Springboard for the Arts is an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists. From our offices in Fergus Falls and Saint Paul, MN, Springboard provides programs that help artists make a living and a life, and programs that help communities connect to the creative power of artists. Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life.
Our work is about creating communities and artists that have a reciprocal relationship, where artists are key contributors to community issues and are visible and valued for the impact they create. We do this work by creating simple, practical solutions and systems to support artists.
In 2016 Springboard for the Arts adopted a new 5-year strategic framework. We are working towards a day when every artist in the US has access to the tools they need to make a living and a life and impact their community, and where every community in the US has access to their local creative capacity. See that document here.
SPRINGBOARD FOR THE ARTS GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Our way of working is equally important as what we do. There are 9 key principles that drive our work.
Artists are assets
Artists exist in every community, and art is inseparable from the communities in which it is made. Our work helps illuminate the social and economic value of art and creativity.
By artists for artists
Everyone who works at Springboard is an artist. We recognize the expertise and experience of artists and incorporate that into creating effective, relevant programs to meet artists’ needs.
The broadest definition of who is an artist
Everyone has creative capacity and there are many different ways to be an artist. We also know that there are many kinds of success for an artist, and we help artists define success for themselves – financial success, recognition, a supportive community, respect, social change, and more.
More is more
We make and share tools designed to benefit as many artists as possible. We believe interconnected communities of artists create an impact in ways that single interventions do not. By freely sharing our work and creating connections among artists and communities, we work to make substantial, system-wide change.
Equity = vibrant communities
Beyond accessibility, our programs address systemic and structural inequities and seek to build equity, agency and power in communities, neighborhoods and systems.
We seek mutual respect, trust, commitment, and reciprocity with all our partners. We don’t go it alone. We create and customize programs with partners based on mutual goals, and we invite partners to strengthen and change our work.
Cross-sector collaborations that last
We help artists collaborate with existing resources and systems, both because there is abundant potential in those resources, and because we believe they will be strengthened by artists’ contributions. We focus on building bridges and mechanisms that help relationships continue to thrive without us.
Boldness and creativity
Our work is characterized by optimism that change is possible, and belief that the boldness and creativity of artists can address the challenges facing our communities. We also know that in order to engage people, this movement has to be fun.
Hospitality and welcome
We value an attitude of abundance over scarcity. Our goal is always to create an environment, real or virtual, that is welcoming to newcomers and existing partners and friends alike. Hot coffee and tea with all the fixings is something we always have available – a symbol of offering the best of what we have to our guests and our staff.
Springboard for the Arts is committed to providing access to programs and resources for all artists. We are committed to unbiased treatment of all individuals without regard to race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other basis. All of the program sites we work with are accessible and Springboard staff is trained to support individuals with accessibility needs. Please contact Springboard for the Arts for specific information about our programs or services. Springboard for the Arts can make publications and materials available in alternative formats (Braille, large type, and by recording) with at least 2 weeks notice. We also work with local and national partners to provide interpreters or technical needs for our programs.