Artist as Culture Producer Book Tour, by Sharon Louden
Fundraiser for Springboard for the Arts

Sharon Louden raising money for Springboard for the Arts

Please support our book tour all across America and abroad!

The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life is a collection of essays by 40 visual artists. Edited by artist and educator Sharon Louden, the book describes how artists extend their practices outside of their studios. All of these contributors have impactful, artistic activities as change agents in their communities. Their first-hand stories show the general public how contemporary artists of the 21st century add to creative economies through their out-of-the-box thinking while also generously contributing to the well-being of others. Although there is a misconception that artists are invisible and hidden, the truth is that they furnish measurable and innovative outcomes at the front lines of education, the non-profit sector, and corporate environments.

An extensive schedule of programming is planned to support the book’s publication in early 2017. The book tour will build upon the success of Sharon’s previous 20 month, 62-stop book tour that supported her first publication in October 2013, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists. Published by Intellect Books (UK) and distributed by University of Chicago Press, that book is now in its sixth printing. With over 6,500 copies and 1,500 eBooks sold to date in over 18 countries, it has become Intellect’s #1 best selling publication.

Many of the venues from the first tour have expressed interest in hosting events again, and we have have begun planning with over 80 organizations around the country and abroad. Through panel discussions, symposia, and town-hall forums, we will invite an expansive conversation from important stakeholders in each community. Contributors to the book, local artists, critics, non-profit participants, thought leaders, and other members of the general public will connect with each other at these events to learn about, lend their voices to, and be inspired by the vast range of influence that visual artists exert on society. We plan on including as many contributors as possible from the book, helping to further our efforts to cross-pollinate artists among regions. Our goal is to demythologize the tired cliche of the Artist Hero by dispensing with the notion that contemporary artists should be treated differently from other members of our communities.

Common topics to be discussed on the book tour include:

  • how artists extend their practices outside of their studios.
  • the roles artists play as change agents in the creative economy.
  • models of sustaining creative lives in the public realm.
  • redefining who a contemporary artist is today.
  • exploring what success means to different artists.
  • how artists contribute to the well-being of others.

In an attempt to better understand, measure, and value the efforts of artists as culture producers, we plan on recording as many book events as possible using video and/or audio. Our experience documenting the first book tour this way has been an important component of disseminating the valuable information we gathered from it.

The Artist as Culture Producer is the second in the Living and Sustaining a Creative Life trilogy. The final book, scheduled to be released in 2018, will be entitled, Last Artist Standing: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life. It, too, will be published by Intellect Books and distributed by University of Chicago Press.


Additional links:

Summary of book tour (.pdf)

In-depth description of book tour (.pdf)


Information about the first book tour, including a video of one event in October 2014 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, featuring:  Sharon, Adam Sheffer (Partner, Cheim & Read Gallery), Kathleen Hays (Bloomberg Journalist, Hays Advantage on Bloomberg Radio), Benjamin Genocchio (Editor in Chief, Arnet News), and artist Will Cotton.

Kickstarter video from first book tour.

Press from the first book tour.

Sharon Louden website

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