Written by Emma Leavitt
Brain Arts Organization works to address equity and inclusion by creating platforms for emerging, underrepresented, and independent artists. Since 2009, Brain Arts Organization has been paying artists above all operating and production costs. We believe that artists need support wherever they can find it- even from volunteers who are artists themselves. With the cost of living in the Greater Boston Area always increasing, we believe that it is imperative to support artists actively working in the city. Artists that do not come from wealthy or historically well-supported backgrounds are often at a disadvantage because of these rising living costs.
Through our programs, we work to provide opportunities to all working artists, so that the cultural identity of the city and region can reflect its diverse makeup. We also believe that when artists are provided opportunities to develop their practice, they have the ability to meaningfully impact and better their communities.
At our community-driven art space in Dorchester, we prioritize providing space either for free or at affordable rates to artists from the Dorchester and surrounding neighborhoods. We meet emerging artists at their level and facilitate and assist them so that they can be empowered to create and inspire their communities. We specifically work to connect artists and other community organizations in order to find opportunities for everyone working within this sphere to further their own goals.
Beyond the activities at the art space, our programs and media address the imperative of equity head-on. Since its establishment, our organization has worked to curate a wide audience of patrons who support emerging and underrepresented artists. These artists are prioritized when booking events and always paid for their performances. Our free newspaper, published monthly, provides an access point to the arts for the often forgotten offline demographic, and our website acts as an online alternative to mainstream or social media controlled outlets. Together, these publications serve as a platform to promote the artists featured, as well as a stepping stone for the volunteer staff of writers, administrators, artists, and photographers who run them. Finally, every other month, we host an art market where vendors participate at a low cost and sell their work to the community. Fundamentally, these programs exist to help develop talent and ensure that underrepresented artists continue to develop the cultural identity of the city and region.
Our organization has been built organically by volunteers who have the capacity and drive to advocate and produce platforms for the arts in the Greater Boston Area. Our volunteers utilize the free time and privilege they have to work towards the greater goal of arts and community building. These volunteers are able to empower others within their own communities, in contributing to the promotion and production of art and other creative endeavors, and also in considering how these values overlap with civic participation.
You can learn more about the work Brain Arts Project is doing by visiting their website. You can also join us as we partner for the Arts Equity Summit by checking out our kick-off event on Friday, March 22nd!