Download the 2012 Microfinance for Artists Research Project here – MARProj Report-FINAL
Financing for artists has not been adequately considered in relationship to capacity-building for arts organizations and larger economic development initiatives which harness culture. A province-wide micro-credit program for professional artists can improve artists’ ability to make a living from their artistic practice and therefore positively affect the cultural economy and Ontario life. Implementation of a microloan program targeted at Ontario artists will best be accomplished in partnership with existing microloan funds and programs in multiple Ontario communities, without attempts to establish a fund dedicated to artists. Almost half of artists’ loan requests could be met with loans of $5,000 or less and more than half with loans of $10,000 or less.
The Microfinance for Artists Research Project (MARProject) was a project of CADA-ON, Canadian Music Centre – Ontario Region, CARFAC Ontario, Dance Ontario and Ontario Crafts Council. We are very grateful for the support of the province-wide program of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
This project arose while I served as Executive Director of CADA-ON and we were a tenant at the inspirational Centre for Social Innovation. I wrote our funding application on the basis of what I learned at the 2010 Toronto International Microfinance Summit.
Improving the socio-economic status of Ontario artists requires collaborative strategies and programs amongst networks of provincial multidisciplinary arts service organizations and other institutions such as municipalities, community arts councils and small business enterprise centres. We need to do this because of what we know about the strength in collaboration and change the isolation and distance of art and artists from the rest of society.