I am an active member of the Buy Local program in Portsmouth and last night we just had our first meeting for a new sub-group focusing on the Arts - educating people on the importance of supporting local artists and local art galleries.
Especially in this challenging economy, it is important to make smart decisions as a consumer, and in doing so you can feel good about protecting the diversity, freedom, and economic solvency of where you live and love.
One of our greatest challenges is education. I focus on the strong connection between buying local art and the "Buy Handmade" movement. Here a few great reasons: (courtesy of www.buyhandmade.org)
Buying Handmade makes for better gift-giving.
The giver of a handmade gift has avoided the parking lots and long lines of the big chain stores in favor of something more meaningful. If the giver has purchased the gift, s/he feels the satisfaction of supporting an artist or crafter directly. The recipient of the handmade gift receives something that is one-of-a-kind, and made with care and attention that canbe seen and touched. It is the result of skill and craftsmanship that is absent in the world of large-scale manufacturing.
Buying handmade is better for people.
The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. We are encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own culture. Our ties to the local and human sources of our goods have been lost. Buying handmade helps us reconnect.
Buying handmade is better for the environment.
The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production.
You can take the pledge to buy handmade here!