by the community at large has been very welcoming and fantastic.”
If these suggestions seem kind of overwhelming to you right now, there are quicker and simpler ways you can contribute to your community, as well.
Pascale has an alternate suggestion that works for her community: “As the owner of a historic farmhouse in my area, I have given (many) tours of my house and studio to enthusiastic visitors (who came due to vintage sales, or garden show…). A house is not an exactly artistic community-related project one might think… But the house is very unique, with stunning mosaic glass windows (not my work but commissioned by me). The studio(where I teach art classes) is gorgeous, and the peaceful setting is inspiring to people who want to motivate their inner artist to manifest herself… :)” Providing a place where others can find inspiration is a gift, indeed.
Jenny says she donates to charities all the extra supplies and things she isn’t going to use, and Sue says, “I have donated artwork to the local library for their silent auctions.” Sometimes figuring out a way to help and then making it a regular habit is the way to go. Nancy explains: “When I sell a piece on Etsy or otherwise I send money to “A place to bark” animal rescue and to Kc Willis for the Lakota people on Pine Ridge, one of the poorest reservations in this country. If I could sell more i could give more. For me there is no greater feeling than the gift of giving.”
And that last line pretty much sums it up. No matter how much or how little you have to give, finding a way to use that to help other people can be one of your most fulfilling adventures in living the creative life.
For more ways of sharing the incredible power of art, try Art Saves by Jenny Doh.
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS