It was a privilege and a pleasure to work with Holly and Roberta to bring LINC to life in 2004. We first encountered the Investing in Creativity report at the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). Its key findings deeply resonated with our understanding of the challenges faced by the regional and national independent artists that our Foundation was committed to serving. We welcomed the opportunity to work with LINC’s original animators to fashion a ten-year strategy that would both reveal and increase the productivity that American artists offer their respective communities.
From the beginning, LINC’s design and implementation was a collaborative process informed by our local and national partners, our artist council members, our board, and our funders. We understood that place matters; that resource allocation strategies had to be tailored to the particular circumstances inherent in each LINC community. We learned as we went along, revising and adapting our plans in an effort to be as flexible and responsive as the situation in each community demanded.
We were cognizant of not just place, but also our specific time. The 2000 Census confirmed rapidly changing US demographics, and LINC’s programs—particularly as refracted through the lens of the Artography project—were committed to identifying and supporting practices that would help us all understand the impact and value of these changes.
Ultimately, knowledge has been LINC’s most enduring currency. Practice (knowledge) and research (information) shared within and between Creative Communities, Space for Change, and Artography partners has validated our expectation that transparent interdependence could create lasting benefits for all involved.
We hope that these documents (punctuated by LINC’s final convening at the Ford Foundation on May 14, 2013) will give our extended network a clear view of LINC’s aspirations, expectations, and accomplishments. At the heart of our shared endeavor was a belief in challenging communities to move beyond simple support of artists’ needs, and to look instead at building community-artist partnerships toward shared goals.
We are grateful not only to our originators, and to our Board, but also to Candace Jackson and the other LINC staff who advanced LINC’s efforts up until our final hour. So many talented people played essential roles over the past decade. Our deepest thanks to you all.
Sam Miller & Judilee Reed