Artwork By Local Art Teacher, Photographer, Painter and Sculptor Emily Bialek of Emily Bialek Photography
This year, skip the big box stores and opt for something more authentic that can have a great impact on our community and local economy. As you gear up for another season of giving, consider connecting with our community and bringing home, or giving away, something truly unique. Rather than scrolling for hours sifting through lightning deals, celebrate Shop Indie Art Month, which kicks off the Shop Indie Local Season.
There are tons of ways, and even more reasons, to support your local small businesses. Think about how many smiles you make when your gift comes from handmade and locally crafted artists. The lucky person receiving it knows how much thought and care went into your gift. AND, the artist or producer knows you value their work.
Maybe it even sparks a new network or connection. “The arts are the lifeblood of our communities, raising morale, creating community cohesion, and providing comfort during dark times while also delivering a huge economic footprint,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “And it is more important than ever that everyone takes part to recognize the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities in our communities.”
Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month this October with Shop Indie Art Month sponsored by the American Independent Business Alliance and area partner The Local Crowd Monadnock. They are teaming up to boost the efforts of artists from all genres, from crafters and painters to writers, musicians, and actors.
Supporting Art is Smart Business!
Not only does it promote a personal and world-wide sense of well-being, it makes up 4.2 percent of the American economy. That’s more than construction, transportation or even agriculture. Art and culture is an $877 billion industry with 4.6 million jobs. Plus, you probably already know and it makes sense that money spent locally is more likely to remain local.
Art Keeps Communities Connected.
Over 70%, the vast majority of Americans, consider “the arts to unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and “helps me understand other cultures better.” When people better understand one another, they work better together. Empathy stimulates more cohesive collaboration.
Art Encourages Creativity.
Did you know that “displaying art in the workplace boosted employees’ creative thinking,” a trend cited in a study performed by the Journal of Business Research? Consider what you like to see in your work zone.
Lives full of interesting and thoughtful pieces of art carefully crafted to stimulate the brain—these are the features of a modern society. A society that innovates and a community of entrepreneurs. Workers who can think independently with resourcefulness make a business rise above the crowd.
Want to Know How to Get Your Local Art On?
It’s easy! Shop Indie Art or just browse to soak it all in at local small businesses and galleries that feature works from local artists of the Monadnock Region, Brattleboro, and Western Massachusetts. Look around and you’ll find tons of fall craft events, fairs, and festivals that all offer locally made art.
Popular Local Art Hubs
Hannah Grimes Marketplace in downtown Keene, NH is a centerpoint for shopping indie art with over 240 local vendors. Or if you’re up for an adventure, the Walpole Artisans Cooperative hosts an annual art tour on Thanksgiving weekend.
Find tons of arts events this month in Brattleboro by checking out the Chamber’s events page. Opportunities this weekend include classes at the New England School for Circus Arts, a new exhibit at The Next Stage Arts Gallery—Barbara Campman: In Passage: Painting, Assemblage, and Mixed Media, and the Catherine Russell Quartet at the Vermont Jazz Center. Whatever flavor of art attracts you, find time in this moment to immerse yourself.
Sign Your Staff Up For Artistic Team Building
Of course, you don’t have to sit back and watch the art happen around you. Join in and get your hands dirty by taking a class! Mill Hollow Works offers all kinds of classes for handmade and handcrafted skills. Enjoy a class on poetry or pastels this October with the Jaffrey Civic Center. Try your hand at glass turning at the Terrapin Glassblowing Studio also in Jaffrey NH. Sign up a crew from the office to get your crew out of the office to stimulate festive team spirit!
Switch up your morning coffee routine.
Trade in your venti for an “authenti” and get a round of morning brew from a locally owned coffee shop. Network with community while you pick up a box of pastries to start your office day with some positive vibes.
While you’re there, enjoy a two-for-one deal on supporting local producers by perusing displays of local art. When you Shop Indie Art at local coffee shops, it supports the artists who showcase their work there. For instance, this piece by area native, Ellen Salmonson, was purchased at The Bagel Mill Café and Bakery.
Build strong community, better business networks, and local innovation by supporting the arts this October. Join Masiello Employment Services in celebrating Shop Indie Art Month and Shop Indie Local as the holidays arrive!