An Artist's Grant That Even Pays for Glasses by STEPHANIE STROM
Published: October 10, 2007
The potter Sarah Jaeger is using some of her United States Artists grant for a studio and to study pottery in Spain.
Nearly a year ago 50 people around the country each received $50,000 fellowship awards from United States Artists, a new organization that argues that individual artists are generally shortchanged when it comes to arts patronage in America.
For more than 80 percent of the fellows, the money helped jump-start a new project. But interviews with the artists and a survey by the organization show that many used at least part of the funds left after taxes (yes, the gifts are taxed as ordinary income) simply to make ends meet or to pay for long-delayed health care.
“I went to the doctor,” said Lourdes Pérez, a singer and songwriter in San Antonio. “I had put off going for a while.”
Wesley McNair, a 68-year-old poet, had delayed buying a pair of glasses. “You need your eyes to be a writer, not only to see the words you’re writing but to observe the images that go into your poetry,” Mr. McNair said. “I figured the eyes were a crucial part of my work, which justified the use of part of this grant to get them,” he said of his new glasses.
All told, 26 percent of the artists reported spending part of their grants on health care. More than 60 percent spent a portion on art supplies, and 48 percent used some of the money to cover personal expenses like housing and meals... (more of An Artist's Grant That Even Pays for Glasses from The New York Time/Art & Design)
1 This is a good read which brings all the fancy thoughts related to ART to the reality. Knowing others' experience doesn't make us feel better or make our lives easier, at least a glimpse as this could keep us from ignorant and judgmental.
2 This article was on the list of ArtsJournal: Daily Arts News, a news feed I subscribe to.
3 Barney Davey has written a valuable article - Prosperity and Posterity in the Art World: Can Artists Have Both? - for Empty Easel, highly recommended for all the artists on the early stage of their career.