Welcome back, Beauties!
We begin today with bit of self-indulgent context for today’s post: I’m nearing the end of one of those wildly productive but crazy-making two-week periods where everything is happening at once. You totally know what I’m talking about. You feel overwhelmed and overcommitted, but when you start ticking big things off your to-do list you feel like a total champion. I’m taking this time to write because along with mothering, growing a baby, recovering from a house hunting trip to the other side of the country, buying a house, throwing my bestie’s baby shower 1000 miles from my home, this network damn important to me. And if you’re reading this blog post, it means the Military Spouse Fine Artists Network is important to you, too– you are at least interested and invested in the idea of what this network could be.
You are here. Even though I’ve provided very little information about what this network is for and what it will look like. Is that ambiguity stopping you? Not a chance! “Tally-ho!” you cry with unflinching gusto- because you are a milspouse and THAT is how we roll: headlong into the unfamiliar.
I applaud and thank you for joining me in this leap of faith into another unknown adventure. Now, I’m excited to share my vision and goals for this group. I’ll set out some foundational intentions and goals, as well as some big, ambitious dreams for the future.
Goals for the Military Spouse Fine Artists Network
What is the network meant to achieve?
- Connect military spouse artists with each other and their local arts communities
- Expedite opportunities for employment, space, collaboration, and other creative needs of the military spouse artist, especially after PCS-ing
- Promote military spouse artists and their work
- Help local arts organizations quickly connect with fresh military spouse talent that move to their area. (Bonus: local organizations will benefit additionally by drawing new audiences along with milspo talent)
- Share and celebrate relevant news, tips, and encouragement specifically tailored to military spouse artists
- Provide a variety of virtual and in-person networking opportunities for military spouse artists
What will this network actually look like in the near future?
- Facebook group: An arena for members to express themselves, ask questions, make connections, introduce themselves and their work, find out what others members are into and up to. [Link to FB group] https://www.facebook.com/groups/822074921231550/
- Blog: A place to share news and messages relevant to the military spouse artists community such as artist profiles, announcements about members’ work, news, ideas, commentary
- Local networking and social meet-ups for members: attending each other’s shows, teaching a mini workshop, or purely socializing, for example. These may be formally organized by the network or occur spontaneously when interested members choose to meet
- Members will help spread the word about the organization, especially to potential new member artists, interested community members, military spouse employment supporters, and arts organizations
What dreams do I dare dream for the network in the future?
- Local chapters across the US and around the world
- Partnerships with local and national arts organizations
- Local conferences
- Global conferences (I LOVE me a conference, yo)
- A beautiful and powerful website with:
- Searchable directory of artists
- Profiles including location, artistic discipline(s), and creative or collaborative interests, for example
- Contact point directly from the site (so artists don’t have to disclose personal email addresses and phone numbers)
- Gallery of work for and maintained by each artist
- Online Workshops
- Pumped-up version of the blog/news
- Beautiful design reflective of and worthy of all the creative talent that the network brings together
- Searchable directory of artists
- MilspoFAN artist grants and prizes
So, are you all fired up now? Because I have a really important mission for you: this week help at least two friends find our Facebook group, introduce themselves to the group, and read the blog (there are only two posts so far, no big deal, right?!). Extra bonus stars if you or a friend comments on the blog!
I hate hounding my friends just as much as anyone. However, I want this network to be a success. You want this to be a success. Your friends really want this to be a success too, they just don’t know it yet! Hey, the only way there’s going to be a network of artistic types waiting to welcome you when you PCS to Guam in two years is if we get this baby growing! So dive in: tell your friends, introduce yourself on the Facebook group if you haven’t yet, share your own thoughts and ideas here in the comments or on Facebook, and get excited. Because we are a glorious and creative force, and we can make this network a reality. Until next time, thank you for connecting!
[Up next on the blog: What you can do to help grow and support MilspoFAN (hint: a bunch of easy things!)]