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

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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

Photo Gallery: Strategic Planning & Funding Your Work in Chicago

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Choreographer and workshop leader Andrew Simonet leads the group in a session on Funding Your Work.

“[The workshop] was some of the most beneficial hours I’ve spent on my art practice in a long time! I feel like this is the beginning of something expansive.”
—Ahavani Mullen, Workshop Participant,
3Arts Strategic Planning & Funding Your Work, 2015

On March 28th, 34 Chicago artists got direct access to Creative Capital Professional Development Program workshop leaders Colleen Keegan, Beverly McIver and Andrew Simonet during a one-day workshop, generously underwritten by Tequila Herradura and hosted by 3Arts. The workshop focused on two primary areas—Strategic Planning and Funding Your Work—as well as addressing a number of micro-topics within each area, including: creating a business plan, valuing your time, revenue streams, time management, grants & fundraising, and communications.

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Snapshot: Amy Smith Talks Money in Miami Financial Literacy Workshop

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“This financial Creative Capital workshop has helped clarify topics that were still slightly mystified. Through Amy’s clear communication and descriptions of these scary money topics, I can now say in confidence that I can hold a long, financially sound future as a professional artist.”
– Natasha Lopez DeVictoria, Participant, 2015 Financial Literacy Workshop in Miami

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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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Snapshot: Professional Development Workshops in Cary & Atlanta

Andrew Simonet

Andrew Simonet (center, in blue) leads a group of artists in PDP’s Cary, NC workshop.

The Creative Capital workshop has helped me to see the work I do in a different light: it is valuable, marketable and not something I should apologize for. My personal art practice should not come second to the work I do to make a living—permission to prioritize!
Cara Hagan, Participant, Core Skills Weekend Workshop, Cary, NC

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