When we think of a patron of the arts, we likely think of a big donor who can afford to contribute large sums of money to an organization or a museum. While that is certainly one way to support the arts, it’s actually possible for any person to support art and artists. It’s not even difficult, time consuming, or expensive, but the results can be powerful and have lasting effects.
I know that I can be a better supporter of the arts. I have friends who are writers, artists, and photographers. I know someone who upcycles old furniture to make it beautiful and chic. I have another friend who makes earrings and yet another who makes ceramic planters, mugs, and jewelry. Not all of them are full-time artists, but they all use their talent and passion to create beauty. Even with a limited budget, there are so many ways to show support.
Here are just a few ways we can become patrons of the arts:
- Instead of heading to a portrait studio, use individual photographers. Many freelance photographers and entrepreneurs offer specials, mini sessions, and other affordable options. Instead of giving our money to a corporation who likely overworks and underpays it’s employees, we can support the dreams of the small business. If we don’t know any photographers personally, we can ask for recommendations from friends.
- When we have friends who create visual art, we can think of them when we are decorating our homes or are shopping for gifts. Instead of buying from a big box store, we can purchase art from friends. We can also shop at local art galleries rather than buying mass produced paintings or other art.
- We can attend gallery openings or other exhibits where our friends’ work is on display. We can share the event and help spread the word to increase attendance.
- If we want to support musicians, we can attend local shows, hire local bands rather than using pre-recorded music or a DJ, and purchase demos or other merchandise the artist sells to promote their work.
- If we would like to be a patron of literature and writing, we can buy books for ourselves or as gifts. We can attend book signings and other author events. We can share articles we enjoy and encourage our family and friends to read them. We can leave comments on the articles.
- We can like and follow the social media pages of artists we admire. When they allow reviews, we can post a glowing review of their work.
- We can share events that promote the arts and attend them when we can.
- We can participate in fundraisers that promote the arts.
- We can refer friends and family members to artists we know by actively sharing their work and giving our recommendation.
- We can subscribe to magazines, newspapers, YouTube channels, and blogs that we enjoy.
- We can purchase season passes to art cinemas, theaters, museums, and other performing arts locations.
- We can remember that the arts isn’t so narrow as to only include literature, music, and painting. Art can include dancing, theater, fashion, film, and architecture. We can attend performances, wear clothes that support sustainable fashion, and promote small businesses. We can go out to films to show our support or share videos that educate about the artists we admire.
There are so many ways to support the arts as a patron. We don’t have to be a big corporate donor. We don’t even have to make it about money at all. We can simply show up for the artists in our lives, cheer their efforts, and spread the word so that others can know about them, too. We can start thinking in terms of gifting while supporting the arts and be conscious of how raising awareness can also impact the future of the artist.
The arts add beauty to our lives. Artists create them and do so often with little financial reward. It’s not often a lucrative profession in most cases. We can all do a little better to support the art and artists in our lives so that they can keep adding beauty, truth telling, and meaning to our lives.