19 Ways to Be Part of the Arts on #GivingTuesday

In celebration of #GivingTuesday, a roundup of ideas to support the arts in creative ways

Visitors at the Sketching Gallery at the Getty Center

One good way to support art: make some!

#GivingTuesdayDecember 3 marks the second annual #GivingTuesday, started last year by the United Nations Foundation and the 92d Street Y to celebrate the spirit of generosity by balancing days of giving thanks and getting deals with one for giving back.

If the arts feed your spirit throughout the year, how can you support them on #GivingTuesday? We put our heads together and pooled 19 simple ideas to be an arts philanthropist.


With Your Time

  • Volunteer to hang student artwork at a local school.
  • Visit a museum, gallery, performance, or festival (and share your experience).
  • Lend your unique skills to a local museum, school, or arts organization.

With Creativity

  • Enroll in a dance, theater, music, or art class (and you’ll support an art teacher, too).
  • Draw something and send it to somebody you care about.
  • Craft something fun, creative, and uniquely you.
  • Use the art of the past for inspiration—make a sketch, poem, collage or digital mashup.
La Santa Cecilia at Saturdays Off the 405 at the Getty Center

Going to a concert? Yep, that’s supporting the arts. (La Santa Cecilia at Saturdays Off the 405)

With a Small (But Meaningful) Purchase

  • Buy an artwork from a local artist, artisan, or student.
  • Donate food or beverages to an art gallery for an opening.
  • Give art supplies to a local classroom.
  • Become a member of a museum.
  • Subscribe to an art journal or buy an art book.

With Your Voice

  • Write a letter to your local school board voicing your support for funding for the arts.
  • Tell Congress you support the arts and arts education.
  • Say why #ArtMatters to you.

With Dialogue

  • Join a gallery crawl, museum tour, artist’s talk, or art meetup.
  • Leave a comment on an artist’s website explaining what you like about his or her work.
  • Follow a local arts organization on social media—Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram—and subscribe to their blogs.

What ideas have we missed for giving to (and receiving from) the arts? Let us know!

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  1. Amy Hood
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    At this time of year I often buy gift memberships to non-profit art spaces and/or subscribe to an independent press on behalf of a friend. It’s a great way give someone a unique gift (that doesn’t cause clutter!) and to give a little something extra to the organizations that I already support.

    • Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Love that! It’s so thoughtful to give a gift that can keep bringing inspiration and happiness throughout the year. Great suggestion.

    • Annelisa
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Amy, I love your point that gifts of experiences don’t cause clutter. Another gift of art experience is to take a friend to an event, such as at a maker space or a hands-on event at a museum. It can be magical to see someone who thinks they’re “not creative” realize that they are.

      I sometimes buy artworks as gifts, looking for something that speaks to the gift recipient’s personality. While technically this is still shopping (busted!) it’s also supporting artists and artisans who put real love and care into their work.

  2. Maureen McGlynn
    Posted November 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy taking my nieces and nephews to performing arts venues around the holidays rather than just buying them more ‘stuff.’ The experience lasts so much longer and instills in them a lifelong interest in the arts. Last year it was a San Francisco Ballet performance of the Nutcracker for a niece who is away at college in SF. This year, my 5-year-old niece will see her first play, White, at the new Annenberg Performing Arts Center. We’ll do an art project together after the play as a way to commemorate our theatrical adventure!

  3. Ron Hartwig
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I like to support Museum stores to buy gifts for holiday giving and I always get my Christmas cards from a Museum store. The images are from the Museums’ collections, the quality is terrific and I’m helping to support the arts.

  4. Kim
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I love to share Laurence Anholt’s artist’s book series with the younger kids in the family. He tells the story of great artists’ throughout history, from a child’s point of view, with the child telling the story. Anholt has done exhaustive research into these stories, and the children that interact with the artist are real. My niece’s favorite is “The Magical Garden of Claude Monet.” These stories make art more accessible for kids, and begins their relationship with art early on, with a personal connection.

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      All Hail Tiberius, Least Media-Savvy of the Roman Emperors

      Tiberius was proclaimed Roman emperor on September 17 in AD 14, exactly 2,000 years ago.

      He was also a bit wacko. “He was the least media-savvy emperor you could imagine,” says curator David Saunders, who has been in charge of this bronze portrait of Tiberius which leaves us on September 22. He point to this description found in the writings of Cassius Dio:

      Tiberius was a patrician of good education, but he had a most peculiar nature. He never let what he desired appear in his conversation, and what he said he wanted he usually did not desire at all. On the contrary, his words indicated the exact opposite of his real purpose; he denied all interest in what he longed for, and urged the claims of what he hated. He would exhibit anger over matters that were far from arousing his wrath, and make a show of affability where he was most vexed…In short, he thought it bad policy for the sovereign to reveal his thoughts; this was often the cause, he said, of great failures, whereas by the opposite course, far more and greater successes were attained.

      Moreover, David tells us, “Tiberius’s accession itself was a farrago: Tiberius sort-of feigning reluctance, the Senate bullying him, he being all, ‘Well, if-I-have-to,’ and in the end—according to Suetonius—saying he’ll do it as long as he can retire.”

      Suetonius is full of great, albeit spurious, anecdotes about poor old Tiberius, David reports. “When someone addressed him as ‘My Lord,’ it is said, Tiberius gave warning that no such insult should ever again be thrown at him.”

      Happy accession, My Lord!

      Portrait Head of Tiberius (“The Lansdowne Tiberius”), early 1st century A.D., Roman. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      Statue of Tiberius (detail), Roman, A.D. 37, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Laboratorio di Conservazione e Restauro. Currently on view at the Getty Villa following conservation and study.


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