In my digging around online I’ve been reading some great blogs and articles having to do with the idea of patronage.
PATRONAGE: the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another.
The more I think about this concept and how it could potentially apply in the 21st Century, the more I seem to think that this is how artists are meant to survive. It seems stupid to want to try and earn a living through CD/merch sales unless you’re a crazy huge artist like Kanye. And although touring extensively can pay the bills to some extent, artists I’ve talked to can’t say enough about how taxing the road can be (as well as that the expenses that come from touring make the overall profit a very small number). But the patronage model makes perfect sense to me – why not have the public support artists through donation, if nothing else because they enjoy their work and believe in what they’re doing and want to support them to continue doing what they are gifted to do? One thing I love about this idea in particular is that it would free up artists to not rely solely on the market and the mass public’s approval of them. Rather, they would be receiving their finances from people who love what they have to offer to the world through their art. The more I think about it the better it sounds each time…
Two interesting things I’ve found online talk about this idea of patronage that I’ve found very thought-provoking and helpful.
**The first is a blog post by Darcy James Argue – composer and bandleader of the progressive large jazz ensemble, the Secret Society (some seriously powerful, killin music…check out the band here). Some great thoughts and insight here in considering the patronage model as it relates to Darcy’s band.
Another great source if you’re looking for more info (which I always am) is Dave Douglas’ blog on Greenleafmusic.com. Mr. Douglas always has great insights into the music business and posts regularly about the latest ‘haps’ around the world.