A group show of work by the members of Artists United Dayton opens Friday, March 6, 2020 at the Orphanage Gallery, 73 N. Dutoit St. Dayton, OH. The group show at the Orphanage Gallery is offered by Bill Cunningham and curated by Bill Cunningham and Samantha Mang. The show features work by more than 40 visual artists, and because Artists United is a network for artists in all media, the show also includes writers, a fashion artist, musicians and a magician. The opening is Friday March 6, and the show will be open on March 7 for Saturday after, and March 15 for third Sunday.
My name is Curtis Bowman. I am a member of Artists United Dayton and I’d like to share with you how Artists United Dayton came about. Artists United is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA. It was founded by my friend Holly Million. Holly is a filmmaker. When she started making films, she discovered that there are things she needed, location contracts, employment contracts and forms for use of copyright. She thought these things would be easy to find. She was shocked to discover that there was no central clearing house of filmmaker forms—not even on the internet.
In 2016, Holly Million started talking to artists. She talked about sharing opportunities. She talked about sharing resources. Many artists were taken aback, many artists were excited. Many artists couldn’t believe there could be a network of artists willing to share information and opportunities. But Holly kept talking. She talked about artists as the catalyst of the creative economy. She talked about shaking off the scarcity mindset that keeps each individual artist thinking they have to hoard what they have because there is never enough to go around. She talked about the power of the arts to heal, to strengthen, to unify.
Artists United was founded on December 6, 2016.
When Holly told me about Artists United, I told her “come to Dayton. We have a great artists’ community here. I have been a grantwriter in Dayton for more than 2 decades. I have worked with a lot of artists. We’ve got the goods!” Last year, she came. In July 2019, Holly Million traveled to Dayton for a week . She toured artist’s studios. She premiered her latest film *A Permanent Mark.* She spoke to Dayton’s film community at a Film Connections Meeting. She attended an Artist’s United Networking event hosted by Jes McMillan in The Mosaic Institute Studios at Tend and Flourish, a collaborative retail and studio space on Brown St. At that event, attendees video-conferenced to an Artists United member in New Orleans. Every where she went, Holly talked about artists, the power of the arts and the creative economy.
Artists United’s Dayton chapter was on its way. The artists have been having monthly gatherings, an open meeting for artists to meet and talk to each other, at Wholly Grounds Coffeehouse, which is owned by an artist, Amy Williams. Amy puts up local art, and kindly offers Artists United space to meet. At the January meeting, the group was tossing around the idea of having a show. Bill Cunningham stood up and said, “I have space available.” Artists began to sign up on the spot. A show was born. It sounds simple, and it was. But behind the scenes, there is Bill Cunningham and Samantha Mang, who have put a ton of work into organizing the show.
I founded the Artists United Dayton chapter with Jes McMillan, who is chapter captain. But Artists United Dayton has become its own thing: artist driven and artist run. The goal of Holly Million’s Artists United was to build a worldwide network of artists. She’s done it. Artists United has 35,000 members worldwide. My goal for Artists United Dayton has been to connect our thriving network of artists to each other and the world. It’s about artists—all artists. filmmakers, writers, visual artists, dancers, musicians, magicians—it starts with the artists. When artists lift each other up, when we share resources and opportunities, we enrich ourselves and our community. There is no fee to be a member of Artists United, its not a club, or a school. It’s what you make it. And the Dayton Artist Community can make it great. We’ve got the goods.
Last July, Dayton pulled out all the stops to showcase its artistic talent. On March 6, at the Orphanage Gallery, we’re doing it again. The Artists United group show will remain up until after third Sunday, March 15.
Join Artists United by email to [email protected]
Look for us on Facebook, Artists United Dayton Ohio, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/351991622115865/
Join in the next gathering at Wholly Grounds Coffeehouse, 825 Wayne Avenue, Dayton, Ohio on March 11, from 6pm to 8pm.