Did you know that for every $1 a man donates in the arts, a woman donates $3? And yet, paid professional artists are NOT three times as likely to be women. ARTemis is going to make that change.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with Melissa Heisler, co-founder of ARTemis, via a long and productive Skype session to learn more about the enduring need for breaking down barriers in every artistic community. Each medium has it’s own challenges, some of which are more visible than others. Typically film and television are the categories that spring first to our minds when we think about lack of representation in the media, but the same problem bleeds into fiction, poetry, music, script writing, and many other mediums.
For myself this was made all the more clear when I read, as many others writers did, the story of Catherine Nichols published by the Guardian in August. Entitled “Sexism in publishing: ‘My novel wasn’t the problem, it was me, Catherine’“, the author details how she received an overwhelmingly more positive response from agents when she changed the name on her submission to a male pseudonym. To make matters even worse, she received letters of inquiry from some of the same people who had rejected her earlier submission (under her real name). I have my own publishing aspirations someday, and I hate having a nagging doubt in my mind that I may not be taken seriously when that day comes. Should I hide my womanliness behind initials like so many other authors? I don’t want to, and I shouldn’t have to feign maleness in order to be taken seriously. As Melissa informed me, this is exactly the problem ARTemis is combating.
On the official ARTemis website they list the following goals of:
- Enabling female arts professionals to hone their craft and create strong female-focused messages
- Improving the image and opportunities of women both as artists and advocates
- Increasing public awareness and attendance for female works
- Creating an ally campaign that teaches men respectful, rewarding and supportive avenues to assist women in the arts community
Each one of these bullet points is a necessary layer of foundation towards a more equal future. I am very glad to see that cultivating allies of men in the arts community is at the forefront of the organization’s mind. Too often discrimination is deemed a woman’s issue, but women are not the only victims, nor are men the only perpetrators, of discrimination. Only together can we solve this generations long problem.
The woman and men behind the curtain of this organization are passionate in their fight for success. Currently ARTemis is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, and they are taking their first steps to incorporate in Oregon as a 501c3. This grassroots effort is just getting off the ground, and the more support they can muster in the early stages will make a huge difference in their long-term vitality.
ARTemis has issued a challenge to raise $6,000 by December 31st, and if the goal is met by that date the entire $6,000 will be matched by donors Rebecca Cutter and Susan Hess Logeais. The $12,000 they raise through this campaign will be used to fund their first Summit in 2016. Funds will also allow them to better serve their mission of advancing woman artists through knowledge-building, exposure, and support. Right now they are only $1,600 away from meeting that goal!
Donations can be made to Fractured Atlas.
To provide donors the full benefits of tax-deduction and to ensure the highest levels of fiscal responsibility, contributions to ARTemis in check form should be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only with “ARTemis #12343” in the memo section. Fractured Atlas deducts 7%.
If you are able to make a small donation every little bit helps! Even sharing the cause with friends and family can help broaden ARTemis’s exposure. It is through collaborative organizations like ARTemis that we can put our voices and minds together and say: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Change is coming, and the world should be prepared for it.
Connect with ARTemis on Facebook to be a part of the movement