Survey: Artists Alliance Inc/Alianza de Artistas

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
VIsual Arts Organization, exhibitions, studio space, contemporary art events
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
$100,001 - $250,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
MISSION AAI is dedicated to nurturing and supporting under-recognized, emerging, and mid-career artists in the creation and exhibition of new work, by providing access to vital basic supports such as affordable work-space, exhibit space, knowledge, and professional development. AAI is further committed to serving and reflecting the diverse multicultural community of the Lower East Side of New York City through contemporary art education, interaction with local community, promoting discussion and awareness of the visual arts, and advancing work that honors our neighborhood’s unique multiethnic traditions.
Website Link to Mission Statement:
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW The Artists Alliance / Alianza de Artistas Inc. (AAI) is a not-for-profit arts organization founded in 1999 by visual artists based in New York City’s Lower East Side. AAI operates a program of 40 affordable long term artist studios, 4 free rotating studios with 6 month artist-in-residence sessions, the Cuchifritos art gallery/project space, the Matzo Files gallery space, and a host of other locally based contemporary art and educational initiatives. AAI is composed of artists from a broad spectrum of national backgrounds, working in a wide variety of different media. Everything from traditional craft practices to contemporary painting and new media - reflecting the diversity of this vibrant and historically significant multicultural neighborhood. Almost 90% of AAI artists are long time residents in Lower Manhattan, and most of those from the LES. AAI seeks to raise the general level of awareness of visual issues in contemporary society through dialogue. AAI creates direct interaction through collaborative efforts with local schools and community groups, exhibitions, community based contemporary art projects, open studios, and curatorial initiatives. It gives artists and community members a chance to explore issues such as mutual education, critique of art and its processes, and how art relates to people’s everyday lives. WHO WE SERVE AAI serves New York City’s Lower East Side which stretches on historical maps from Worth Street North to 14th Street, and from Broadway East to the East River. The LES has been a meeting ground for a great diversity of newly arriving cultures and traditions. Though financially challenged and consistently under served, it is, none-the-less, renowned for the vitality of its artistic and communal life. Our Neighborhood is under tremendous pressure from gentrification right now. The LES has been the first home or foothold in the "New World" for a whole host of different peoples, as well as a refuge for artists. It is multiethnic, with a recent influx of Chinese and Dominicans, and of course its large and long-standing artist population, hailing from many different nations. There are still significant Jewish and German populations mostly composed of older residents, a still thriving Puerto Rican presence, and a slow increase in Korean, Japanese, and other ethnicities. At AAI, everything we do, from multi-lingual press releases, to the strategic location of our programs, to the composition of our board, is designed help foster direct links to the community we serve, and to help us reach the broadest and deepest possible cross section of society. Because we seek mutual education by promoting interaction between contemporary art and local community, we also see New York City and the art world as-a-whole, as part of the community we serve. By putting forward our own agenda about what matters in contemporary art right now, we serve the critical dialogue that makes New York such a fertile ground for cultural practice. Finally, AAI by its very nature as a cultural organization naturally fosters preservation of cultural heritage, transmission of ethical values, community participation and a host of other positive qualities for the neighborhood, including gradual, (rather than catastrophic) economic growth.
Website Link to Organization's History / Organization Overview:
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
see website for full description of programs and exhibitions.
Website Link to Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History:
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Paul Clay
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Tine Kindermann
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Shelly McGuinness
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
Fiscal endangerment of organization
End of lease for your space resulting in a move to a smaller location
End of lease for your space resulting in termination of activities or changing of priorities
Changes in your physical space that will result in endangerment to your archival materials
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
AAI is housed in a City owned building on the Lower EaSt Side. The 80,000 SF facility has been without a lease for 12 years. Despite intensive negotiations, AAI is in danger of losing its space and programs that are housed within the Center. Other programs, such as Cuchifritos art gallery and project space and Matzo files, are off site, and not in immediate danger.
Part 7.
All of the above, fiscal staff time and expertise
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Drain on Existing Staff Time
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
In the AAI office and storage room
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10d.
10d. Would you allow access in the future?: 
Part 10e.
10e. Under what circumstances would access to archives be allowed.: 
A primary focus of AAI has been to secure affordable space for visual artists in Lower Manhattan. Through the past several years, AAI has done tremndous work on this issue, and would be happy to share this with any interested parties. The information however, is not yet organized in a cohesive manner.
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Board Minutes
Exhibition or Production Files
Financial Records
Legal Documents
By-laws / Incorporation Documents
Other Paper Files
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Audiotapes [Any Format]
CDs / DVDs [Pre-Recorded or CD-R / CD-RW / DVD-R / etc.]
Other Digital Materials
Prints / Lithographs / Etchings / Screenprints / etc.
Other Artwork
Other Press or Promotional Materials:
11d. Printed Publications: 
Programs of Events
Other Printed Publications
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Banker Boxes
Other Boxes
File Cabinets
Three-Ring Binders
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
11 - 20
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
11 - 20
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
11 - 20
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
100 - 150
I can’t access the material to determine this
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Not Applicable
16c. Electronic Based:: 
Not Applicable
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
General Staff
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
Manual System (Card File, File Folders)
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
None or Limited
Part 19.
19. What type of climate-controls are present in the area[s] in which the archives are stored?: 
No or minimal climate controls [i.e. in an attic, basement, unheated / uncooled storage area, etc.]
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
begin to input information into electronic form
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
Translate documents and archives electronically
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: