What were your major obstacles?
Projects following this model are very do-able.
Who or what was instrumental in overcoming these obstacles?
Communicate early and often.
What top three suggestions would you give to others attempting a similar project?
1)When approaching a potential business partner, here are a few things to consider:
a. Don’t be surprised if the potential partner doesn’t immediately recognize what you’re hoping to accomplish. You may very well be turned down by people who are busy at that moment and don’t have the energy to figure out what you’re working on. Ask if the timing is right before you pitch them on your project.
b. If you can see an opportunity to use materials they may already have in stock (aka – any product that will come at no additional expense to their business model), that’s an easy decision for them to make in favor of your project.
c. If you are going to require the business to invest in new materials for your public art project, consider asking them to fund the project from their marketing budget. From the perspective of the business owner, a benefit of participation in your partnership project will be the increase in customer satisfaction that comes with receiving a free piece of art; a second may be the marketing they receive when you announce the roll out of the project to your community, including word-of-mouth accolades from their customers. So before contacting any business owners, figure out the cost of a display ad in your local newspaper or a one-minute radio spot for your region, and frame your ask in terms equivalent to these outreach channels. The business owner may not understand what you’re hoping to do right away, but they may recognize quickly that the buzz you’ll create for their customers could have a higher return than buying an ad that only lasts one day…
2) From the perspective of the participant in the printmaking workshop, here are some of the benefits they receive, above and beyond a regular class:
a. The artist gets to keep the plates they’ve cut for future personal use
b. The artist gets to produce a big print run, as a team and on a deadline, which is part of the fun of printmaking
c. The artist gets to add a line to their developing CV
d. Having just performed “a random act of art and kindness” may just add another layer to the sense of accomplishment they’re likely to associate with themselves, your arts organization, and the project.
3) Document everything and be sure to send a press release!