Innovation Profile: Assets for Artists
North Adams, Massachusetts
Innovative Idea Champion
Selected in 2010
Email Blair | Visit Blair’s Web site
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About the Innovation
Assets for Artists connects matched savings accounts and entrepreneurship training with low-income artists from a variety of disciplines. The program has been piloted over three years with artists of varying learning styles and financial challenges in the Berkshires region of Western Massachusetts. Estimates show there are more than 2 million professional artists and millions more part-time artists nationwide. The pilot sample is 55% low-income individuals over the age of 40. As it expands, Assets for Artists will target artists from Native American and other communities of color, eventually achieving nationwide coverage through a host of distance learning tools and crowd-sourced fundraising to overcome geographic and time limitations. Assets for Artists aims to reach an economically vulnerable group to boost their earning power and household assets through a combination of entrepreneurship and matched savings tools delivered in innovative and effective ways.
About the Innovator
Blair is an asset development practitioner with experience working with low-income artists and artisans. He is a board member for the Midas Collaborative, Massachusetts’ statewide asset coalition. He has served on a working group for the Massachusetts Asset Development Commission and blogs about the asset development field on his Assets for Artists website. He has served in various positions since 2000 with Mass MoCA, the country’s largest contemporary arts center. He is also Co-Founder of SaveTogether, an innovative national fundraising website that partnered with CFED to help scale the matched savings field.