Remember that old saying, 'crime doesn't pay'? I think they meant to say 'art'.
I am continually scratching my head, trying to figure out just how to make art pay. How to make a living from this life. Don't get me wrong, it's worth every non-penny it brings my way, but it would be awful nice to sustain a family with these creative gifts, too.
This struggle isn't only mine, of course. It may well be yours, too. And it is certainly, thus far, the story of the Bleeding Heart Art Space.
You, the people, have been incredibly generous. We've got our start because of the kindness of strangers. And friends. And family. We've been paying our rent. We've been paying our artists, too. All of that feels good.
I'm just scratching my head to solve one problem - sustainability. I have no doubts that what we are doing here is right. It needs to exist in this time and this place. It needs to march forward. We're just getting started. But we are nowhere near sustainable yet.
We did not set out to launch a commercial gallery. We're not interested in that model - the art that dictates and the amount we need to keep from those sales. The commercial model is not bad, it's just not us. We are about community. About experience. About conversation. About art faith, hope and love.
So we're looking for models. We're looking for grants, and help applying for them. And we are certainly open to suggestions.
Here are a few ways you can help out us this month.
- Give us an iPad
We need an iPad for our sales system, our library system and for playing tunes in the space. If you have one kicking around that you don't need anymore - something you've upgraded perhaps - we'd love to put that to good use. We don't need the newest model.
- Give us your time
e need volunteers to bring our current show - Robert Harpin's Battle of Barking Creek - to the masses. People to man the gallery, mostly. Thursdays 5-8 and Saturdays 11-3 we can use you. If you can spare a few hours, let us know.
- Give us your money
Right now we function entirely on private donations. That means people like you, giving any amount. Just a dozen of you who can afford $100 per month will cover our rent (well, a dozen and a half). Just $100 who can spare $20 a month will cover our programming needs. Pay our artists. Invest in our future and theirs. Stock our shelves with supplies and our hospitality tables with snacks.
Urban Bridge Church, our umbrella organization, will be shutting its doors soon. If you want to give to Bleeding Heart and get a tax receipt, now is the time. In the coming weeks, our ability to issue tax receipts will change. It could go away, at least for a time. So please, if you want to give, give today here.
This Art Space is the ride of a lifetime and I'm so blessed to be a part of it. Thanks to all of you who are making this dream a reality, day after day.
We're working on that sustainability part. We're in this for the long haul. We're open to your ideas. And in the meantime, we are, of course, open to your gifts.