Community Engagement 101

The Yes Men

Launching Succesful Community Engagement Campaigns has define the Career of Creative Capital Grantees the Yes Men

Powerful, disruptive ideas beg to be spread. Successful community engagement depends on setting clear objectives, finding your audience, and activating them. Stephanie Bleyer is a master of the community engagement campaign who runs the firm Six Foot Chipmunk. Stephanie helps artists across disciplines create strategic plans, raise funds, and reach and mobilize new audiences. On July 30, she will lead the webinar Producing & Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign. This webinar is essential for artists projects involving social justice, education, public art, or community building. It takes participants through the entire process of producing your campaign starting with letters of inquiry and grant applications all the way through to measuring impact. Artists can ask themselves these five questions as a foundation for your engagement strategy.

1) What are the social goals of my campaign?
Keep in mind that the social goals of your campaign will likely be different from the goals of your art work or overall practice. Think, “I want my audience to think about how many plastic bags they regularly take from grocery stores and ultimately reduce that amount,” instead of, “I want my project to receive awards and praise from environmental foundations and get written up in ArtForum.” Continue reading

Marketing as Self-Definition

Robert Karimi

¡Viva las Roots! at Intermedia Arts, Robert Karimi, 2011

If marketing leaves you feeling uneasy, reconsider how you approach it. For artists, marketing is an exercise in self-definition, not self-promotion. Your marketing strategy should echo your ideas and intentions. Creative Capital consultant Brian Tate identifies seven principles as a framework to implement and analyze his own strategic marketing plan. This post looks specifically at the elements of the story, the message, the audience and call to action. Brian will discuss using the seven principles in depth on Monday, July 27 in his popular Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing webinar.

Continue reading

5 Quick Tips: Negotiating for Artists

Don’t buy into the myth that getting to make your work is payment enough. Artists have the right to fair compensation for their time. Determine how much you realistically should be paid to successfully execute your idea and negotiate the terms that make it possible. On July 6, Creative Capital will launch Effective Negotiation for Artists, a brand new webinar to help you get to “yes.”

No one is a better advocate for you than yourself. If you don’t ask for what you deserve, no one is going to hand it to you. Creative Capital consultant and PDP leader, Andrew Simonet put together 5 quick tips to help you prepare the negotiation process for your next project.

Continue reading

A Page from Our Handbook: Marketing Tips and Strategies

Documentation of On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Genocide and Slavery, a performance by Dread Scott, 2014. Photographed by Mark Von Holden

Documentation of “On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Genocide and Slavery,” a performance by Dread Scott, 2014. Photographed by Mark Von Holden

These tips come straight from our Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook—a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendees, written by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. The book covers everything from writing to budgeting, websites to fundraising, elevator pitches to work samples. Similarly, each post will be packed with practical ideas to make your life run more smoothly, leaving you even more time for your creative practice. Learn more about our PDP workshops and webinars here.

Marketing is the process of communicating about you and your work and the methods you use as a means to foster interest from others. Remember that no one cares as much you do about your art. Communicating about your work is ultimately your responsibility and is crucial to building your career. You should develop a marketing strategy and commit to doing something to promote your work each day.

Continue reading

Social Media Tips: It’s About Quality, Not Quantity

Social Media--How to be Everywhere All the Time

Creatives have heard time and time again about the growing importance of promoting our work via social media. You might have thousands of friends and post on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and Instagram every day but you’re not quite getting the engagement you expected. What’s the deal? If you’re having trouble getting a return from your time spent on social media, reflect and reconsider how you engage with your networks on a regular basis. Our upcoming webinar Social Media: How to be Everywhere All the Time (Monday, September 14, 7:00pm EST) offers an in-depth view of best practices on social media for artists. Learn how to use social media to communicate about your work, expand your networks, and create a deeper connection with your audience. Here are some basic tips to get you started:

Contextualize
Figure out what is valuable for you and curate your daily feed. Facebook and Twitter both offer great sorting capabilities with the ability to prioritize groups, form lists, and ignore unwanted content. Use those lists to discern who gets to see your vacation photos and your clients or collectors that might not need to know you that well. Don’t be afraid to say no to friend requests and unfriend people with whom you have little affinity. If you’re concerned about offending someone you can always mute or unfollow their posts. Continue reading

A Room of One’s Own: Upcoming Residency Opportunities for Writers

Woman Writing

Image by Erin Kohlenberg

Do you ever wonder, “How am I possibly going to find the time to sit down and write my next book around my day job, taking care of my family, eating, sleeping…?” Uninterrupted time in a room of one’s own is precious and increasingly hard to come by for professional artists and writers. If you’re struggling to figure out how to carve out time for your work, you should consider applying for a residency or grant. These opportunities often prove to be defining moments in an artist’s career, allowing writers the peace of mind or financial support to focus on developing their projects.

On Monday, June 8, Graywolf Press Editorial Director Ethan Nosowsky will host his webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies for Writers, to help writers understand what selection committees and grantors look for in competitive applications.

“I’ve been editing books for almost twenty years, and I can’t count the number of writers I’ve worked with who simply would not have gotten published without a well-timed grant or a much-needed residency at an artist’s colony.”
-Ethan Nosowsky

Below is a list of upcoming deadlines for grants, residencies and fellowship programs for writers. Register for Ethan’s webinar on Monday, June 8 to learn more about locating opportunities and choosing the right program for you. Please post any other upcoming deadlines or resources that your peers should know about in the comments section! Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

17318477142_cfdeacdb81_z
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.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading