Viafarini, non profit organization
contemporary art founded in 1991,
is an exhibition space open for experimentation,
on visual arts,
and runs a residency program for artists and curators.
Viafarini was founded in the early Nineties with the aim to support young artists in their careers and to awaken the public's interest in contemporary art, combining exhibition and educational programs with documentation services about visual arts.
Viafarini’s mission focuses on three fundamental aspects:
- to facilitate the debut of of young Italian artists in the contemporary art world, as first step towards their professional growth and the consequent interest curators, art critics and museum professionals;
- to foster young artists’ mobility and to support them in raising funds, as conditions for the forwarding of their careers, also at international level;
- to widen the public interested in contemporary art through exhibitions, as well as educational and training activities.
In detail, Viafarini’s goals are:
- to create a place for information and services about contemporary visual arts, including
_ an exhibition space to offer young artists opportunities to exhibit their works in solo or group shows, as well as to produce projects by internationally known artists, giving the Milanese public the chance to get to know the main actors of the international art scene;
_ documentation services about visual arts, such as the Artists Archive, the specialized Library and the database ArtBox about study and job opportunities for young artists and professionals, in order to offer means of information and documentation for the public with easy access to the materials thanks to technology;
_ an artists’ residence;
- to offer a variety of orientation and consulting services, as well as educational and training activities;
- to promote and organize contemporary art events outside of its premises;
- to promote an art organization and exhibition space favoring exchange in the field of visual arts, also at international level;
- to start an organizational model new to Italy, which collects funds for art projects like a mediator between the sponsor and the beneficiary;
- to support the artistic message as a potential innovator in contemporary society.
Viafarini: Italian non profit organization for contemporary art
Definition of a non profit organization
Viafarini was founded in 1991 as a non profit organisation which, in conjunction with foundations, represents two of the possible corporate designations for Italian non profit organizations. The general mission of the association and the core values expressed by its social statute surely represents a foundamental aspect of non profit organizations, as established in the certificate of incorporation. Every income earning has to be invested in the financial remuneration of each productive factors (such as staff crew, exhibition’s production, events and services) in order to achieve the core aims of the corporate statute.
The financing of non profit organizations
A non profit organization raises funds by public and private contributions, applying evolved fundraising strategies. It may get involved in commercial activities, but only they are strictly linked with the persue of the general corporate mission.
In 2007 the general budget of Viafarini was branched in:
Viafarini’s staff consists of 6 people, plus 3 turnover interns, several collaborators and external consultants.
- Contributions from public institutions: 25%
- Contributions from other non profit institutions (such as organizations, foundations, public schools) 10%
- Contributions from foreign culture institutes: 17%
- Private contributions and membership fee: 8%
- Sponsorships: 30%
- Consultancies and provided services: 10%
If during the exhibition period or immediately after its regular conclusion there may be the conditions for a sale, a fee is usually provided to the non profit organization by the art gallery or the artist himself, varying (according to the agreement) from 10% up to 30% of the sell price, as a reward for the intermediation. In case of sale the fee for Non profit organozation will also cover artwork production expenses, which will be refund anycase, even long after the end of the exhibition. This earnings do not represent a regular income for a non profit organization, neither a relevant budget entry. Swiss non proft organizations normally gain on artwork sale between 3% and 7% of their total budget.
This agreement represents a kind of standard procedure for both european organizations (e.g. Attitude in Geneve, as well as Central European Kunsthallen) and american ones (e.g. White Columns or Artists Space in New York) which receive regular economic contribution from several art galleries. Artists Spacereceive annual contribution from 250$ up to 1500$ from several New York based galleries. Amongst them: Brooke Alexander; Massimo Audiello Gallery; Mary Boone Gallery; Leo Castelli Gallery; Barbara Gladstone Gallery; Marian Goodman Gallary; Pat Hearn Gallery; Kent Fine Art; Luhring, Augustine, and Hodes gallery; Metro Pictures; Rubin Spangle Gallery; Tony Shafrazi Gallery; Zabriskie Gallery.
Outside Italy a Non profit organization can receive economic contributions from several institutions, both public and private, such as indipendent cultural governmental institutions, art foundations and private art collectors. In Italy these kind of indipendent partner institutions are extremely rare, their economic contributions are solely based upon the accomplishment of a single project and do not cover the institutional activities. Considering all these facts it’s easy to understand why administration costs and staff salary are so hard to be managed by an italia Non profit organization.
Non profit art spaces can sell limited edition artworks specifically produced by the artist for the exhibition event, on payment of some specific kind of membership fee.