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  • Cyrina Thomas

In Progress: How can we better support black artists?

Updated: 2 days ago

Black Arts Patronage

I recently learned about the history of art patronage, but I am struggling to determine what that looks like for me, because holding pieces of art isn't really my thing.

Enter a Dorothy Haynes

I’m pretty sure I met Dorothy on the elevator on the way up to our space, , so never had the chance to make the connection. One day, I was meeting with another artist with a frequent collaborator phrie and I met Dorothy. 

Dorothy was like me - ex corporate and putting her money where her mouth is. What was most inspiring was not that she was in the space but creating space for artist through her collective. She talked about the opportunities. She was working on for them. She’s an artist,mentor, patron, mother - someone who has seized life through many lenses. 

Meeting her was monumental in figuring out what our patronage means to me. Seeing someone relentlessly advocates for artist and creates spaces for them. That was powerful, inspirational, and radical for Cincinnati. I needed to see it to unlock the idea that I can boldly say that I am a patron. 

What does it look like to me? 

My version of support means marketing strategy and procurement advice. With my background in supporting grassroots organizations through technical support, that same knowledge I apply to mentorship of artists. 2023 was an Minimum Viable Product of what things could look like in the future.

A Distributed Network of Aligned Spaces

I think the next thing I would like to explore creating is a network of spaces for black creators to make, experiment and exist. 

Could this MVP be a functional, sustainable network? 

BRB Building this right now!  

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