Artist in Residence

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing what happens when non-profit and social change-oriented groups hook up with artists on specific projects. The results include:

  • New perspectives on challenges that have resisted previous efforts
  • Solutions people wouldn’t have otherwise have thought of
  • A release of creative energy within the groups and organizations.

The question occurs; What would happen if people working to make the world a better place had access to an artist full time?

What would happen if they had an artist in residence?

Someone who could:

  • Teach the creative process – its discipline, its artistry, its mystery
  • Bring out the creativity of others
  • Catch our attention in a busy world
  • Reveal voices and perspectives of those who are silent or cannot speak
  • Help us find the beauty in what has been desecrated and broken
  • Make the unexplainable, understandable.

If you believe that touching hearts and opening minds are prerequisites to social change, then artists are your essential companions.

Why not hire one? They’re available in such exquisite variation. You can choose among musicians, dancers, poets, painters, sculptors, storytellers, comedians, designers, playwrights and performers of all shapes and sizes.

You won’t know what is possible until you’ve done so.

NOTE: If you are interested in pursuing this, drop me a note. I just might have a job description you can use.


But that’s the nature of art, it scrapes up against those ugly places and concedes their existence. Which is very different from performing, fetishizing or objectifying that ugliness, resulting in something closer, along the spectrum, to spectacle rather than art. (Madeleine Thien)

Musical accompaniment this post, “Near to the Wild Heart of Life” by the Japandroids. Purchase here.

By Al Etmanski

To read more by Al, go to


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