Avoid “Artspeak”: Kirby Tepper On Talking Straight

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Kirby Tepper leading a workshop for Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program.

Kirby Tepper is a man of many talents: actor and educator are just a few of the hats he wears beyond the confines of his day job as a licensed psychotherapist. The same interpersonal expertise that makes him valuable to the clients in his practice also serves to empower his artist peers. Though he particularly enjoys working with artists, Kirby has helped people from many backgrounds, including doctors, writers and lawyers, find a more confident, direct communications style. On February 27, Kirby will be giving a webinar on Effective Negotiation For Artists, where participants will learn how to ask for what they deserve with confidence. We asked him about his theatrical inspirations and the do’s and don’ts of artist communication. 

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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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Community Engagement Projects: Breaking Down the Target Audience

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Amara Tabor Smith and Ellen Sebastien Chang perform “House/Full,” Photo by: Robbie Sweeny

If changing the world were easy, everyone would be doing it.
The goal of a community engagement campaign is to activate an audience to take action and make change happen — even when its not easy.

On November 10th, join Stephanie Bleyer for Producing and Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign, a 90-minute webinar dedicated to giving you all the tools you need to steer a successful and socially impactful community engagement project.

While it seems as though a social change campaign should have as broad an appeal as possible, it can often be more effective to be strategic about the audience that you are targeting. As Stephanie Bleyer stresses, unless you’re DisneyWorld or Taylor Swift, your message isn’t actually for “everyone.”

Defining your target audience is a critical step to take before attempting to fundraise or promote a project. In narrowing down your target audience it can be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

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Build Your Crew: Developing Core Supporters for Your Work

Artist Dread Scott leading a Creative Capital workshops.

Artist Dread Scott leading a Creative Capital workshop.

The following post is adapted from artist Dread Scott’s upcoming webinar, Creating a Marketing Strategy, which covers all aspects of marketing your work, including defining your goals, developing effective communication tactics, and building your support community. Below are Dread’s tips for getting your crew of supporters together.

Like everything you do as an artist and a person, your marketing strategy should start with stating your goals. What are you trying to achieve with your efforts? The answers to this question could be “cultivate a funder,” “build an online community,” “sell more tickets,” or “announce a project.” While the objectives vary as much as the creative process, the key is to match your tactics with your goals.

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Go Beyond Google: Sharon Louden on Creative Research

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua.

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua Institution. Photo by Don Kimes.

Sharon Louden needs no introduction. A successful artist, editor, and advocate for artists, Sharon’s transparent and earnest approach to sustaining professional connections has made her four-part webinar, How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World, one of Creative Capital Professional Development Program’s most sought-out offerings. Back by popular demand, Sharon will be leading her series starting May 23rd.

Below you’ll find some tips adapted from Sharon’s course on “effective research” that we and past webinar participants have found useful. If you want to learn more about how to communicate and build relationships with other art world professionals, don’t forget to register for Sharon’s webinar.

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Spread The Word: Stephanie Bleyer on Engaging Communities Around Your Art Practice

Laura Poitras, a Creative Capital grantee, exemplifies social-justice oriented artistic engagement for Stephanie Bleyer.

Laura Poitras, a Creative Capital grantee, exemplifies social-justice-oriented artistic engagement for Stephanie Bleyer.

Community engagement brings politically invested artworks to life. An artist who knows how to successfully reach out to the communities around them and get them invested and involved in a project will see their creative capacity for change multiply.

Stephanie Bleyer is an expert in community engagement campaigns and founder of the firm Six Foot Chipmunk, where she 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, an essential for artists projects involving social justice, education, public art, or community building. It will highlight effective practices for community outreach & engagement based on several action-oriented case studies and teach artists of all disciplines how to produce and fund effective engagement campaigns for artworks that hope to impact and better the world.

In preparation for her webinar, we asked Stephanie a few questions about how she entered the field of socially aware and active art making and which artists are moving people toward social change.

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