Did you know – The Greater Augusta Arts Council’s Technology Lending Library is open? It features some amazing creative tech tools for artist members and organizations to borrow, including Podcast equipment, audio and visual recording equipment, a DSLR camera, studio lighting, a projector, its newest addition, roll-out Marley Flooring for performing dance groups, and more. This growing library, which began in 2015, received funding from a generous grant from the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area.
Individual or organization Arts Council members are able to borrow from the Lending Library for up to 5 consecutives business days. This is an excellent resource for artists or organizations who may not have the funding to purchase equipment outright, have nowhere to store such equipment, just need it for a one time use, or are just looking to experiment in a new medium.
Local artist, Fox Si-Long Chen, is a long-time borrower of the Technology Lending Library. Si-Long Chen, nicknamed Fox, was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. As a child, Si-Long had been traveling back and forth between the U.S. and Taiwan; it wasn’t until 2006 that she decided to stay in Augusta, GA to advance her education permanently. She matriculated at Augusta State University (Now Augusta University) to study Communications and Fine Arts. During her senior year, she was naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Since she graduated, she has been working in the digital marketing and communications field. When Si-Long is not in the office of her daytime job, she goes around the community to take photos as a freelance artist. In 2018, she returned to work at Augusta University and decided to pursue an MPA while there in 2019. She graduated in the fall of 2021, all while working a full-time job and taking photos as a side hobby.
At the onset of the Lending Library, in 2015, Si-Long heard through former Project Manager Sallie Shuford that the library would soon be made available. With the help of Christina Berkshire, the Arts Council’s former Administration Manager, she was able to borrow a backdrop kit and light kit. The First to do so, the pair was able to do dry run to test the equipment.
The kits helped Si-Long to complete her photobooth. As a rising artist, learning about photography in a commercialized setting, it helped her to learn what it would take to bring business into art. As a result, she was able to make an income as a freelance photographer.
“A lot of rising artists may not have the money or the resources to invest in skills or equipment they don’t know. It’s a huge risk that not many people will take. GAAC’s library helped a newbie like me to get a feel of the equipment and skills needed to make a business from photography. I was able to loan the kits from GAAC and become comfortable with them and became more financially stable before I purchased the kits on my own.” – Fox Si-Long Chen
Fox now sets up her photobooths at events such as the Star Wars Reads Day hosted at the Richmond County Public Library this past October 2022. You can learn more about her and her work on social media, such as her Facebook. She also has a website.