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On Art: Supporting the Artists to Support the Arts

The Consortium is an Oklahoma City-based non-profit organization that provides serious, talented artists with all the benefits of a traditional career path, so they can afford the time necessary to perfect their craft, and produce high-quality artwork for the public.

Our Business

The Consortium is founded on the systems of patronage and master craftsmanship that drove the artistic excellence of the high Renaissance. With an intensive focus on interdisciplinary study and collaborative work, Consortium artists both learn from and contribute to each other’s skills.

In service of their salaries, Consortium artists commit 40 hours per week to pursuit of their craft. Weekly progress reports in the form of publicly-accessible blogs not only provide accountability, they also provide a valuable educational service to the public – a glimpse into the day-to-day processes of professional artists.

While the bulk of our employees’ time is entirely self-directed, Consortium artists commit 20-40% of their time (1-2 days a week) to Consortium projects. That might mean an apprentice in the Writing school spending two days a week on proofreading and line-editing services, or a journeyman in the Photography school shooting illustrations for an album cover.

Because of the diversity of artistic talent available within the Consortium, we are excellently-positioned to take advantage of the changing marketplace for new media created by the proliferation of digital distribution. The Consortium will begin publishing professional-quality e-Books for the Kindle and iBookstore within 2010, and will grow to become a new media music label, video producer, and all-around art-house as we expand into new schools of art.

Our People

Founded by Aaron Pogue, a storyteller with extensive experience in creative and professional writing, the Consortium opened its doors in mid-2010 with a handful of dedicated artists working tirelessly as volunteers in support of the company’s mission. These founding members included writers, photographers, painters, graphic designers, and top-notch programmers.

The Consortium also has the support of a phenomenal board of directors, including an esteemed university professor, a successful entrepreneur, and an MBA working in corporate governance. With resources like these, the Consortium is prepared to face the real-world challenges of building and growing a project on this grand scale.

Our Funding

To acquire the services of the very best artists, the Consortium is committed to offering salaries competitive with “real jobs” – the bane of the artistic community. In order to insulate these salaries from the fickle financial straits common to many non-profits, and to protect Consortium artwork from the soulless commercialism endemic to contemporary American craft, the Consortium is funded through an endowment. 100% of the endowment’s annual yield goes to provide salaries, job benefits, and resources for Consortium artists.

Because of our funding system, the salaries and positions available to our artists are stable and reliable, and any artwork they produce is already fully funded at the time of publication – there’s no extra pressure for a given work to “earn out.” In fact, because of this, the Consortium releases every original work produced by our artists into the public domain, irrevocably and without restriction.

We rely for our funding primarily on a combination of charitable contributions to the endowment and arts grants that fund individual creative projects. The Consortium also anticipates modest income from digital sales of Consortium publications. (All proceeds from the sale of any Consortium public work return directly to the endowment.)

To whatever extent necessary, the Consortium may seek additional revenue by providing master-quality freelance services appropriate to the skills and crafts of our artists, ranging from sales of stock photography and freelance editing to book shepherding and professional web design. The dedication and training of our artists will allow us to provide superior services in less time.

Our Goals

We’re working aggressively to establish strong foundations and begin getting the message out. Our immediate goals are to acquire 501(c)(3) exemption status with the IRS, and to fund the publication of two or three novels before the end of 2010. Beyond that, we’re anxious to begin hiring artists full-time, and expanding our available schools of focus.

If you’d like to learn more about the Consortium, the artists donating their time and skills to make it a reality, or the products and services we currently offer, please visit our website at

3 Responses to “On Art: Supporting the Artists to Support the Arts”

  1. Bryce says:

    This sounds great Aaron! You have a thoughtfully crafted design, and I can’t imagine all of the work it has taken to get you to this point. I wish you success and will be following along to watch it happen.

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      Thanks, Bryce! It’s been a crazy three months or so.

      I’m incredibly excited about it, though. It’s been amazing how things have fallen into place, at every step of the way. I’m working with some incredible people, and having a blast.

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