Aug 31, 2022 - News

A survey of Richmond artists

Illustration of a pattern of paint palettes.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

When cities take steps to support artists, they're usually limited to boosterism, like ceremonially designating neighborhoods as art districts, says Ben Teresa, a professor at VCU. (Sound familiar, Richmond?)

What's happening: Teresa and a colleague at Drexel University are studying what artists actually need from local governments to thrive in their careers.

What they're saying: Teresa, who is co-director of the VCU Wilder School RVA Eviction Lab, says preliminary feedback from focus groups conducted in Philadelphia delivered some early takeaways.

  • "What came out loud and clear is that artists aren't a special, elite group of people that somehow exists without the normal constraints of working people," he says.
  • "They need affordable housing. They need a job that pays them a living wage, and they need transportation to be able to move around the city," he adds.
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