Financial Literacy: A Cheat Sheet for Artists

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Amy Smith and dancers from Headlong Dance Company performed at the 2015 Creative Capital Benefit.

It’s a well-worn cliche, but it’s true: “Knowledge is power,” and nowhere is this more apparent than in our financial lives. Because being deeply invested in money management often feels uncreative, many artists get comfortable with keeping their understanding of their financial health and future as vague as possible, a kind of “if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist” approach.

On January 25th, performing artist turned finance guru Amy Smith will be empowering artists to raise their level of financial awareness and literacy — regardless of their prior experience. It’s an excellent opportunity for artists to gain critical understanding ahead of tax season, a great primer for our Tax Preparation for Artists workshop coming up in February, and a unique chance for artists to set themselves on the right financial track going into 2017. Below is a sneak peek of many of the great insights Amy will be sharing during the workshop. For more detailed information, be sure to join us at the Creative Capital office on Wednesday January 25th, for “Financial Literacy for Artists.

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A Page From Our Handbook: Developing a Promotional Strategy

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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 attendees, written 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.

 For more strategies on how to build a promotional campaign that expresses the quality and character of your work, be sure to attend our November 7th workshop, Promoting Your Work with Jackie Battenfield.

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Congratulations to Stacey Kirby on her ArtPrize 8 Win!

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Excerpt from Stacey Kirby’s “The Declaration Project”

What would you do with $200,000?

That’s the question facing performance installation artist Stacey Kirby who recently won the $200,000 grand prize at ArtPrize Eight for her interactive performance piece, “The Bureau of Personal Belonging.”

Visitors to The Bureau engage with Kirby and other performers in the designated areas of the Bureau of Personal Belonging: the Department of Declarations, the Civil Validation Department and the Board of Elections and the Facility Permit Office. Each is occupied by a performer in the role of a government official and evokes an office setting tailored to represent the governmental process it critically examines – from issuing bathroom permits (in direct response to the infamous House Bill 2 passed in Stacey’s home state of North Carolina) to determining the validity of individual lives and experiences. The work culminates with participants’ handwritten responses being processed and mailed to public officials. President Barack Obama, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, various North Carolina Legislators and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder are among recipients of Kirby’s work.

You can visit The Bureau remotely through the video of her work below:

It’s easy to treat massive wins like this as though they happened overnight and miss the hard work and learned lessons that make them possible. To this end, Stacey Kirby was kind enough to share 4 lessons she learned that helped pave her path to the ArtPrize grand prize.

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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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Non-Writing Tips for Getting Published

Have you been grinding away at your novel for years? Maybe you’ve got a great book in you but don’t know where to take it? Or perhaps publishing a book is the next step to establishing your expertise in your field. Creative Capital is launching a brand new workshop this month for artists seeking publishing strategies. Join us for Storyselling: The Secrets of Successful Book Proposals at Creative Capital’s office in Downtown Manhattan on September 30, 6:15-9:15pm for an intensive “how-to” on getting your words out there.  The experienced editor, author, and workshop leader Victoria Rowan offers the tips below for aspiring authors. 

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Victoria Rowan at the Ideasmyth Event “Monogamy Memoirists Meet their Match,” displaying all the finished products of our the Ideasmyth Family

Here’s the good news: Over my 30+ years of working as an editor or writing coach to all types of creative professionals, I have personally witnessed that anyone who really wants to be a published writer will succeed.

The reason why so many people fail is that they aren’t aware of some of these essential non-writing tips: Continue reading

Snapshot: Artists Summer Institute 2015

Artists Summer Institute 2015

Leaving Governor’s Island was difficult this past Sunday as we we wrapped up this year’s session of Artists Summer Institute. Artists Summer Institute is a five-day intensive professional development opportunity for artists created and developed in partnership between Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and Creative Capital.

ASI provides a unique opportunity for artists for to retreat from their daily routines to focus on developing their professional skills and artistic goals. The program combines the best of LMCC’s Basic Finance for Artists and Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program (PDP) to provide a comprehensive range of training, tools, and resources for working artists. The curriculum offers arts-focused professional training in the areas of strategic planning, verbal communications, marketing and promotion, Internet optimization, financial management, and business planning. Continue reading

Sound Bite: Strategic Planning Workshop at The Contemporary Austin

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On Saturday, January 10th, Professional Development Program (PDP) workshop leaders Colleen Keegan and Ela Troyano traveled to Austin, TX to teach a workshop on Strategic Planning at The Contemporary Austin. The workshop was part of a series generously underwritten by Tequila Herradura, and was attended by 24 talented Austin-based artists, including Herradura Barrel Art Competition artists Eric Port, Jaelah Kuehmichel, VM Fisk, Thomas John Lemanski and Tincher & Maloney. Below are some reactions we heard from workshop participants (and from our workshop partner at the Contemporary).

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Authentic Branding: An Exercise in Landing Your Brand

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Participants in a recent PDP workshop in Miami, led by Maxine Lapiduss.

According to PDP leader, strategist and entertainment industry veteran Maxine Lapiduss, “If you have the intention of making a living from doing what you love, it is crucial that you ‘Land Your Brand’ and clearly communicate what makes you unique, special and different.” On Wednesday, February 4th at Creative Capital in NYC, Maxine will lead a workshop on Authentic Branding. In this session, you’ll learn to use your unique story, essence, and experience to sculpt your message and presentation, making it easier for your audience, or gallery owners, or patrons to find you. Click here to register for the workshop!

Below is an exercise drawn from Maxine’s latest endeavor, Worship The Brand, an online community that supports and encourages artists (and crafters!) to showcase brand-inspired art, offering cash prizes as well as a wealth of tips and resources for all artists.
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Artists Summer Institute 2014: A Look Back with Documentary Filmmaker Melissa Hacker

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Filmmaker Melissa Hacker at the 2014 Artists Summer Institute in New York.

I don’t win lotteries very often. I did, years ago, win a lovely mixing bowl at the local supermarket, but that did not change my life in a meaningful way. The lottery I won this summer just might.

I was selected to participate in the August 2014 Artists Summer Institute (ASI), co-presented by Creative Capital and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Five days, 55 artists, in an air-conditioned office building in lower Manhattan.

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