RON FORTIER

It Started As An Idea and Became Journey…

WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN!

To Create a Legacy for South Coast Artists!

JANUARY 15, 2024

IN-FOCUS ARTICLE: Please Support The Artists Index with Your Donation or Sponsorship!

For several years, The Artists Index has worked on documenting the visual, performing, literary, and culinary artists of the South Coast. It started as an idea and became a journey. It all began towards the end of the 1980s with a newspaper clipping: Mary Jean Blasdale, the curator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum until her retirement in 2006, had placed an ad in the New Bedford Standard-Times seeking assistance in finding information on nearly 150 individuals with the plea: “A name, a birthday, an exhibition date… Mary Jean Blasdale would like to know more about the works of the following New Bedford artists. She can be contacted at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford.”

I saw that ad, was intrigued by it, clipped it out, and put it in a file folder where it stayed until around 2009 when I mentioned it to Jeff Wotton the Cofounder/Account Manager of the Spectrum Marketing Group at Howland Place in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Together, we launched the first phase of The Artists Index which was then known as The Artists Profiles.

At one point Jeff said that we were going to be doing podcasts for The Artists Profiles! He had volunteered me to do the podcasts. We also launched a new website and changed the name of our creative community documentation project to The Artists Index. By the way, Mary Jean Blasdale went on to publish the Artists of New Bedford: A Biographical Dictionary (1990).

What had started as a combination hobby project and labor of love, turned into a mission to create a community digital archive of the South Coast’s visual, performing, literary, and culinary artists. At some point, we also attracted the attention of fellow artist, Dan Cooney, Swain School of Design alum. He is also the co-owner of Heavenly Spirits, our first sponsor.

As a new, nonprofit collaborative community digital archive arts organization, we have continued to collect, document, and archive as many contemporary artists and those from as many generations from the past while making our archives available to everyone in and beyond the creative community. And now, more than ever, this successful and growing project needs the support and assistance of individuals, other organizations, institutions, and businesses.

The grant funding, sponsorship, and donations we receive are used to hire artists from our creative community to continue as subcontract podcasters, media specialists editors, researchers, and other documentarians to research, gather, produce, and document the history and the stories of the contemporary and historical artists of our creative community. To date, Mass Cultural Council grants have allowed us to subcontract seven key positions from podcat hosts to podcast transcribing.

The Artists Index is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We accept tax-deductible donations and offer a broad range of sponsorship programs. In the meantime, please continue listening in and helping to support our mission of honoring the artists of the South Coast’s creative community.

To support The Artists Index as an individual, please click here to donate. Is your business interested in sponsoring our community digital archive and the documentation of the South Coast’s visual, performing, literary, and culinary artists?  Click here

Have questions? Please contact us… 

Our gracious sponsors invite you to celebrate the art of life and creative communities everywhere.

In-Focus Podcasts are funded in part with grants from the New Bedford Cultural Council and the Fairhaven Cultural Council, local agencies supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

The Artists Index collaborates with the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Common Ground Project to collect and share the interwoven stories of the South Coast's creative community.

 

The Artists Index collaborates with The New Bedford Light and the New Bedford Light Fine Arts Club to promote and encourage the sale of emerging and established South Coasts artists' work.