What the DC Creative Economy Needs

Visiting director @iamreggieblack at @meharisequargallery to view the @jamillaokubo show (pictured).


Visiting galleries makes me think about how the city's art economy can grow. DC is an art world enigma: there is SO MUCH opportunity in this city for artists to connect + show their work to publics. Sure, there could be more but the lack of space isn't the main problem. Four topics I consider: -

1) Tourism moves to one main block of the city overshadowed by the museums (as lovely as they are) = city visitors do not learn about the city's current creative pulse. How can these institutions (continue to) play a part in amplifying local?

2) Galleries are spread apart in the city, you really need to hunt. Resources such as @eastcityartand @pinklineproject are great tools to find what's going on.

3) WE NEED MORE ARTS PRESS. @washingtonpost - why do you only have one critic as the gate keeper of local art in this city? @washingtoncitypaper - would love to see more articles on art exhibition reviews at a small biz level. @washingtonianmag - would you ever consider an art column? or are you only interested to share art in interior projects? which is great - but then can we see more of a variety of local artists? Where are the independent writers? Do we need to start an arts writers guild? Why is it that only local institutional art exhibits hit international press like @hyperallergic ? Us curators actually want the critical voices out there to challenge us to produce thought-provoking exhibitions for education and growth. Where is the system that holds us accountable?

4) When are more developers going to realize that galleries improve commercial property? I attend conferences like @bisnow / @bisnowdc (I keep suggesting an arts panel but...🤷🏼‍♀️) & learned the main interest for each development project is to bring people out & keep them around. When a gallery hosts an exhibition (fruits of labor of staff time & artistic collaboration), we bring people out & they stay: they grab drinks & dinner nearby. ***Our cultural existence + community gathering amplifies our local economy.*** Let’s provoke thought.. #dcartscene

Marta-Staudinger-Curator-Art-Historian-Artist