What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
Selling Out: A Future Art Market for Philadelphians
The notion that an artist who panders to outside (financial) powers is automatically labeled a “sell out” must die. “Selling out” is one nugget of something I dub the performance art “cycle of doom.” Individual artists complete a BFA, or worse a MFA, and start an entrepreneurial journey of self-promotion, but not starting a business. We teach our craft, day-job and generally don’t earn
a livable wage from our artistic practice alone. We do this all while training the next generation to come in and compete with us. We toil away in this cycle towards an outdated model of success: having our own non-profit. The future leaders of dance, theatre and the genres in between are going to eviscerate this unproductive cycle and become a model art market. Philadelphia will house
businesses where product-based, revenue generating performance art will sprout. We will reclaim our oft-feared yet extremely necessary place in the market. After all, what would we choose: the volatility of foundations’ funding or that of the market? We can no longer accept that the value of our art decreases if we “sell out.” With lower rent, geographic proximity to other art markets and really no other precedent for this, Philadelphia is a rare city where this is possible.