Speaking with Juana Baez, the founder of The Works of Art, was invigorating for a fellow art-appreciator. Juana is a true visionary- seeing the talent and growth currently taking place in Boston. Using her legal background, she has embarked on a personal mission to help artists further their careers. There is so much compassion in her heart that shines through as she enthusiastically talks about art, music, and community.
BH: What’s your own personal relationship to Boston?
Juana: I was born in the Dominican Republic, but I moved to Boston at a very young age, I want to say eleven or so. I have received all my schooling here from middle school to graduate school. After graduating undergrad I worked for a few years and then returned to school to obtain my Juris Doctorate degree, so Boston is definitely my second home.
BH: How did you find yourself in the art and music world?
Juana: I’ve always appreciated the arts with music being at the forefront of this love. As a native Spanish speaker, I used music to learn words. I would sit in my room for hours and listen to all genres of music, albeit I did not understand what was being said. In some cases, I would write down the words and look them up in a dictionary that was gifted to me by one of my middle school teachers. I believe that it was this part of my life that nurtured my love for all things music. As a result of this interest, I decided to launch The Works of Art (“The Works” for short), earlier this year.
BH: What is your impression of the Boston arts community so far?
Juana: I think I’m coming in at a time when there’s a lot of change happening. There are a lot of discussions around growth, support, and collaboration, so I believe this is a great time for the artists and the art administrator community in Boston.
BH: What is something about arts in Boston that you want to change?
Juana: I think in the near future, for me at least, it’s education. I believe artists should be equipped with knowledge on the business side of the arts. Sometimes artists are so immersed in their work, and whether you’re in a studio recording, painting, or putting together amazing pieces, there’s a whole aspect of the arts that should be in your purview at all time. I want to help artists with that.
BH: It seems like you are a real advocate for artists and musicians!
Juana: Yes, and my hope to develop The Works of Art to help artists that see use in these services as their careers grow.
BH: Tell me about some of the artists you’ve worked with so far! How was it?
Juana: I just recently worked with a band called Birdland Avenue. The band released their first album in November. The experience was really rewarding because I myself learned a lot in the process. I’ve also done some contract review work for some Boston based artists.
BH: Do you have a message for Boston artists?
Juana: My message to all artists is- WE VALUE YOUR ART! Protecting your business by ensuring that your matters are taken care of should be a part of your process, and I hope that they consider The Works of Art whenever the time is right.
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