Culture

ASP – A GENEROUS CULTURE

Our vision is for a sustainable economy and supportive community FOR ALL artists and makers, in all countries and in all medias and traditions.

Last year the art industry was worth £10 billion in the UK alone. And yet the average artist earned less than £10k. How often the former is used as an example of success, but do we question enough the inequality which supports it?  Many of the artists who struggle to survive make a considerable contribution to our diverse and rich cultural landscape.

ASP does not believe it is acceptable for artists to go hungry and live a life of debt and worry to make such a valued contribution. Instead, we believe that all artists who make that contribution to our common good should be appropriately supported for what they so generously give: beauty, curiosity, awareness, creativity, insight, a time to reflect, think, feel and respond to ourselves, our communities and the ground at our feet.

In a time where we may need all of these values in abundance, artists should be actively engaged with as part of a dynamic, diverse, and open society.

INSPIRATION

An inspiration for ASP are the Kalahari and Aboriginal hunter gatherers who lived in harmony with their customs, community and environment for tens of thousands of years. It is the example of these communities – so often oppressed and brutalised by the ‘developed’ world – that is guiding ASP into thinking again about what it means to be successful, sustainable and equitable. 

We took three principles as a focus for ASP’s ambitions: The division of meat across the community. (Whoever makes the kill has the honour of dividing that meat amongst their family and neighbours, who in turn do the same until the whole community is fed.) The campfire as a place of accommodation to anyone who is without food, (just turn up and you will be fed). The stick, the most long lasting, versatile, accessible, and sustainable piece of technology ever invented by human society.

WHAT IS A GENEROUS CULTURE

We are all at the centre of our unique community, as such a generous culture:

  1. Starts with you
  2. Welcomes ALL
  3. Gives more than is expected or usual
  4. Creates opportunities for ALL
  5. Respects and nurtures breadth and depth of experience and knowledge
  6. Uses networks to support others
  7. Uses success to support others
  8. Has an open membership
  9. Respects ALL ecosystems and ethnologies

Success for ASP is when the whole of the community, regardless of worth or experience, has equal opportunity to participate and find support creatively and financially. We must all play our part in this and see it as our greatest success and honour. Our challenge then, is to maintain the integrity of ASP’s customs and values within our own communities and create appropriate systems to best deliver the vision. 

It is an ambitious and far reaching idea, but WE as a community have already shown what’s possible. So what can you do? Spread the message of ASP to your community. Keep posting work – it’s a dynamic platform. Support colleagues and friends (who then support theirs) by posting your IN VIEW (see In View page under How To). Doing this spreads support across your community, which in turn spreads across the next. Generosity is infectious.

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