Tag: visual arts

The Guts of C4 Atlanta

The Guts of C4 Atlanta

This is our BUSINESS MODEL coming together. Oooohhh. See how it glows. One day, it will get it’s wish and become a real boy…uh, a real Business PLAN.

Okay. You want to know what we are up to–more specifically, what is it that we plan to offer AND how is that different from other organizations. Well, it is simple. It is true that we do serve the arts–we support artistry. Our services are designed to answer one HUGE problem for all artists and arts organizations: sustainability. By providing resources that help support artistry (access to insurance, collective bargaining, expert training opportunities, partnerships in K-12 education, technology innovation & a philosophy of social responsibility) C4 Atlanta contributes to the cultivation of a healthy arts ecosystem.

Jessyca & Lyre Work on The Business Model

How is that different from what others might be offering?

Research & Development – artists and arts organizations often do not have time to invest in honing in on the next technology, business or educational trend. C4 Atlanta does…that is what we do. We research. We keep up with national and local trends in arenas other than just the arts. Combine that with feedback from the people whom we serve, and we have a constantly changing network that saves artists time and money. We figure out the best routes for implementation and evaluation of services for an entire ecosystem.

C4 is somewhat like a social service program for the arts community. Our programs are interventions that help individuals and organizations create and sustain a business. However, we also believe in community. We believe in the intrinsic and extrinsic value of art.

Still Working On the Business Model
Joe & Lyre. Still Working On the Business Model

Just Around the Corner…

We envision a community where the arts are not some separate appendage from the rest of society; rather, it is an integral component of responsible citizenship–it is a measure of the health of the community.

Ingrained in our business plan is transparency. C4 Atlanta works with the community to find solutions to problems and to track trends and issues affecting the arts ecosystem. We do not see a hierarchy of organizations, sectors or people. That is out modded thinking. Networks (or image a series of webs) are how we learn, communicate and interact with one another.

In the spirit of transparency, I am posting a link to our guts…our wiki. This wiki contains brainstorms, notes and specific outlines about C4 Atlanta tasks. Feel free to comment, ask questions or add to the mix. You will not be able to edit, but there is a field for you to leave your thoughts. NOTE: keep in mind that some of the service we have outlined are short term goals, but many are long term that carry with them particular dependencies. Internally, we have goals for one month, three months, one year, and so on.

Enjoy! Here is the link to our Wiki: http://c4atlanta.pbworks.com

Beanie. He would rather be chewing on Jessyca’s shoes.

Field trippin’

Last week, the C4 team journeyed to Memorial Drive in Atlanta to visit Wonder Root. Wonder Root is more than just a building. They provide a place and a mission for artists in Atlanta to unite around. According to their website, this is the Wonder Root mission: “WonderRoot is an Atlanta-based 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization committed to uniting artists and community to inspire positive social change.”

Their community center offers a place for artists of different disciplines (film, visual and music) to create art. On our tour, the C4 team was greeted by Omotola Ajibade (or Tola for short). Tola guided us through Wonder Root’s community center: the sound studio, a room full of film editing equipment, a darkroom, a ceramic studio… The space reminded me of the old Dr. Who–the building is far more expansive than it looks from the outside (sorry for the old-school geek-out).

Field Trip to Wonder Root: Tola, Lyre & Jessyca (Joe took the photo)

After our tour, Tola, Lyre, Joe and I all sat down to talk about arts in Atlanta. We discussed the philosophy behind an arts service organization (like C4). Service organizations are defined more by who we serve than by how we serve. C4 serves the arts community. I think we all felt that room for collaboration is wide open among arts peers.

Real quick about collaboration: I am very familiar with this word. It is now a buzz word in education, arts, nonprofits, and other sectors. It is a way to stretch dollars. Good. I get it. However, what we need to distinguish quickly within the arts community is true collaboration verses cooperation. Very different. In my experience, most of the so-called collaborative experiences have really been just nice cooperation. Not always a bad thing, arts disciplines (and arts service nonprofits) need to retain some autonomy to stay relevant. Otherwise, we begin to water down individual organization’s strengths.

Now I will return to the Wonder Root story. Thank you for indulging me.

Whether your are a seasoned professional or you would like to dabble in a new adventure, I would suggest looking into a Wonder Root membership. It is not a lot of money, and you get access to their resources. It is on my “to do” list. My husband and I would like to use the darkroom. I have been wanting him to teach me how to develop film, old-school way, for about 10 years now…

For more about Wonder Root, check out this article from Creative Loafing.