About Alliance for Arts with Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles

by Patricia Cullen on November 2, 2008

Originally published in the Vancouver Actor’s Guide April 2007 newsletter.

Once in a while you luck out. Once in a while you find a website filled with seemingly endless resources to further facilitate your work as an artist, your knowledge of the arts community and maybe even hook you up with some employment. One such site is the AllianceforArts.com. It’s one of those little gems that have been around for over 20 years and you can’t help but wonder, ‘How did I not know about this!?’

The Alliance for Arts & Culture is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued success of the arts within the G.V.R.D. One way they do this is through providing a slew of free resources for artists such as job postings, workshops and S.E.A.R.C.H.; an employment assistance program geared towards self-employed artists.

But for the bigger picture, the Alliance for Arts & Culture works with their members, local businesses and arts organizations to unify & strengthen the many voices that make up our arts community.  Executive Director, Andrew Wilhelm-Boyle, who recently joined the organization spoke to the need for advocacy, “Very often we don’t speak with a unified voice, and when we don’t do that, we tend to be ignored.” And the Alliance for Arts is that voice.

So for example, when provincial and federal governments offer less funding than required for the arts & culture sector, it’s the Alliance that goes to bat for us. And they do it because they strongly believe that arts & culture are the core of community. As Andrew said, “People are motivated by culture, by the community they live in, the clubs they belong to, the arts they engage in, the food they eat, what their values are. It’s the most powerful means of communication.”

“The arts develop community. It’s how we understand each other, how we come to realizations that change the world.” -AWB

Think about it. Think about that last movie, play, or exhibition that left you without the answer. Left you with only one option, to discuss how you felt about it with another. To discuss your varying points of view for the sole purpose of understanding something new to you. It’s always been the arts that open our eyes. Open our eyes to our ‘blind spots’. Once open, it’s always the people that invoke change, first in their community and then in their governments. It’s never, and I mean never, been the other way around.

To learn more about Alliance for Arts & Culture, visit their website at www.allianceforarts.com.

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