Tips and Tools: Advice from a First-Time Grant Winner

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“Assent” by Laine Nixon, Courtesy of Laine Nixon

Abstract painter and Professional Development Program alumna Laine Nixon recently applied for and won her first major arts grant: the John Ringling Towers Fund Individual Artist Award. When she talks about her recent win, Laine stresses the lessons she learned through Creative Capital’s “Grantwriting for Artists” webinar and was kind enough to share the top tips she walked away with that helped push her application over the top.

To experience Tracie Holder’s highly requested webinar for yourself, join Creative Capital on January 18th for “Grantwriting for Artists.

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Telling Our Stories on Our Terms — The Power of Strategic Marketing

The dangerous power of negative marketing, clockwise from top left: Detroit = miserable (photo by Rebecca Cook for Reuters); Occupy Wall Street = directionless (photo by Odell Payne); “A Fire In My Belly” video = sacrilegious; and prospective travelers = potential terrorists (photo by Craig Walker for AP).

The dangerous power of negative marketing, clockwise from top left: Detroit = miserable (photo by Rebecca Cook for Reuters); Occupy Wall Street = directionless (photo by Odell Payne); “A Fire In My Belly” video = sacrilegious; and prospective travelers = potential terrorists (photo by Craig Walker for AP).

As the saying goes, “everyone is trying to sell you something,” and in today’s hyper-connected digital world it couldn’t be more true. Whether it’s algorithmically personalized ads across social media, spam emails or product placement in popular music videos, we are constantly bombarded with branded marketing that is subtly attempting to influence the way we think about our selves, our desires and the people  in our lives.

Given all of this, why should artists want to participate?

On Thursday January 12, join Creative Capital artist leader and marketing expert Brian Tate for Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing, where he will detail how and why artists can and should understand marketing their work in a way that’s strategic and authentic.

According to Brian Tate, there are three main reasons why strategic marketing is essential for artists (now more than ever.)

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What Does Your Time Cost?: Real World Budgeting for Artists

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All artists should have a numerical value that represents the cost of their time that they use as a benchmark to assess how much they should be paid and as a clear signal for when they are selling themselves short. Remember – you are a skilled professional who deserves to be paid well for your work.

On Thursday December 15, choreographer Andrew Simonet will be leading “Real World Budgeting,” a comprehensive, artist-led webinar that focuses on the practical skills and knowledge artists need to change their relationship with their finances.

First on the agenda – knowing how much your time is worth.

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Internet for Artists: Best Practices for Effective Emails

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This is an excerpt from our Internet for Artists (IFA) Handbook. The IFA handbook is a collaborative online resource given to participants of Creative Capital’s Internet for Artists workshops. On January 23, from 7:00-8:30pm ET, join artist leader Sue Schaffner for our Website, Blog, & Email Essentials webinar where you will learn the full scope of best practices for managing your internet presence as an artist.

Some basic strategies for effective email communications

With the help of email, sending out communications about your projects couldn’t be any easier. Now commonplace and long accepted as a norm within the arts community, email is fast, easy, and cost-effective, but it’s not without its challenges. Getting your reader to open your message and read it is more difficult than you may imagine. Some strategies include:

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Who are you?: The Three Kinds of Negotiator

Are you passive, aggressive or assertive in your negotiations?

Our ability to negotiate touches every aspect of our lives, from setting boundaries in our personal relationships, to accepting a pay rate for a commission. The way we approach interpersonal exchanges can have a profound impact on our success and wellbeing.

In our upcoming webinar, Effective Negotiation for Artists, performer, writer and psychotherapist Kirby Tepper breaks down the flawed beliefs and thought patterns that can hinder negotiation and shares the cognitive approaches that hold the key to unlocking the negotiation skills in everybody. Register Here

Below is a break down of the styles and assumptions of three different types of negotiators. Which one sounds most like yourself? Continue reading

The Artist as Activist: Planning for Impact

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Sonic conceptual artist Abby Dobson. (Courtesy of abbydobsonsings.com)

“It felt like I had been sort of treading water AND going around in circles”

Abby Dobson came to the 2015 Artist Summer Institute with an impressive resume; she had already taken her brilliant songs and sound—a kinetic alchemy of R&B, soul, jazz and classic pop to legendary venues like The Kennedy Center, The Apollo Theatre and The Tonight Show. Still, like many artists at a certain stage in their careers, she worried about stalling.

“I wanted to jumpstart myself creatively and build an infrastructure around what I do. I wanted to give myself a better shot to continue doing music, continue creating and not doing what so many of us do – stop.”

She sat down at the Introduction to Strategic Planning workshop expecting to spend a few hours thinking about her future, but was still surprised by exactly how far ahead the program prompted her to think.

“One of the tasks was to write our own obituaries, and it was a really interesting thing to do. I was challenged, in a new way, to think about what I would want said about myself and what I want to have done before I leave this earth.”

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Be the Advocate Your Art Deserves: 4 Ways to Better Document Your Work

Documentation of On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Genocide and Slavery, a performance by Dread Scott, 2014. Produced by More Art. Photography by Mark Von Holden Photography (c) Dread Scott

Documentation of On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Genocide and Slavery, a performance by Dread Scott, 2014. Produced by More Art. Photography by Mark Von Holden Photography (c) Dread Scott

An effective marketing strategy keeps one truth at its heart – it’s all about relationships.
The goal of marketing your work is not to suddenly act like a used car salesman, but instead to facilitate the conversation between your work and your audience.

On October 13th, artist Dread Scot will be leading our Creating a Marketing Strategy webinar. Pulling from his long and storied career, (He once had former President George H. W Bush call his work ‘disgraceful’), Dread Scott will be sharing actionable tools and tactics for artists to create a marketing strategy that allows them to leverage their work into a greater conversation. Register Here
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The Seven Principles of Strategic Marketing

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Artist leader Brian Tate leads a workshop on Strategic Marketing at this year’s Creative Capital Summer Intensive

Marketing is a term that often makes artists uneasy. 
It’s understandable, we are so often inundated with corporate messaging that feels cold, impersonal and profit driven.

However at its most basic, marketing is simply effective storytelling to a specific audience to drive a specific outcome. On Tuesday September 27 artist leader and marketing strategist Brian Tate will be leading our Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing webinar. This session will break down how artists can effectively and authentically deploy marketing theory in ways that help both them and the audience understand their work better. Register Here

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Looking Back at the Creative Capital Summer Intensive

This past weekend, artists from around the world and across the disciplines of visual, performing and literary arts gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Fisher building for the first ever Creative Capital Summer Institute (CCSI).

CCSI is a free, four-day professional development workshop and  a unique opportunity for artists from New York to Lusaka Zambia to collaborate, share best practices and learn from prominent leaders working and living as artists today.

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Grants & Residencies for Writers: Giving Your Work Some Space

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On Monday, November 14th 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