Creating an Arts Organization

This course is a 3 hour weekly seminar that gives and overview and introduction to students who are interested in learning about the history, theory and actual hands-on implementation of creating artist collectives, artist groups and artist-generated non-profit organizations. Using the metaphor of planting a tree or a garden, Collective Conscious will lead student (from all arts disciplines and art majors) through the integral steps of growing an artist group or arts non-profit organization while contextualizing this process in contemporary social history, art history, and the critical theory of projects that work outside the traditional studio-art model. The course work will ask students to prepare the groundwork by learning about these past and current practices through assigned readings, film screenings, guest artist visits and fieldtrips. Students will then be taken through each step, first by planting the seeds of ideas and research for their own collective projects, then by building supports for growth through alliances with other artists, neighborhoods or community organizations. The class will practice the nurturing of these projects by clearly defining their mission and objectives. We will discuss how to create sustainability for the life of these projects through the research of legal structures, such as 501c3 non-profit organizations, and also financial support, such as government agencies and private foundations. Important San Francisco Bay Area organizations such as the Foundations Center Library)who has created extensive reference guides for starting a non-profit) and California Lawyers for the Arts will serve as a resource to our classroom through organized fieldtrips focusing on issues specific to artists working with existing fiscal sponsors and non-profit institutions, as well as artists intending to create their own non-profit organizations. Finall, students will be asked to consider possible modes of cross-fertilization of ideas with others and to begin to develop strategies for creating new seeds for ensuring the continuation and further public interaction of this work.