I seem to hear it every week at least. And say it at least once a month.
And believe me, I used to think 'getting involved' would lead me to my dream job. I got involved with several peak art bodies as a volunteer and saw every job in those organisations turn over at least twice and sometimes 3 times. Unfortunately I was more valuable to them as a volunteer. Some one to do the dull, boring, routine jobs that a monkey could do standing on its head. Never mind the two degrees and three diplomas I hold. Oh that's right! They are business related and not art! So the jobs I would have loved to do and stuck at for 20 years went to artists who moved on to further their 'arts practice' within 12 months.
So what does 'getting involved' mean? Does it mean getting on committees to do some hard yakka in organisation? Does it mean offering to do 2 hours selling raffle tickets, walking around and chatting to visitors? Does it mean just showing up, smiling prettily and drinking wine in 'supporting' the event/ artist? Does it mean sending a cheque off as sponsorship and getting your name mentioned in all the material? - You tell me.
Now why am I getting all this off my chest?
Well you see, the other day I went to a little chat put on by the local municipal powers (in support of the arts). I found it - interesting (my son found it boring) even as I came to the conclusion that all 3 speakers were more concerned about praising themselves than explaining what the term 'unexpected art encounters' meant, and how it occurred.
Now what I gathered from that little talk has given me a few ideas for future reference. But did I get involved with the talk or the events?
Well to be honest I would say 'no'.
One reason is that those 'unexpected art events' were held at places I never go to. Nor did I know they were on (of course that would mean they were 'expected arts events' wouldn't it?)
Was I asked to get involved and participate? No. I go to an awful lot of these municipally sponsored and hosted art events but I had never heard of the speakers and I can safely say that they have never heard of me. Nor did I get to talk to them - they were too busy chatting with those friends that that came to support them. So I couldn't even offer to 'get involved' in future events. Nor could I extend the offer to them to 'get involved' with the groups I am involved with.
As a late comer to the arts scene, I find that my skills and knowledge is of less value than the lack of skills and knowledge a new comer to the arts scene. What of you?
Until next week