RAC launches fundraising campaign to boost artists

Print More

Rochester Artist Collaborative has launched a $1 million fundraising campaign, designed to provide creatives in Rochester with additional opportunities and resources.

“We’ve learned that the city of Rochester does not support the arts in the way that it should. And they don’t, in my opinion, value the arts and what it could do for crime reduction, youth engagement, community engagement, violence prevention,” says Adam Eaton, RAC executive director. “The arts are very powerful and have the ability to help our community to thrive and to grow. And so Rochester Artist Collaborative is going to use the power of the arts to help our community.”

Founded in 2019, RAC serves as a network and platform for individuals to connect and engage with a like-minded community of artists and models that work primarily in Rochester. 

Located in the Anderson Arts Building, RAC is home to 200 artist and model members, each with their own specialty—whether it be photography, painting or illustration. RAC’s mission is to empower its members through tools, resources, and opportunities to best foster their creativity. These include an extensive trove of documents and directories available to those looking to elevate their work and build their platform. 

To some, a goal of raising $1 million may seem ambitious, but Eaton says that number is more necessary than ambitious.

“We love the idea of supporting local businesses and businesses supporting the arts, so this campaign will allow (them) the opportunity to showcase to the community that they support the arts, that their business is a sponsor of the arts, and how powerful the arts is for our community,” Eaton says. 

“If we get 1,000 businesses to support $1,000 through Rochester Artist Collaborative, we would reach our goal of $1 million,” he adds. “And because there are thousands of businesses in Rochester, we believe that 1,000 businesses supporting us is an achievable goal.”

Donations to the campaign are tax-deductible, and come with promotional opportunities for sponsors. They can be made online via The Field, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving the performing arts community nationwide, and RAC’s fiduciary.

“They can have it as a tax write-off for their businesses, but also Rochester Artist Collaborative will acknowledge their business on our social media platforms, on our website, and give them visibility to let the community know that their business supports local artists,” says Eaton. 

This is RAC’s second major fundraising campaign; it previously garnered $500,000 in funding for member artists. New funds will allow the organization to further support existing projects designed to help platform underrepresented members of the community, including the Women Artist Studio Space, a creative studio space designed for women artists. Funding will also provide additional support to those who maintain the digital resources available to the community, including the Art Resource Hub and interactive Artist Directory.

“If we had the funding to hire staff full time and to give more accessibility to more people with the power of having full-time staff, that would be very helpful to our mission,” explains Eaton, who says RAC’s annual budget currently is about $120,000. “Funding is very important for us to grow, for us to help more artists, for us to help more community members, for us to help more businesses.”

One of the tenets of the RAC’s mission is accessibility to the community. 

“We’ve had events at the Memorial Art Gallery free to local artists and community members. We’ve also had free events at the Strong Museum of Play … we recently had a music showcase event there (with) the members of Rochester Artist Collaborative. It was a free event and it gave the opportunity for the community to connect with the talented artists that live in Rochester.”

For Eaton, a photographer, the impact of what the arts provides to the community empowers his art. 

“I’ve learned that a lot of young youth that are graduating high school, a lot of times they don’t have the opportunities and the resources that they need to grow,” he says. “So many times they resort to violence or crime. … I believe that the arts can be used as a tool to support them, to give them access to something that is so powerful.

“Art can help with the ideas of getting out of poverty, becoming an entrepreneur, and even with their social and emotional health, having an opportunity to express yourself through the arts instead of using things like violence or crime to express your emotions or negative feelings,” Eaton adds. “Art is very powerful, and everyone deserves to have access to programs for the arts.”

One thought on “RAC launches fundraising campaign to boost artists

  1. Perhaps the RAC can ask the Powers-That+Be at the Memorial Art Gallery why they stiffed the Rochester arts community a few years ago and handed 50 grand to Tom “The Dog Killer” Otterness. A man better know for slaughtering a dog and filming it’s death throes and handing the video out as “art”, rather than as an artistic icon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *