Libby Slader is the founder of Libby Slader Interior Design, Inc., an award winning design firm that specializes in hospitality and corporate office environments. She is also a Co-Founder of DESIGNxRI, a non-profit organization that promotes and galvanizes the design community in Rhode Island. Currently, she serves as the Chairman of the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts, a position she has held for 3 years.
We asked her a few questions about her life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.
RISCA: What do you love about the art community/scene in Rhode Island?
LS: The creative scene in Rhode Island, both within the arts and design communities, are so connected. There are opportunities to connect, collaborate and inspire each other. Whether that’s with individuals, organizations or institutions, the energy around those sectors keeps evolving and growing.
RISCA: Why do you make Rhode Island your home, and how did you end up here?
LS: I’m a native Rhode Islander. I left the state for a long time, after high school, but because of my family, I decided that “home” was the best place for me.
RISCA: What is one thing, personal or professional, that you or your organization want to accomplish in the next year?
LS: I feel that the arts, culture and design sectors have been working towards recognition as a formidable, important and relevant force in the economy of Rhode Island. I would love to see more resources and opportunities to grow these sectors from the state level. Increased funding from the legislature for grants to these organizations would be key to keeping this momentum moving forward.
RISCA: What are you the most excited about right now in your art practice/work as an arts and culture administrator?
LS: This fall, RISCA will be hosting the “Leadership Institute” for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) in Providence. This conference brings the executive directors, chairs, and council members of state and US territory arts agencies together and we will get to highlight all the amazing work that RISCA and the state have been doing. We’ll also be able to show off our fantastic state and arts ecosystem to the senior staff at the National Endowment for the Arts, including the chairman.
RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?
LS: As a small business owner and a creative person, I understand that the “business” part is not always taught in art and design schools. Having resources available to develop skills for artists and designers around business development, marketing and finances, etc. would be invaluable. It’s not sexy, but it’s necessary.
RISCA: What is the biggest challenge for you in your art life?
LS: Educating people on the value of art, design and culture in their everyday lives.