Yesterday I got home, started some dinner and turned on the TV for some background noise. As I stirred and chopped, I heard the unnecessarily severe headline cue for the CBS evening news. Scott Pelley began listing the top stories in order from least scary and depressing to most scary and depressing. Somewhere in the middle was the correlation among the impasse of Congress, consumer confidence, Black Friday and our pending doom in 2012.
What’s wrong with this picture? Why is traditional media talking about how we will all fly into a tailspin if black Friday doesn’t go well when all of social media is abuzz with “shop local,” “buy local,” “buy handmade,” “don’t buy on credit,” etc., campaigns. Many things have changed in the new economic climate, and one of those things is this: even if we (as a nation) need to use Black Friday to make economic predictions for 2012, we (as a people) no longer need the culture of it to influence our values, day-to-day practices and happiness.
By all means, go buy things and boost the economy. Just treat your money like you worked hard for it and you want it to remain as close to you as possible. If it stays near home it’s probably that much easier for it to return, right? The arts council will even make it easy for you.
Kentucky Arts Council Facebook Game
I know some people will go through Black Friday withdrawal. I too am addicted to the thrill of the hunt and a good bargain. Luckily, there are other ways to get your fix of shopping fun and games. From Monday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Nov. 27, post a picture of you shopping for, purchasing or wrapping a gift made by a Kentucky artist (painter, writer, potter, musician, etc.) to the Kentucky Arts Council Facebook page. “Share” the photo with your friends, and encourage them to “like” it. The two pictures that receive the most likes by Nov. 30 will win their own gift made by a Kentucky artist. Now that’s a Black Friday deal!
Open Studies and Group Shows
Open studios and Group Shows are more than just a shop. Many provide light refreshments and all of them offer the chance to talk to the artist about his or her work. Trips to studios and shows can even be a great opportunity to entertain out-of-town guests. Check out Ed’s open studio experiences.
Kentucky Arts Council Twitter Feed
Follow the Kentucky Arts Council’s Twitter feed @KYArtsCouncil or the hash tag #giveagivefromky. Artists and small business owners are tweeting sales, open studios, new products and commission opportunities.
Shop Small Business Saturday
This American Express campaign encourages consumers to spend Saturday shopping at businesses owned and operated in their own communities, supporting local enterprise. The arts council has compiled a list of small businesses recommended by the Kentucky Crafted artists who have products in their stores. It is organized by city, so look for a location near you.
Holiday Gift Guide
Kentucky Monthly’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide is an annual supplement to their publication. If you can get the print version, I highly recommend it. As a matter of fact, a subscription to Kentucky Monthly might be a great gift idea! In the meantime, we can share our portion online.
To top off these tips, I would like to add a message from Charla Reed, our partnerships and initiatives director. She writes:
“Thanksgiving is a time of reflection. We think about how we’ve been blessed with our families, our lives, our relationships, our homes and all the other wonderful gifts we receive. We also reflect on who we are, our goals, who we aspire to be and how we can give back. I grew up in Berea, a very college oriented community. I remember having international students celebrating Thanksgiving at my house. We were sort of their surrogate family.The Kentucky Arts Council is committed to our family of artists in the Commonwealth. We want to be that surrogate family and offer assistance to our artist communities in Kentucky. We are thankful to have them.”
I guarantee that if you call us, we will try to find someone in our “family” who makes, plays or writes something perfect for someone in your family. That type of connection doesn’t deserve the moniker “Black Friday.”
Sarah Schmitt, arts access director