The Arts

Artistic Connection rings in the holidays with annual “Potluck Picture Show”

Throughout the year, the Artistic Connection hosts special screenings, panel discussions and regular meetings at Altair Casting Services in Winston-Salem in an effort to bring together the region’s artistic contingent as a way to promote their individual and collective endeavors, and to foster new collaborations.

With the holiday season upon us, the Artistic Connection is presenting its second annual “Potluck Picture Show” on Dec. 16 – and everyone’s invited, whether you’re an artist or an aficionado of the arts.

According to Amanda Hoey, one of the event’s organizers, “The Potluck Picture Show is our way of celebrating this year’s achievements in film. We want to see what trailers, short films and commercials that people have made this year. Last year, we had our first Potluck Picture Show and this year we are adding an extra hour because we had so many submissions last year.”

There is no admission for the event, but donations are gratefully accepted. Potential guests are encouraged to RSVP so that organizers can plan accordingly.

“We welcome all to bring whatever project you have been working on this year as well as a covered dish for the event,” says Hoey. “We want to celebrate all of you for this event. We had so much fun last time and hope this one will be bigger and better. If you plan to bring a project please try to limit the length and let us know so we can finalize the schedule. If you are bringing a dish, please RSVP with what culinary delight you plan to bring.”

Like many filmmakers in North Carolina, those at the Artistic Connection have major concerns about the state of the industry here. The loss of financial incentives remains a hot topic of debate, yet many filmmakers continue to ply their trade here, doing the best work they can under the circumstances.

“The artists in North Carolina lost more than just an election when the film incentives went away – they lost a way of life,” observes Hoey. “There seemed to be a present-day ‘gold rush’ that herded to Atlanta where people were paying all different artists for their skills. We lost millions, if not billions, in business when we lost the incentives. When it was in effect, it was easier to secure paid work for artists – encouraging different states to come here and spend their finances locally. Once they realized they can save money in other states, they will go wherever they can to line their pockets. If you ask any local artist now where they can best get their supplies – from lenses to canvas – they are having to go to other states.

“The Artistic Connection really wants to emphasize that there is so much talent here that is being overlooked,” she says. “It is not easy by any means. We have to learn to look at the arts as more than a hobby and as what it actually is: a career choice. If we treat it as such, we will see a huge change in the growth of our local artists. There are those, though, who have stayed knowing there is so much potential here. The problem is that networking is an art itself.

“Local businesses don’t realize that if they used local artists they could grow their own businesses,” she says. “Why not reach out to local artists to build your new website? Why not shoot instructional videos or a new commercial with local actors and a local film crew? Whether it’s visual, audio, or even fashion, the Artistic Connection is working hard to help artists getting paid in their fields while working with local businesses.”

Indeed, she adds, “the Artistic Connection has been meeting for years in order to facilitate the networking required to make it in the arts field. Our educational seminars are featured once a month in order to educate artists on who to connect with, and how to succeed in their fields. There is a vast amount of talent that resides here. They want to succeed but don’t know where to start. The Artistic Connection is a resource that is opening doors that different artists might not have otherwise had. We have equipment rentals available, one-on-one consultations, as well as events to help artists hone their craft.”

Want to go …? The second annual “Potluck Picture Show” will be held 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm Friday, Dec. 16 at Altair Casting Production Services, 703 Coliseum Plaza Court, Winston-Salem. Admission is free; donations accepted. For more information, call 336.734.8285 or e-mail a.hoey@yahoo.com. The official Artistic Connection website is www.whichfoot.net.

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