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As an artist, you have the ability to powerfully affect others. Your artwork can touch people in ways you don’t even realize and with the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about how you can give back and reach your community with the gift of art.
Whether you want to invest a good amount of time in a project, or simply give a print, the opportunities to use your art for the good of the community are endless! Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Host an Art Fundraiser: Pick a nonprofit that regularly affects your community, and ask if you can sponsor a Art Fundraiser. Have the organization print invitations and send out email invites to their donors. Bring together a group of local artists who may be willing to contribute by donating a few pieces to raise money. Be creative in the kind of artists you invite: Jewellers. Photographers. Painters. etc.
2. Donate a family portrait session: Many families in need cannot afford the priceless memories garnered by family portraits. Inquire of the city officials or a local church and find out if there is a family in your area who is particularly deserving. Book a session with them, and give a complimentary 8×10.
3. Volunteer to shoot a holiday program: Holiday programs may produce fun times, but It is far too common for the pictures of these events to turn out less than noteworthy. Take 4 hours out of your schedule to shoot and edit photos for one such program, and then pass along a dvd of images rights free. You never know who may discover your work simply because you reached out to others.
4. Write a story: Know a particularly noteworthy event, family, or program? Interview the people involved and create a photo story that will inspire others. Submit this story to the local newspaper as a community interest piece.
5. Hold a workshop: The gift of teaching is one that keeps giving long after the class is over. Take the time to plan a class for the community on some aspect of photography. Put up fliers at schools and community bulletin boards to generate interest on the topic. The day of the class, hand out pdf guides of your subject and offer additional assistance if needed.
Giving back to the community with your gifts and talents will always pay back. Whether you simply acquire a good name, or become connected with new relationships, a little bit of time and donated art will go a long way to inspiring others. And you will never feel so fulfilled.