One of the biggest expenses for this event is the dinner itself. To help offset the expense, you can ask local restaurants and caterers to donate food. They will probably be willing to help, considering that this is a community event, especially if you tell them that donors will be credited on event press releases which you will be posting in local newspapers and on the menus that you will provide your dinner participants. Events like this, where the production costs are small or nonexistent, are called “sustainable funding for artists,” because, in many ways, that is exactly what this is. If the idea excites you, you should start planning your own event right away. Look up FEAST art online and you will see more material about how many people have done it.
First Step: Find a Venue
The first step is to find a place where you can stage a dinner and exhibit artwork. A church basement can be perfect, but it could also be in someone’s home, an office, a car dealership— almost anywhere that has enough vacant space and bare walls to hang art. Just be brave and start somewhere. Explain to a library what you’d like to do and emphasize that it will not only be fun, but will get the community more involved in art and culture. It’s OK if your sales pitch isn’t perfect; it will get better the more you give it. The first step is to go out and give it your best and be positive. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how many people share your enthusiasm.
Second Step: Find Artists
The second step is to figure out which artists to invite. You must consider whether their style and medium will work well in the space you have found. You need about four or five artists, and it’s OK if they are your friends. Otherwise, you can post an ad in the artist community on Craigslist and ask artists to send you links to samples they might use in their proposals. If you like their work and think they could make a good proposal, explain to them how the event will work and ask if they will participate. Most will be happy to join with the chance of getting to display their work and winning a cash prize. The only thing left to do is get a couple of friends to help you make dinner.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.