New Criteria

October 15th, 2013

The Artist Volunteer Center is a new non-profit focused on art and volunteerism.  Founded by artist and social activist Jason A. Maas, the AV Center aims to inspire and promote socially conscious artistic endeavors based on volunteerism.

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Through its innovative model, participating volunteer artists will earn “cultural currency” to exchange for access to open-call and juried artist opportunities, and artists can apply for funding to develop and present socially conscious projects.  Moreover, artists can immerse themselves at the residency program, collaborative workspace, and an exhibition venue at The AV Center (set to open in 2014).

“The AV Center will be a destination for those seeking a forum to witness, present and participate in artwork that is derived from direct engagement with socially conscious issues,” says Maas. “Certainly our roots are in New York City, but our goal is for the organization to exact a global footprint, aiding and revitalizing communities through community service by artists, here and abroad.”

The AV Center is fiscally sponsored by Brooklyn Arts Council. The AV Center’s Advisory Board is in formation and currently includes Joyce Frost, Travis Laughlin, of the Joan Mitchell Foundation; Kristian Nammack, activist, independent curator, and art industry consultant; Jay Paavonpera, and Gregg Petan.

On behalf of the Advisory Board, Mr. Nammack said, “We want to encourage artists to develop a consistent relationship with volunteerism and the communities they are serving by engaging in ongoing volunteer activities that require prolonged involvement. We look at volunteerism as mutual aid and not charity. Both parties benefit as equal partners in the personal relationships they forge.”

Maas adds, “Volunteering is one of the most meaningful human experiences. Artists have the remarkable gift to take their experiences and share them. Therefore, it is critical to the development of culture that we, first, help artists become volunteers, and, second, allow their voice to be heard.”

The AV Center will debut a launch event in New York on October 29th to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.  This launch event will begin the 100 Hour AV Challenge, starting with a day of service to benefit the Henry Street Settlement.  There is also an open competition to design a mural based on the theme, The Power of Volunteerism.

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