I suppose it is my own fault and I should know better. But I decided to archive my 'google' alerts at an old email account and was just cleaning out all my old folders when I found myself listed as the only storyteller at Murray Hill Talent Agency. Wow! Who knew? Does this make me happy? No. And, Yes. No! With all the amazing storytelling talent in New England, I shouldn't be the only storyteller listed. And yes, it is nice to get a paying gig every lil' once and a while! This is another perfect case in point about why we started masssmouth,inc. three years ago - to promote the art of storytelling.
My point is, like all artists in a bad economy; and face it, New England has ALWAYS been a bad economy for artists, we need to stop fighting over the crumbs from an ever shrinking pie and band together to make ever widening 'pies' so we all can get the piece we need and deserve. Let me clarify... we also need to know that our desperate work situation is not solely of our own making.
National Arts Index - Americans for the Arts one can see how our national financial situation has affected the overall arts scene. State funding is at an all time low of 75¢ per person per year in arts spending. In a paper published in 2000, the NEA summarized the latest research comparing government (public) arts expenditures in the U.S. with the spending levels of other countries. It drew on data published by the Arts Council of England (ACE) in its 1998 report entitled International Data on Public Spending on the Arts in Eleven Countries . In a chart titled "Government Expenditure on the Arts and Museums Includes Federal, State, and Local Government Spending on the Arts per capita" - in the UK $26 in the US $6.
- that equals a whopping $1.89 per person. Compare to the reward the Wall Street bankers for gave themselves in 2009 as a reward for crashing the economy? $18.4 billion. Yes, that is $59.00 per person if that money were redirected. Ooops, I fear my red undershirt is showing again. But comrades, seriously? With these kinds of objective conditions we need to band together. Things are tough. And I haven't even started to examine at the health care situation vis-a-vis artists.
We all want to work and be able to give people all the good that comes from our art. It will not be as easy as pie, and we need to band together so we can roll out the dough!
What to do? Start with listing and posting your gigs. Everywhere. But especially at massmouth.com, where at great expense, we maintain a site to promote you and your live events.
More to come...