Kickstarter School: Learning to Connect

Kickstarter: "Bring Creative Projects to Life"On Monday, October 20th at 7pm EST, Kickstarter Art Program Director Stephanie Pereira presents her “Kickstarter School” webinar, an invaluable primer on how to bring a Kickstarter project to life. Deep dive into a case study of a successful project and learn how to structure a campaign, what kinds of rewards work best, how to spread the word, and other helpful tips. Below, Stephanie shares a few of her notes on what makes a strong Kickstarter campaign, as well as examples of some successfully funded projects.

Kickstarter can be a powerful tool for artists and arts organizations. If used well, your Kickstarter project is not only an opportunity to raise money for an important project, but also a way to introduce a project to a new audience. Continue reading

Reaching Constituencies: Brainstorming a Targeted Marketing Strategy

Artists in Conversation

Marketing yourself and your artistic work can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, marketing may be closer to your creative process than you think. 

The following exercise, developed by Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital President and Executive Director, is a step-by-step method for using brainstorming (and other people!) to help define and expand your audience. 

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Putting Your Best Face Forward: Smartphone Photos for Your Artist Website

Sue SchaffnerOn Monday, October 6th at 7pm EST, artist Sue Schaffner presents her “Web, Blog & Email Essentials” webinar, an overview of best practices for your website, blog, and email marketing and communications. Below, Sue offers some tips on how to create a professional-level bio photo with your smartphone, a big step in creating a great first impression online.

Being an artist doesn’t mean taking your personality out of your work. People love to know about your process. How did you do that? Why did you do that? What’s it like to be you? Without answers to some of those basic questions, it’s difficult to become connected to your work. Continue reading

Artists Raising Kids: Thoughts On How to Have it All

Andrew Simonet & Family

Choreographer Andrew Simonet, his wife Elizabeth, and their sons Nico Wolf & Jesse Tiger. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Simonet)

On September 29th, choreographer (and parent) Andrew Simonet will present “Artists Raising Kids,” a webinar dedicated to helping current and future parents navigate this exciting journey. 

This summer, Creative Capital conducted a survey entitled “Artists-As-Parents” to find out more about how working artists sustain their practice while also being busy parents (or prepare themselves to do so as parents-to-be). We received nearly 600 responses, giving us a good idea of the profile of artist-parents in our network, the challenges they face, and the strategies they use to maximize their time and productivity. Some responses that stood out:

“I was repeatedly told by curators and other artists as I raised my kids that ‘we don’t have time for people who aren’t serious’ and ‘well, obviously you chose a family over a career’… Artists like to think of themselves as politically sensitive and aware. In reality, when it comes to age, kids, or class they reveal significant prejudices.” (Anonymous)

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Social Media: Small Tips for Big Impact

Eve Mosher, HighWaterLine

Eve Mosher at work on her “HighWaterLine” project in New York City. To raise awareness about climate change, Mosher painted chalk lines showing where sea levels are predicted to rise to in neighborhoods throughout New York.

Many people have mixed feelings about social media, but the bottom line is that it can be a useful tool for artists. Like any other tool we use to share, show or promote our work, social media has the ability to connect more people to the work we are creating as well as to provide greater support for our work. I myself reluctantly came to social media about 7 or 8 years ago. I quickly learned that it was, in fact, a pretty interesting and amazing tool, and since then I’ve learned a few things from trial and error and I’ve learned from others as I share my experience through Professional Development workshops and webinars. Here are a few tips for thinking about social media:

Do’s:

Be yourself. Let your personality come through in your posts, images and comments. Our culture has changed and the lines between professional and personal are blurred. People want to know more about the person behind the creative work produced. Let your life seep in. Continue reading

Grants & Residencies for Writers: Giving Your Work Some Space

Participants in a Creative Capital workshop in IowaOn Thursday, September 18th at 7:00 pm EST, Ethan Nosowsky will present his Creative Capital webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers.

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. Being able to teach one less class, or having the time to clear your head and get down to work among other artists can provide the opportunity for a breakthrough that will allow you to finish a manuscript.

I’ve served as a judge on panels for many awards and residencies over the years, and I’ve often seen bad applications sink the chances of otherwise qualified writers. It’s important to realize that writing a strong application is a learned skill, and in my Creative Capital webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers, I try to explain what it is that prize committees and residency panels are looking for, and I offer tips that will help you put your best foot forward. Continue reading

Real-Life Budgeting: Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist

Andrew Simonet in Headlong Dance Theater's performance work, "Hotel Pool"
Andrew Simonet in Headlong Dance Theater’s performance work, “Hotel Pool”

On Monday, September 15th at 7:00pm EST, Andrew Simonet presents the Creative Capital webinar “Real-Life Budgeting.”

Stereotypes about artists not knowing how to manage money are common. Some are even rooted in a grain of truth. But most of the time it’s not that artists are actually bad with their money, it’s that artists practice a profession in which making art and making a living are not emphasized as parallel endeavors. But they should be, and Simonet’s webinar is an introductory course that unites these two important pursuits for practicing artists.

From 1993 until 2012, Simonet was the co-founder and choreographer of the Philadelphia’s Headlong Dance Theater company (2002 Performing Arts grantees), which is known for producing works that comment on contemporary culture. During that span of time as co-founder and choreographer, Simonet had the distinct honor of making a living as an artist who created experimental dance theater. Continue reading

Performing Artists: Learn More about MAP Fund’s 2015 Grant Round

2014 MAP Fund Grantee Faye Driscoll's project "Thank You For Coming"

2014 MAP Fund Grantee Faye Driscoll’s project “Thank You For Coming”

During the months of August, September and October, the staff of the MAP Fund (administered by Creative Capital) will be on the road, spreading the word about the program’s upcoming 2015 grant cycle. With the support of presenting partners across the country, Program Director Moira Brennan will lead sessions in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Miami, and Program Associate Lauren Slone will travel to Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Houston. Check here for specific dates and attendance information, and read on for a basic overview of the sessions, frequently asked questions and more.

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A Page From Our Handbook: Intro to Budgeting for Artists

A photo from our recent workshop at Flight School in Pittsburgh, PA

Every few weeks we post tips straight from the Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook, a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendeeswritten 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 is 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.

Budgets: A budget represents your work in numbers. It also indicates how you value aspects of your work in financial terms. The budget is a big part of fundraising. It helps you determine what your expenses really are and how you meet them, even if you are your primary supporter.

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PDP Spanish-Language Workshop in Philadelphia: A “taller” at Taller

Photo from a Taller Puertorriqueño event

Photo courtesy of Taller Puertorriqueño

Taller means workshop in Spanish, so it was apropos that Creative Capital hold a Taller profesional de desarollo para artistas at Taller Puertorriqueño (or Taller for short) in April in Philadelphia. Known as “The Cultural Heart of Latino Philadelphia,” Taller is a community-based multidisciplinary arts organization whose work bridges European, African, Caribbean and Latino societies and cultures. They offer programs for youth and adults, operate art galleries featuring Latino/a artists, run the region’s only bilingual bookstore, sponsor musical and theater events and organize a range of engaging cultural art education programs. Currently on exhibition (through July 24) is The Iconography of Meaning which explores contemporary cultural imagery used to convey ideas and thoughts about cultural identity, politics and the immigrant experience.  Continue reading