During our Art Grant process, a huge mistake was made on our part. An email was sent to all artists on February 28th stating that Element 11 had “accepted their request” for an art grant. This email was sent before the Art Committee met and before final decisions were made. For various reasons, not all artists were awarded an art grant and on March 7th, a second email was then sent to those not awarded. We understand that these emails send mixed messages and are misleading to say the least and we are extremely sorry for causing such confusion.
Artists have always been a core pillar in our events, values, and decisions. Although this was an honest mistake made by the Arts department, we are fully aware of the feelings it might have evoked on some of the artists and the aftermath that it has created. Artists have expressed frustration at the fact that they had already started building projects after the first email and others have expressed extreme sadness and disappointment. The last thing Element 11 wants is to evoke these feelings and we want to extend our apologies to all artists that have been affected.
After hours of discussing solutions, we have decided to honor art grants to those who have already started their projects using re-allocated funds. We feel this is the least we can do to those who are feeling hurt. The Arts department will continue to communicate with artists to help mend the scars left by this mistake.
We are hearing the call for transparency about the Art Grant process and would love to honor those requests. The decisions about Art Grants are made by an Art Grant Committee made up of artists and members of the community. The Art Grant committee is facilitated by the Art Director, however the Art Director makes no decisions and is not able to vote on art. The Art Grant Committee looks at each project based on a few different metrics:
Although this unpleasant incident brought a lot of negatives with it, we feel that positives can also be explored. Our community has expressed major concerns with our processes and that changes might need to be made. This has allowed us to take a deeper look at the way we do things and we feel we can make future changes that will help us strengthen our relationship with artists and our community. We plan to have an open discussion about this subject at stART, happening this Saturday at the UAA Art Garden.
Again, we are extremely sorry for the hurt, confusion, and frustration we have caused and hope to use this as an opportunity to grow as a community.
The Arts Department