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The Big Picture: 10 Ways to Support the Arts

For everything art has done for us—inspire, sustain, and empower—we should ask ourselves, what can we do for art? Fortunately, there are many fun ways to support the cause.

Mendocino Cove by local artist Victoria Brooks,


1) Buy local art from living artists. A simple way to support the arts is to support the artist—especially one who is local and currently producing work. “This is a direct way to help artists,” says Trisa Swerdlow, co-founder of Art Advocates ( It helps to get their work distributed and aids the artist in growing their business. “This method not only helps fund the local economy, but it also directly funds the artist and their artistic endeavors,” she explains.

Confidence Firehouse Gallery in Placerville


2) Shop in local galleries. “Plan a day trip!” encourages Anita Grey from Anita Rochelle Boutique & Fine Art ( Since many galleries are struggling, contributing to their funding by buying pieces is a great way to ensure that they remain open, advises Swerdlow. So, bring along a friend or two, and enjoy the experience while simultaneously supporting the arts!
3) Display local art. This is a powerful way to show your support of the arts, says Swerdlow. Not only are you purchasing from an artist and supporting their business, but you’ve inviting conversations regarding the piece. Karen Killebrew from the Arts Council of Placer County ( also agrees with the strength of this method. As someone who owns a lot of works from local artists, Killebrew says she and her husband love to talk about the pieces with friends and even enjoy bringing friends to studio tours in the community.

Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom


4) Donate. Donations play a crucial role in helping the arts continue to thrive. Donating to local arts-based nonprofits helps “provide monetary and logistical support to our region’s artists,” says Jordan Hyatt-Miller from Arts and Culture El Dorado ( Funding is essential in keeping our arts thriving and can also be done by becoming a member. This kind of support “provides a home for our region’s artists and arts organizations, in addition to nurturing the development of our artists of the future,” adds Kristy Hart on behalf of the Harris Center (

Attend fundraisers


5) Attend fundraisers. “The ultimate [form] of support is [financial],” says Grey. Sure, you can show up to openings and enjoy the wines and complimentary snacks but being able to contribute financially—like attending a fundraiser—is essential. “The arts depend on fundraising...and [you can be] very specific with the organizations and programs you want to support,” explains Cynthia Abraham from Gallery 48 at Natoma (

6) Sign up for workshops. “Who better to learn from than the artist themselves?” asks MaryTess Mayall from Blue Line Arts ( There are classes offered across the region, including Blue Line Arts, where you learn directly from the artists while supporting them at the same time. So, sign up for a class or workshop and have some fun! Folsom Lake College ( also offers a “variety of art, dance, music, and theatre arts classes,” says Hart.

Attend an artists’ reception


7) Attend a reception. Meeting local artists in person allows you to be part of the community, and in doing so, you get to show your support to local artists! Another perk? Many of them provide complimentary beverages while you admire artists’ works. What’s more, a lot of galleries hold receptions on the same day each month, says Mayall.

Purchase handmade goods from artists and crafters at farmers’ markets.


8) Explore farmers’ markets. Artisans who work in trades of all kinds can often be found selling their wares at farmers’ markets. Besides fruits and veggies, many markets have begun to make room for artists and their businesses, including “jewelry-makers [and] soap-makers,” explains Grey.

9) Tune in. “The best thing an art lover can do right now is tune in,” advises Hyatt-Miler. Since the pandemic, artists have been engaging with audiences via virtual tours. Through “socially distanced in-person events and virtual displays of art/music/poetry” many are trying to reconnect with the arts community, he adds.

Become a member at places like the Crocker Art Museum


10) Become a member. Consider joining a local arts organization. When you join, it’s a win-win, says Mayall. There are “benefits and discounts [given to members, and in return], you’re providing support for the organization and community it serves,” she explains. As it turns out, being a member can help grow that community and is a proven way to support the arts, says Kat Haro from the Crocker Art Museum ( Haro adds that membership support maintains the day-to-day operations to help fulfill the organization’s mission, so members ultimately become the best advocates for the arts!

by Bella Nolen
Photos courtesy of their respective companies and organizations.