It Takes a Team: Five Questions for Byron Au Yong

Byron Au Yong at Sundance Institute; photo by Fred Hayes

Byron Au Yong is a composer, Creative Capital awardee, and leader of our “Art Business Management” webinar for the Professional Development Program (PDP). His interdisciplinary projects, scored for voices with Asian, European and handmade instruments, have been performed in concert halls, festivals, theaters, museums, and site-specific locations. We had a few questions for Byron about his creative work and how he manages it. For more, be sure to check out Byron’s webinar on Thursday, May 21.

Hannah Fenlon: Your work has been performed in all kinds of places. What are some of your favorites? Any non-traditional spaces that really stand out in your memory?

Byron Au Yong: My favorite places and presenters provide multiple access points to develop and think about a project. American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, and Sundance Institute Theatre residencies around North America were crucial in supporting my Creative Capital project, STUCK ELEVATOR, and other shows.

In my hometown, favorite venues include On the Boards, Seattle Art Museum and Seattle Theatre Group’s Moore Theater. Memorable non-traditional spaces include 64 waterways for KIDNAPPING WATER: BOTTLED OPERAS thanks to guidance from 4Culture’s Site-Specific Performance Network and Jack Straw New Media Gallery. I am blessed to continue working outdoors along the water with performances of TURBINE, June 27th & 28th, 2015, commissioned by Leah Stein Dance Company and Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia for the 200th anniversary of the Fairmount Water Works.

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Strategic Marketing for Artists, Part Three: Choosing a Path and Taking Action

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This post is part of Brian Tate’s series, The Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing: Tools for Artists to Advance Their Careers and Communities. Read Part One: Marketing Is Storytelling, and Part Two: The Story Chooses Sides.

On Monday, May 11, Brian Tate leads his Professional Development Program Webinar, “The Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing,” which examines these elements, and how we use them to advance our communities and careers.

Like most journeys, marketing strategy can be broken into a series of steps. They begin with choosing a path.

Make a Self-Inventory: The first step is to make a self-inventory of what’s important to you, why you’ve chosen a certain path to pursue it, and just how far you’re willing to go. The results of that examination will form the arc of your Story, and it can help you connect with like-minded others. The next step is to define the qualities or intentions that link your work to a tradition, yet also set it apart. Continue reading

Page from our Handbook: Seeking Funding from Individuals

ASI 2012 Participants writing goals- Goal Settings exercize2c_CROPPED
Individuals donate the vast majority of funds to nonprofit organizations in America, whether it’s regular folks writing a personal check, making a monthly donation via a website, offering free services or supplies, or buying a ticket to a benefit party. Successful fundraisers devote significant time to soliciting such support; they conduct campaigns, produce special events and engage the community.

Whether you’re an individual artist going cc_icons_color-money-smallit alone or you work with a theater company or other artist collective, fundraising from individuals is increasingly important. We know it can be difficult to get started; we want to help you ask yourself the right questions so you can approach donors from the strongest position and feel secure in what you’re offering to contributors. If you’re raising funds for a socially or community engaged project, we encourage you to dig deeper with Stephanie Bleyer’s May 7th webinar, “Producing and Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign.” Read more about Stephanie here.

Getting Ready: Key Questions
As you begin thinking about your campaign, you’ll want to begin researching potential donors and strategies; deciding what donors will get when they give; and preparing to do follow-up, give thanks and keep track of donations long-term. You’ll also want to ask yourself the following questions before you ever ask anyone for anything. You don’t have to answer each one, but read through them all. They are interrelated, and together they should help you develop a strategy that plays to your strengths as a person and as an artist.
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From Funders to Family: Five Questions for Stephanie Pereira

Stephanie Pereira

Stephanie leads a workshop on how to use Kickstarter.

Stephanie Pereira is Kickstarter’s Director of Community Education. Trained as an artist, Stephanie spent the first ten years of her career in the nonprofit arts world, before joining Kickstarter in 2011 as the Director of the Art Program. In her current role, Stephanie develops tools and resources for the creative community at-large to be able to realize their creative ideas. 

On Monday, April 27, Stephanie will join Creative Capital in our NYC office for a special live event: “Wine & Webinar: Kickstarter School.” Watch the Kickstarter School webinar on the big screen while enjoying wine, popcorn and an in-person Q&A with Stephanie after the webinar ends. Artists outside of the NYC area can register to watch Kickstarter School, a primer on how to bring Kickstarter Projects to life, from anywhere in the world.

We had a chance to ask Stephanie a few questions about her experience as an artist, curator and funder, as well as get her tips on building a strong creative community.

Hannah Fenlon: Tell me about your transition from art school to Kickstarter. How did your artistic training impact what you’re currently doing?

