Artists have trouble scratching out a living but St. Louis event aims to help

By Nancy Fowler
St. Louis Public Radio

The difficulty of making money while making art will be discussed at a Tuesday night gathering.

Roseann Weiss, the Regional Arts Commission’s community arts manager, is on the panel. She wants to let artists know that local as well as national grant money is available, and encourage them to be diligent about going after the funds.

“Somebody told me the other day she applied for 100 grants and she got a couple of them — and that’s a good percentage,” Weiss said. “You have to be persistent.”

Nearly half of all local artists earn less than $25,000 a year, according to a 2012 Regional Arts Commission survey released in 2013. That figure includes money they make from their art as well as assorted jobs.

Weiss said many people don’t realize that when artists get funding, it creates a ripple-down effect.

“If you are a visual artist and you’ve got a show coming up, you might pay someone to help you stretch those canvases, right? You might pay someone to help you hang that show,” Weiss said.

Also on the panel are UrbArts founder Mk Stallings, Venture Cafe executive Travis Sheridan and Luminary founder James McAnally.

The editor of “All the Art” magazine Sarah Hermes Griesbach will host the discussion, which is sponsored by the Critical Mass for the Visual Arts organization at the Magnolia Café at KDHX radio in Grand Center.

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