Deep North Podcast – The Artist Life in MSP

Artist density in Minnesota is 150% greater than the national average but is it possible to live the artist life in MSP?

Rita Kovtun

Photo by Rita Kovtun

Artist density in Minnesota is 150% greater than the national average,  Minnesota is second to only New York City in theatre employment, and Minnesotans lay claim to icons like Bob Dylan, The Replacements, and Rhyme sayers record label.

Despite overwhelming participation in the arts, Minnesota artists receive limited national and international attention. So, if artists remain in Minneapolis/St. Paul, can they make a living? On this episode, we speak with people creating and ask how they’re doing.  Checking on if, in a city that prides itself on arts and culture, it is indeed possible to live the artist life in MSP.

Music by Enjoy the Cat, the Limozine Group, Zack Baltich, and Paul Spring

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2 Responses to Deep North Podcast – The Artist Life in MSP

  1. David Markle
    DavidMarkle April 24, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    Keep in mind that Minnesota Citizens for the Arts was set up in the 1970’s as a pressure group for state funding of arts institutions, particularly for the Minnesota Orchestra. Of course that prominent institution does employ professional performing artists.

    As to support for local creative artists, the institutions here have never been particularly vigorous. Nor, in my opinion, have we generally enjoyed the kind of interactive milieu, artistic market and exposure here that would promote artistic creativity on a high level.

    And here,as elsewhere in the U.S., it does not help that governmental funding agencies for the arts operate on a basis similar to that of private foundations, which tends to promote “safe” institutionally oriented strategies or the selection of mediocrity by supposedly expert panels. As to the latter, far better to make financial support available to exposure when and where it is needed for the creative arts, and avoid having governmental panels decide who is good or not good. Only in that manner can governmental assistance have a reasonable chance of assisting efforts that may stand the test of time.

    And only in that manner can those governmental programs operate in a manner consistent with our fundamental principles of due process and equal protection.

  2. David Markle
    David Markle April 24, 2018 at 9:32 pm #

    Another problem of the current model of governmental funding of the arts is that lit relies on the writing of grant applications. Thus those who are good at grant application writing are most likely to get funded, a connection–like arts politics–that has little to do with the actual arts. The better type of system advocated in my previous comment could entirely eliminate the grant application process as we know it. We might also eliminate a great deal of the dead weight of so-called arts administration that the present system has spawned.

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