Artists Stick Together, NYC-style

New York City is the zenith for creatives, the mecca of art and design.  It’s also one of the most difficult places to “make it.”  So those poor, struggling soon-to-be-Brooklynites who wash up on its shores looking for creative nourishment to feed their inspiration-starving souls have to find ways to stick together and create together.

There are myriads of artist coalitions in the city.  Some of these initiatives are open to non-artists too—they offer classes, throw parties, and work to get the public involved in the growth of the arts community.

1). 3rd Ward: “An incubator for innovation and possibility.” Do you miss being in art school? More of a club than anything, 3rd Ward encourages the integration of art and social life — but it’s not exclusive either.  Join in on Drink ‘n Draw life-modeling sessions or attend one of their spectacularly-themed, laid-back parties, which sometimes involve swimming pools.  Located on Morgan Ave in Brooklyn, 3rd Ward offers various facilities including a wood and metal shop, photography studios, a jewelry studio and a media lab with design/editing software.  But of course, like a real club (or art school), it costs money to be a member.

2). Kickstarter: All you really need is a good idea and a convincing argument outlined in a brief video. Set a goal of how much money you need for the project, then watch people donate to your cause.

3). Brooklyn Waterfront Artists’ Coalition: BWAC, aka “Bee-whack”, has been around since 1978 to assist artists in achieving their goals and also in making art more accessible to the public.  They have nearly 400 members and plenty of exhibitions throughout the year.

4). Industry City: Located between Gowanus Expressway and the New York Harbor, this factory and warehouse-complex has become the home to many young artists in need of studio space and cheap rent.  Once a bustling home to manufacturing industries, this “city within a city” is now nearly empty save for the Virginia Dare syrup factory, the last remaining tenant.  We have all heard the stories of Soho and DUMBO, once-empty places to which artists flocked, but which grew into hipster colonies and finally into gentrified, retail-attracting hotspots of NYC real estate.  It’s hard to say whether this will be Industry City’s inevitable fate… but for now, it’s a Sunset Park ghost town — safe for artists to live and work.

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