In the artistic think tank of ArtLoveMagic's headquarters, exciting news has arrived. After five years of organizing and presenting educational events in Dallas, the group has finally received its National Not-For-Profit status. It's a game-changer for the volunteer-operated artist network, which puts on its annual production Girl Show this Saturday (more on that later).
Until now the group has relied on the bottomless efforts of its members to teach children's workshops, promote live art events around the city and generally foster an environment of inclusion learning, drawing people into the local arts community. The new IRS status means that ALM can now apply for grants, pay some employees and bring in new, outside talent to help them grow. That's huge, according to David Rodriguez, ArtLoveMagic's co-director, and there's a rough plan in place to further the organization's ability for community outreach.
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"We're wanting to strengthen the core leadership of ArtLoveMagic," says Rodriguez, "as well as growing more outwardly." He goes on to explain that what is seen superficially is only a part of what the group's been up to; they've gone into schools, hospitals and libraries with their interactive art programming and would like to expand those efforts while still presenting smaller cultural festivals and larger, annual flagship exhibitions like Underground and Girl Show.
Until now all of the group's programs have been funded by money brought in at ArtLoveMagic events. Your cover at Underground, for example, might have made a children's pottery course possible or helped buy supplies for a therapeutic painting session at a hospital. Now ALM can think even larger. They've begun examining what types of grants are available and are currently collecting grant writers who can help push their ideas forward.
It's all part of a bigger picture of community involvement: Local artists who participate in ArtLoveMagic's exhibitions often become active within the group's more narrowly defined educational productions. They wind up serving as teachers and mentors for the group's free youth workshops and aiding underfunded cultural programming within Dallas, as a whole. Strengthening the business side of things with paid employees frees up ALM's artists to focus on their creative contributions, rather than channeling their time into bookkeeping and fundraising.
The group is at an exciting apex, and you can celebrate with them this Saturday at Girl Show, happening at South Side on Lamar. Pop back to Mixmaster this week for the full scoop on artists, special guests and all of the sordid debauchery planned for the Blue Room.