Destroying apathy for a hopeful world
We destroy apathy in order to build hope. Apathy is the lack of concern, emotion, or care. Apathy is the poison that erodes our hope- the hope that you matter, that your work is effective, that your life has meaning, that you can change the world. Hope is what fuels us to act. We destroy apathy so that there is room for hope to grow.
Our mission is based on five operating principles. Essentially, the five boil down to the facts that we are in it together, we can affect our situation, we are the ones who will do it, and we will have fun doing it. If you wanna hear more about it, we get into it here:
1. We are all in it together
Everything in this world is connected to everything else. Destroying apathy is a huge endeavor. To destroy apathy- we all have to participate. So, thank goodness we are all in it together. As we grind for our mission- we know there are others working at their visions and all that work together will ripple out into our connected world.
ArtsRiot's 'destroy apathy' mission takes an ecological design perspective on social change. Singular acts have profound impact like the impact of keystone species on their ecosystem. For example, the re-introduction of the timber wolf changed Yellowstone's ecosystem to the point that it proliferated life and strengthened rivers. The wolves simply predate deer and kill coyote. This gives the opportunity for trees, plants, mice, and voles to regrow and to repopulate. The new growth that in turn supports more bears and more beavers. The new trees and the beaver's dams slow and strengthen rivers, while the beaver dams provide habitat to birds, fish, amphibians, and more. The simple act of wolves predating deer creates ripples upon ripples of life.
In an ecosystem, one thing affects hundreds of things. We destroy apathy and believe that this one act supports hundreds- thousands!- of other actions.
2. Yes, we can
One of the root causes of apathy is disempowerment. The feeling that you cannot act in this world. A simple way to combat this is to give people a chance to do whatever it is they want to do. The experience of turning your idea or passion into a reality is such an empowering and awesome thing. We‘ve created a space for people’s crazy ideas to come to fruition. We all have the power we need to think up some zany idea. All we need is the opportunity and place to do it. ArtsRiot is that place.
ArtsRiot is the mad lab that mad scientists, mad dreamers, sane dreamers, builders, community activists, artists, anyone can make it happen. We exist so that you, we, us, everyone can have a place to make dreams a reality. At least half of our diverse programming comes from community members partnering with us.
3. WE CAN'T GET (OR GIVE) SOMETHING FOR NOTHING
There are no free lunches. There is no action without reaction. That's great! There is always a relationship of exchange. No one is saving anyone else. When were are doing something constructive no one needs to be indebted to anyone else. We do good for others because that does good for us. This reinforces the idea that we are all in this together.
One obvious example of this exchange is the exchange of money. When we started ArtsRiot, we decided on a for-profit model. This puts us in a direct relationship of exchange with our community. If what we do is not valuable, then you would not support it. Thus, we and our mission are directly beholden to what our community . This reciprocity is one of the main influences on how we program our events.
4. We are the culture we are looking for
We put our values to the test where we live and work. From ArtsRiot volunteers to bartenders to managers everyone is engaged with and benefits from the values and principles of the company. An ArtsRiot bartender does not just sling beers, they’re empowered to question our direction and engage with our mission. Every member of ArtsRiot has a "passion project" where they’re supported to create a project above and beyond their traditional job responsibilities.
This culture also includes you. Anyone who walks through our doors is encouraged to engage with us- partner with us on an event, question our methods or even call us out. We have to be the culture we want to create.
5. We will have fun
At ArtsRiot, we have fun. We have fun because the fight for hope, health, and meaning is a positive thing. There is nothing wrong with having a good time while fighting the good fight- in fact, something feels really right with that. There is no reason to be a martyr. There is no reason to burn out. Most of all, we should not feel any guilt about having a good time.
In the words of the great writer and disrupter Edward Abbey "Do not burn yourselves out...Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it...Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies,...you will outlive the bastards."
Our restaurant serves high quality food in our fun and funky space. We pride ourselves in being the best restaurant in the neighborhood. Along with our events, we are a great neighborhood place to grab a drink, have an amazing dinner, and connect with each other.
We built in an event space in the old warehouse to be a home for music, theater, and art. It also serves as a great space for fundraisers, panels, and benefits. Most of all, its a laboratory- for ideas to become real.
Our events space laboratory is the home of our own wild experiments. We are proud to have the opportunity to bring to life some apathy destroying programs. Our Friday night Truck Stop food truck rally is a fan favorite from the lab. Our Super Supper crowdsourced grant night is another. More original programming is on the way!
About half our diverse events are collaborations from the community. These events are some of the most fun and most directly impactful events at ArtsRiot. We are constantly amazed at the passion and creativity in our community. If you have an event, please click here to get in touch!
We just got started. ArtsRiot's event space, restaurant, Truck Stop, and original events are just the beginning. Stay tuned to what happens next.