Loving Local - How I’m Almost Succeeding at the 20 and 17 Challenge

Last month I put a challenge out to myself and anyone who’d like to join along (it’s never too late!). I want to support local artists in a tangible way by spending more money on their work in 2017. Not huge pile of cash, but a deliberate, reachable amount of personal patronage. 

My goal is to spend 20$ on local arts experiences and $17 on an arts products, every month this year. 

20 and 17 in 2017. $37 every month for a total of $444 over the course of the year. If you do this, too, we can make a big difference in the local art scene.

Instead of going to a $15 movie, go to a $15 concert. 

Instead of buying a $20 poster from IKEA, pick up a print from a local gallery like SNAP or VividPrint or even right here at Bleeding Heart Art Space.

So, how am I doing? I’m getting there.

January was a crazy busy month and I actually found myself running out of month before I’d had the chance to consider my arts-funding-purchases. I went to a local concert at Sewing Machine Factory, but I was on the bill so I didn’t pay to get in. 

With just days left at the end of January, I decided to spend some cash on local musicians’ work on Bandcamp.

I’d learned about Physical Copies, a throwback New Wave group on local Sweetie Pie Records, from the sandman at my SMF show (thanks Andy!) I liked what I heard, so that became my first purchase. I decided to add a bit to the minimum purchase price, paying $6 for their EP.  Bandcamp lets you pay more than the artist is asking, which is great for this project.

I did some listening through the Sweetie Pie catalogue and settled on Morewine’s EP, Old Dust for my next purchase. A little more psychedelic than most of what I listen to, but I’m digging the smooth grooves on this one. I also paid $6 here. 

While browsing Bandcamp I remembered my interest in 100 Mile House, a fantastic Edmonton folk duo whose new album Hireath explores some deeply melancholy territory. I bought that one for $13 (more than asking price) to take my total up to $25. 

Admittedly, I waited until the early hours of February for these purchases, but for good reason. Bandcamp was donating *their* portion of sales on that day to the American Civil Liberties Union, in protest of the immigration and refugee bans

In the end, I spent not $37 but $25 on local arts this first month of the challenge, and that without leaving my home. 

I’ve bought my ticket for an awesome night of Alberta music at The Needle next week, so I’m off to a better start already.

How did your first month go? Where did you spend money on local art and artists in January 2017?

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