1. Challenges and opportunities for Careers in the Arts

Executive Director of a non-profit art center for adults with ID

I run a non-profit art center in Grass Valley CA, Neighborhood Center of the Arts (.org)

We provide working studios as well as art supplies and instructors for 70 artists with special abilities. Each year we feature their art in 4 in-house exhibits and this year 17 shows within our community and other communities. When the artists sell their work we share the sale 50-50 our % goes back into the program for supplies and other needs.

It cost me $45,000.00 a month to run this program. We are reimbursed at a daily rate through our local Regional Center, Alta California Regional Center. We have been receiving the same rate of pay for over 20 years. No raise to our program. We are in the hole each month- makes us a true ‘non-profit’

Our program is a beautiful thing that provides Respite for family and caregivers during the week as well as providing an opportunity for artists with intellectual disabilities to express themselves through art, let alone make an income.

Unfortunately we may be forced to close our doors as the Federal Government believes that all our folks, regardless of disability should be fully inclusive within our community. They believe that we are segregating our friends (since they –the disabled- are the only ones receiving our services) they (the feds) believe our friends here should have jobs in the community. Some of us (art program directors) are working really hard to explain that this is a job. Being a working artist is a choice- we may not take a paycheck home every other week, but not all artists do- We find it heart breaking that we are not recognized as a place/field of employment. This program is working!!!! But it can not run for free- therefore it will be a sad day when 70 of our community members are without work-

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Idea No. 23