How to Afford Living in NYC as an Artist

A photo of a man playing guitar. HIs guitar case is open and there are coins in it.

Image: Shutterstock

A gifted painter from the Midwest moves to NYC in order to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming the next Picasso. The reality? He ends up paying $1,400 a month to live in a cockroach-infested apartment in Hunts Point. It’s the stereotypical “life of a starving artist.” But thanks to organizations like ArtHome, this no longer has to be the case.

ArtHome partners with local institutions and community investors to provide free financial advice to artists residing in NYC. The organization offers several “creative money” workshops, which touch on everything from credit basics, to home ownership, to budgeting daily expenses. The workshops range anywhere from 1.5 hours to a full-blown 8-hour financial boot camp. During these workshops, participants will be given a financial planning sheet where they can evaluate their current fiscal status, set future goals, and create a plan of action.

In addition to workshops, ArtHome also partners with other organizations to host several free events throughout the year. Events include networking, seminars, and classes taught by real working artists.

ArtHome’s latest project, ArtBuilt Mobile Studios, offers an affordable way for artists to work and travel. The tiny, portable work spaces are up to 200 square feet. They are designed for maximum energy efficiency and can run off of grid power, solar power, or biodiesel. The tow-able trailers are street legal and can be used for a variety of purposes, including a living space.

ArtHome is sponsored by the Fund for the City of New York. The Fund for the City of New York was started in 1968 by the Ford Foundation. Funds are awarded to individuals, organizations, and businesses that are dedicated to improving the standard of living for New York residents. ArtHome has been a recipient of the Fund for the City of New York since 2006.


About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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