Start the new year off on an artistic high note by taking time to prioritize your creative practice. We’ve gathered here residency, grant and award opportunities created to give you the time, space and money you need to make more art in 2017.
Ravon Ruffin & Amanda Figueroa are consultants. Together, they’ve created the Brown Girls Museum Blog (or BGMB) which cultivates inclusionary practices for museums through social media, speaking engagements, collaborative partnerships, community advocacy, and content services. What started as a conversation, transformed into a platform that aims to solve the one of the most pressing challenges with the art world.
Hillary: Although you are both young, it seems as though it didn’t take long to transform a problem into an opportunity. Can you describe the development of BGMB and your current roles in its operations?
Ravon: The blog came about through individual interests, and then we discovered that we work well together. We both are determined and unrelenting in our desires for social equity in the humanities field, and bringing our individual skills together has been one of our biggest strengths. From the beginning, we’ve always had a clear vision of what we wanted the blog to look like, and we sort of fell into our roles from there. I’ve always been more of the content management and strategy type, whereas Amanda is apt in the technical and design aspect. Our academic endeavors are quite literally where we intersect.
Amanda: I think both of us have always been “problem solvers” — when we noticed what was going wrong with inclusion in museums, we immediately wanted to help fix it. At first, the best way to do that was just by speaking out, raising our voices and making ourselves be heard online, but as the blog continues, we’ve been given more and more opportunities to work on this issue in different ways. It has been exciting to be able to take our mission, and our work “offline” in live events like talks and workshops, but a digital presence will always be important to us. Right now, we tend to split our roles pretty evenly; Ravon handles a lot of our social media while I do a lot of the back-end design stuff, and we both collaborate on new projects as they come in.
On October 4th, Sharon Louden begins her four-part webinar series helping artists figure out how to navigate the greater art ecosystem of galleries, curators, collectors — basically anyone that can help your professional career! In How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World, Sharon Louden will call upon the personal experiences and advice of many different experts in the art world. For more information or to register, click here!
Read the testimonies from artists who participated in Sharon’s last webinar:
“Sharon is not only full of strategies and insights for artists — she is also full of passion and energy. We feel her sincere caring. Her webinars (I have taken two) are organized, down-to-earth, and FUN! Sharon is well-known for her books, teaching, interviews, and dedication to clearing the paths for artists, as well as enlightening us about the lives of a variety of artists creating their way in the world.” –Leslie Fry
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, August 8th at 7pm EST, Stephanie presents her “Kickstarter School” webinar, an invaluable primer on how to bring a Kickstarter project to life. She will take a look at some successful projects from across the site and explore what kind of rewards work best, how to spread the word about your project, and other helpful tips.
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.
Are you interested in winning public art commissions but find yourself overwhelmed by the application process? Many public art projects begin with an RFQ, or request for qualifications. Answering an RFQ with a compelling letter of interest is crucial to advancing past the initial stages of selection. Each letter you submit should be specific to each project. The following frame for writing an effective letter of interest is drawn from Lynn Basa’s Creative Capital webinar, Demystifying Public Art. Register for the next session, happening December 17, 7:00-8:30pm EST.
Specifically address your interest in the project. Refer to the RFQ, but be careful not to just reword what it says. Your letter of interest should show that you understand what the agency or selection committee is looking for, that you feel an affinity for it and that you took the time to do some research. Continue reading
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 Thursday June 9th, 2016, 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
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, October 19 in his popular Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing webinar.
“No one is coming to save you. You are enough,” Ela Troyano assured her audience of eager and talented Latino artists with one of the favorite maxims of longtime Creative Capital consultant Colleen Keegan. “I googled every one of you. The amount of talent in the room is incredible.”
Ela led Taller Profesional de Desarollo Para Artistas alongside her friend and fellow Creative Capital grantee Chemi Rosado-Seijo at Creative Capital on Monday June 22. The workshop includes lectures on Strategic Planning and creating a Business Plan; breakout groups on Verbal Communications and Art Business Management; and an interactive exercise on Targeted Marketing—all geared to Spanish-speaking artists who often work in different countries and cultures.
I am thrilled to share Creative Capital’s 15th Anniversary Publication, celebrating our long-term dedication to supporting artists in all disciplines across the country. We asked 15 people from our community—grantees, board members, supporters, consultants and other friends—to share their Creative Capital stories with us. I hope you will enjoy hearing what Creative Capital has meant to them.
Click the icon in the bottom right corner of the black bar to view full-screen, or download the publication here.
In creating this publication, it became clear very quickly just how many people have contributed to Creative Capital’s success over the years. Our community is really what makes Creative Capital unique and we couldn’t do it without you! We will be expanding on this publication with a series of other CC stories in the coming months. Click here to share your story, and you could be featured on our blog!
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, December 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:
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