The Artist Initiative is SAC’s comprehensive plan for effectively nurturing artists as they in turn nurture a vibrant, thinking community. The Initiative is an integrated cycle of programs aimed at increasing artists’ opportunities for in-depth interaction and exchange of ideas with diverse individuals in varied settings. Its goals are to:

  • foster the development of creative work, process, and response
  • deepen relationships among local, regional, national, and international artists and the Salina community
  • provide relevant, challenging visual arts experiences and educational opportunities for learners of all ages
  • invite questions and conversations that encourage new ways of seeing and thinking about community

The Artist Initiative originated in 2004, when the donation of a downtown warehouse building opened up exciting new possibilities for expansion of artist collaborations. The SAC began lengthy preparation for renovation of the building, launched a capital campaign to establish a fund that would help support programming in the space, and developed a 3-year pilot plan that would begin in 2005, gradually incorporating four sustainable components aimed at deepening interaction among local, regional, national, and international artists and residents of the Salina area. The four components:

  • an expanded range of opportunities for direct encounters with artists and their creative processes through the development of exhibition programming generated by community conversations about cultural, spiritual, social, civic, environmental, and economic issues that affect daily life
  • Artist at Work, providing multiple professional development opportunities and resources for local and regional artists
  • the Artist Exchange, a mentoring process that provides training and stipends for local and regional artists to teach and learn together while engaging in challenging, innovative work
  • the Artist Residency Program, utilizing the renovated warehouse as an apartment/studio space for artists who come to live and work in Salina for extended periods