Substrate Arts Consulting helps artists, arts organizations, and creative entrepreneurs fund their projects, excite their audiences, and strengthen their communities.

Substrate Arts Consulting is inspired by the idea that the arts are like mushrooms.

The arts are like mushrooms. This might be a strange way to think about the arts for some, but to me, this frame of reference is encouraging and animating. It’s important to remember that arts aren’t any one thing—the diversity of art we have in the world is as broad and deep as the humans who make it. So, a metaphor that embraces that wildness is a more accurate way to think about the arts.

The multiplicity and biology of mycelia is an apt metaphor for the arts.

Mushrooms can be delicious, they can be beautiful, they can glow in the dark, they can be weird or ugly, and yes, they can be toxic. And sometimes, just like the arts, they can be psychoactive, changing our minds so that new perspectives are possible. 

Mycelium are the organisms that produce mushrooms, and they grow in an invisible thread-like network underground or in rotting tree trunks. Only when conditions are right can it grow a mushroom that can spread its spores, and, importantly, that people can see. If a performance or a finished piece of art are like a mushroom, then the mycelium network is the hidden infrastructure that supports it. Building that infrastructure is how I will help my clients.

A mycelium is not a plant. A mushroom is not a flower.

Since mycelia don’t do photosynthesis, all their energy comes from breaking down organic matter in the soil or whatever it is that they are growing in. So, if you’re trying to grow mushrooms—or arts projects—you pack all the nutrition the mushrooms need into your growing medium. You can think about these as artists, venues and rehearsal spaces, volunteers, board members, sponsors, audiences, marketing, equipment, and of course, funding.

The substrate is the medium in which the mycelia grows.

Let’s work together to build your substrate so you can keep making those shiitakes, porcinis, stinkhorns, inky caps, puffballs, lion’s manes…ok, I think you get the point.

My goal is to help my clients fund their projects, invigorate their audiences, and strengthen their communities. I’m looking forward to the possibility of working with you! You can set up an appointment to talk about your needs at here, and read my biography here.