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, March 21st 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.
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Kickstarter School: Learning to Connect

Kickstarter: "Bring Creative Projects to Life"On Monday, March 21st at 7pm EST, Kickstarter Director of Community Education Stephanie Pereira presents her “Kickstarter School” webinar, an invaluable primer on how to bring a Kickstarter project to life. Stephanie 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. Below, Stephanie shares a few of her notes on what makes a strong Kickstarter project, 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

Strengthen Your Career with Our Brand New NYC Workshop Series

Partipants at Artists Summer Institute in a Breakout Group During a Workshop

Partipants at Artists Summer Institute in a Breakout Group During a Workshop

Creative Capital is excited to announce a brand new six-part workshop series covering essential topics to develop your art career sustainably.

Our experienced workshop leaders, most of whom are practicing artists themselves, share the tools, strategies and resources that have led them to long-term success. The series is structured so that each workshop builds upon the previous, and is open to artists of all disciplines who are ready to take their career to the next level. The classes will take place every other Monday evening from February 8 to April 18 in Creative Capital’s NYC office space.

  1. February 8: Strategic Planning, with Colleen Keegan
    Learn the key tools of strategic planning and how to create a business plan to increase satisfaction in your life and career.
  2. February 22: Funding Your Work, with Aaron Landsman
    Learn how to calculate what your time is really worth, plus guidance on grant and proposal writing, fundraising from individuals, and varying your revenue streams.
  3. March 7: Financial Literacy, with Amy Smith
    Takeaways include tips and tools for tracking deductible expenses, getting out of debt so you can start saving, segregating your personal and artistic finances, budgeting for your life and your artistic projects. You will also learn how to tell “the story” of your project in a compelling way to funders.
  4. March 21: Verbal Communications, with Ela Troyano
    Improve your interpersonal communications, negotiations and public speaking skills so that you can more comfortably and successfully pitch your work and ask for financial support from presenting venues and funders.
  5. April 4: Promoting Your Work, with Jackie Battenfield
    Learn how to build a promotional campaign that expresses the quality and character of your work, as well as essential skills to jump start your promotional efforts.
  6. April 18: Web Best Practices and Review, with Matthew Deleget
    Learn how online resources can be used to expand your audience size and stay connected to your community. This workshop includes “best practices” for optimizing your website, streamlining email communications, and increasing social media presence.

In addition to the six workshops, participants will receive:
Our Strategic Planning workbook, our Artists’ Tools Handbook, one free webinar to dive deeper into the specific topics and skills most important to you, and an optional follow-up session at Creative Capital allowing participants to check in with a workshop leader about their progress and challenges.
Cost: $250 for the entire series.

Register Now

Finding Time & Money in the New Year: Opportunities for Artists

Kooshk Artist Residency Award Participants 2015

2015 Resident Artists at Kooshk Arts Center Working

We all know that the beginning of a new year is a popular time for setting lofty goals and dreaming big. Resolutions are a great starting point, but making time to put your goals to paper and developing a plan will help you climb out of the impending resolution rut. Start with researching what financial and material resources you need for your next project, potential partners and residencies in locales that will complement your practice. Below you’ll find national and international artists residencies to get you started, as well as listings where you can find more more residencies, fellowships and funding opportunities. The Creative Capital blog is also a great knowledge base of resources from our staff, awardees and professional development leaders. Check out Tips and Tools for quick guides to writing letters of interest, preparing proposals, social media, promoting your work and more. Continue reading

Grants, Success and Strategy: 5 Questions for Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer

Frustrated by proposal guidelines? Overwhelmed with looming deadlines? Creative Capital is premiering the latest offering in our Professional Development Program just in time for application season. On September 10, Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer will share her fundraising expertise in the brand new webinar, How to Create A Project & Proposal that Gets-to-Yes. Hoong Yee, the longtime Executive Director of the Queen Council on the Arts, teaches proposal writing from a panelist’s point of view.

HoongYee Lee Krakauer leading a Grant Writing course at Queens Council on the Arts

Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer leading a Grant Writing course at Queens Council on the Arts

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Making Space for Your Practice: Upcoming Residency Opportunities

Uninterrupted time for art making is precious and too often elusive. A residency can reinvigorate an idling practice or provide essential time to finish a big project. The list below has something for artists of all disciplines with opportunities in international metropolises and remote villages.

An artist-in-residence at Fjúk Arts Centre making a sound recording in a local lake

An artist-in-residence at Fjúk Arts Centre in Iceland making a sound recording in a local lake

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A Page From Our Handbook: Positioning Yourself for Proposal Writing

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 all of our PDP workshops and webinars here. This September, Creative Capital is offering two webinars on applying for grants so we chose a page to get you started on writing proposals. To learn more, sign up for Get Grants – How To Create A Project & Proposal that Gets-To-Yes or Applying for Grants & Residencies, Strategies for Writers.

Trainers, One-channel video, Danielle Dean

Still from Trainers, Danielle Dean, 2014. One-channel video, 8:06 minutes.

Unfortunately, there are not enough traditional funding resources out there to support all the great work being created. For every grant awarded, there are at least one or two other projects a funder would like to support but can’t, and that are just as worthy. The same is true of every artist a gallery signs, every book that gets published and every play or album that gets professionally produced.

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Community Engagement 101

The Yes Men

Launching Successful 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 Thursday March 24th, 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

It’s All Downhill: Riding the Film-Finance Roller Coaster

The Yes Men

The Yes Men

On the cusp of the debut of their new film, The Yes Men (2000 Emerging Fields) have written a blog post for us detailing the various ways they have funded their feature-length projects over the past decade. From working with HBO to desperately touring Sundance to using crowd funding platforms, it hasn’t always been easy, they tell us.

We are currently preparing for a June 12 release of The Yes Men are Revolting, the third movie in a series that began fifteen years ago with a Creative Capital grant. As we gear up for the release, one of the most common questions we’re asked is how we support our work. Sadly, the answer today is more difficult and complex than ever.

In 2000, we were in the first round of awards from the fledgling Creative Capital. In hindsight, we really had no clue how lucky we were. We leveraged that grant to get a few more (NYFA Fellowships, a Herb Alpert Award, a couple of Guggenheim and Langlois grants). That covered the cost of launching a barrage of creative actions aimed at the World Trade Organization, which became the backbone of our first film, The Yes Men. The grants covered these actions, and the filmmaking costs were covered by Chris Smith, the Sundance prize-winning director who directed that movie, using his earnings from commercial work to finance it all. 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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