Impact

Since 2016, Essay’d has received $91k in contributions and has put $138k directly back into the Detroit art economy through payments to artists, writers, editors, and workshop facilitators.

This means that every $1 contributed to Essay’d results in $1.51 being directly returned into the Detroit art economy. We can achieve a return of great than 1:1 because (i) we have very low overheads, and (ii) we leverage the contributions we receive to obtain paid programming and services work.

Note that we are happy to provide a benchmark figure for a comparable organization on request.

The breakdowns of where we receive money from and how we distribute it are shown graphically below:


Creative Impact

Writing and publishing

  • Closing in on 150 essays on Detroit artists (an unprecedented survey of Detroit art)
  • Three volumes of collected essays on Detroit artists (through Wayne State University Press)
  • Published work by a diverse group of 32 writers
  • Five writing/publishing workshops for new writers. Feedback is available here.
  • Mentored, edited, and published work by 11 new, or very early career, writers

Curation and exhibition-making

  • Seven “Art@TheMax” exhibitions that have resulted in work by leading Detroit artists being viewed by 100,000’s of patrons at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall
  • Eight Essay’d group exhibitions at different galleries and institutions throughout the Detroit Metro area
  • Four curatorial workshops for new curators. Feedback is available here.
  • Mentored ten area curators through their first exhibitions, some of which have been very substantial.
  • Programmed over 30 artist talks at local institutions

If we make conservative assumptions for the long-term economic impact of these cultural contributions, we find that each $1 contributed to Essay’d results in a total of $10.36 being returned into the Detroit art economy.

Note that we are happy to provide a benchmark figure for a comparable organization on request.

Assumptions

  • Each essay results in $2k in long-term economic impact through increased sales, fellowships, commissions, etc
  • Each published volume results in $5k in long-term economic impact for the same reasons
  • Each new writer will bring in $5k of new paid writing and commissions
  • Each Art@TheMax exhibition will result in $25K of long-term economic impact through increased sales, fellowships, commissions, etc
  • Each new curator will result in $10k of long-term economic impact through exhibition funding
  • Each workshop will have $10k in long-term economic impact due to increased writing and curating skills in the Detroit art world leading to increased, sales, fellowships, commissions, exhibitions, etc.