Stephanie Pereira: While I was in art school I realized two things. First, while I love the creative process and making art, I am not an artist. The other thing that I learned was that I loved organizing events and exhibitions with my friends. I was naturally good at it, and it gave me great satisfaction to bring more creative ideas to the world. By the time I graduated, my artistic practice had even drifted into event production, with installation work that was designed to interrogate the traditional gallery-going experience and transform space through engagement. It’s been well over a decade since I attended art school but the education I got there has stuck with me. The lens through which I look at the world is endlessly creative, project oriented, iterative and (I hope) generous. Because my school had a strong emphasis on critical theory, I am also not content to make work in my professional life that is lazy or represents the status quo.
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On Public Art & Going “Feral” : Five Questions for Lynn Basa

Lynn Basa is a full-time artist living in Chicago. Her practice is focused on painting and public art. Formerly an instructor in the Sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is currently attending graduate school at SAIC in its new Low-Residency MFA program. Lynn is also the author of of The Artist’s Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions (2008). 

On April 20, Lynn leads her first Creative Capital Professional Development Program webinar, Demystifying Public Art, which will cover all aspects of researching and applying for public art commissions for visual artists. We had the chance to talk with Lynn about her current work, misconceptions surrounding public art, and her thoughts on NYC’s recently drafted bill that would allow New Yorkers to have a greater say in the city’s public art selection.

Hannah Fenlon: Tell me what you’re working on.

Lynn Basa: I just wrapped up some large public art commissions for Salt Lake City and Portland, OR and have moved on to suspended sculptures and mosaic for an 11-story atrium in a skyscraper in Chicago. I also just won a commission for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to do a terrazzo floor in a new science building. I’ve got a bunch of painting commissions lined up for the rest of the year, too. In grad school right now I’m working on some sculptural paintings that feel like a breakthrough for me. I’m quite distracted by them. Continue reading

Not “Just” Artists: Five Questions for Susan K. Schear

Susan Koblin Schear is an arts consultant and founder of ARTISIN, LLC, which offers comprehensive, process-oriented and holistically-based planning and business development, management and implementation services to the arts and cultural sector. After years in the corporate sector, Susan has the unique ability to “translate” business / entrepreneurial skills and practices for artists in order for them to understand and feel comfortable with business ownership and responsibilities.

Susan’s upcoming Creative Capital webinar, Values-Based Goal Setting, explores how your values and guiding principles impact your art practice, and provides a framework for establishing attainable goals that reflect these principles. We checked in with Susan to learn a little more about her corporate experience, her artistic influences, and more.

Hannah Fenlon: I don’t know about you, but we’re really looking forward to the spring season. What are some of your favorite warm weather arts and culture adventures in NYC (or elsewhere)? Continue reading

Creating an “Artists Raising Kids” Community

Andrew Simonet with his sons Nicolo & Jesse.

Last fall, we hosted a new Creative Capital webinar titled “Artists Raising Kids,” led by choreographer and dad Andrew Simonet. The number of passionate responses we received clued us in to a real need for conversation on the subject of artists-as-parents. Artists in the Creative Capital community (and beyond) are eager to share what they know and to learn from one another. One artist who participated in the webinar told us: “[I learned] that I’m not alone! It’s great to find out there are other people out there with similar concerns, and coming together and talking and exchanging resources, building community, is great.”

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A Page From Our Handbook: What Goes Into a Project or Annual Budget?

Artists at Work

Creating a budget for your next project (or your next year) can be tricky, especially when you plan on providing that information to a funder, in the hopes of securing a grant. How much is too much? How do you plan for the unexpected? And just where do you fit into the picture? Below is a helpful guide for budgeting, that you can use as a template. Are you a writer who wants to learn more about how budgeting plays into requests for funding? Register for editor Ethan Nosowsky’s upcoming webinar, “Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers”. And check out other helpful online learning opportunities (including Real Life Budgeting Webinar) on our calendar!

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Applying to Creative Capital? What you need to know

A still from 2013 Performing Arts Awardee Kyle Abraham's "Pavement." Photo by Carrie Schneider.

A still from 2013 Performing Arts Awardee Kyle Abraham’s “Pavement.” Photo by Carrie Schneider.

Today, we begin accepting applications for Creative Capital’s Awards in Emerging Fields, Literature and Performing Arts, due Monday, March 2 at 4pm EST. We’d like to take a moment to tell you about ourselves and the award, and to answer some of our most frequently asked questions.

What distinguishes Creative Capital from more traditional funders?
Now in our second decade, Creative Capital continues to consider itself the premiere provider of risk capital in the arts—taking chances on projects that are singularly bold, innovative and genre-stretching. We want to support the latest thinking in the field: ideas of scope and ambition expressed through audacious combinations of form and content; varied projects that engage or even create new technologies; and works that take traditional approaches into new territories, teaching us something new about the world and ourselves. We often provide early support for projects that initially have challenges receiving funding from other sources. Continue reading

Lessons in Sustainability: Five Questions for Sharon Louden

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua

Sharon Louden teaches at the Chautauqua Institution.

This winter, artist Sharon Louden hosts her first four-part webinar series: How to Approach, Engage & Communicate with Galleries, Museums & the People You Want to Know. This series is now sold out, but stay tuned for information about more webinars with Sharon in the spring and fall! Interested in hearing about upcoming dates or joining the waitlist for this series? Email us!

Sharon is also the editor of the 2013 compilation, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists, which offers realistic insight into how artists juggle their creative lives with the everyday needs of making a living. 

We had the opportunity to ask Sharon five questions about how she manages to sustain her own practice, and what she’s learned along the way.  Continue reading