Today we’d like to introduce you to Casey Droege.
Casey, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As a social practice artist, I had spent a number of years creating projects that focused on building connections between artists and the public. In most small to mid-sized cities, art is appreciated but not a part of daily life for many people, and these programs filled a gap in the cultural fabric and eventually grew to the point that they became a full-time business.
I officially opened Casey Droege Cultural Productions at the start of 2017 with my Assistant Director Johanna Lasner. It’s an art business that is growing our local arts economy in Pittsburgh while making connections to national and international arts communities. We operate several community-oriented programs, we run a concept store/gallery, and we offer arts consulting for larger development projects around the country.
Our model of an art business is certainly experimental but looks promising as an option for cities around our country that exist outside of the larger arts market.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has certainly been a struggle at times. As you can imagine, investors are not knocking down the doors to help launch this socially driven arts organization. We have been extremely lucky to find support in the foundation community. We are depending on grant support for this first three years to get things off the ground until our revenue streams build up enough to make this a truly sustainable arts venture.
A huge part of our work is also educating the public on why art and design should play a role in their daily lives. Most people are more comfortable spending money on a wonderful meal but hesitant about purchasing an art piece that could exist in their lives for a significantly longer period of time. We encourage our audiences to find affordable pieces of art and design that can make their lives better while also supporting a living artist. Why buy your mugs at Pottery Barn when there are dozens of ceramic artists nearby?
We’d love to hear more about your business.
CDCP is an artist-run and woman-owned business. We’ve used our home base of Pittsburgh as a place to experiment with ideas and programs before we take them out to other cities around the country. We love connecting the public to artists in their own communities, particularly emerging artists. And we are extremely proud of the fact that we get artists paid. Since our official inception in January 2017, we’ve managed to pay over $160,000 to local artists in our own community and created opportunities for clients to do the same in their cities.
We offer unique art consulting services for larger development projects. We can certainly help select artworks that complement the project’s end vision, but we truly love helping developers incorporate artists into other aspects of the project by making a feature installation, coming up with programming to complement the marketing strategy, or helping to connect the project to the local community. We like to think of ourselves as expert facilitators and arts interpreters. Because we make art, we speak art, and we function as business people- we can bridge the gap in a way that many can’t.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Atlanta has a lively arts culture that’s definitely growing. We’re excited to see how we can work with others there to bring more support to the local artists.
- Address: 5300 Butler St. Pittsburgh, PA 15201
- Website: www.caseydroege.com
- Phone: 412-552-3600
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @caseydroegeculturalproductions
- Facebook: @caseydroegeculturalproductions
Johanna Lasner, Zach Szabo