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The work of making art

3 Mar

Why this matters: Thanks in part to a generous gift from Duke Energy, ASC’s workshop and training opportunities enable artists and nonprofit professionals to develop in their careers.

Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist

Local artists learned how they can build a life that is balanced, productive and sustainable during the weekend-long “Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist” workshop in February 2015.

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

Being a professional artist is more involved than standing in front of a canvas and painting or sitting at a wheel throwing pots.

There’s other work that takes away from an individual’s time to be creative, from securing the commissions that pay the bills to managing websites and social media accounts and taking advantage of professional development opportunities that allow for continued growth within a chosen discipline.

Barbara Ellis.

Barbara Ellis.

“Time is everything,” said painter Barbara Ellis of Charlotte. “Sometimes I feel myself feeling a bit overwhelmed about ‘How am I going to be able to do all of these things?’”

Finding balance is the answer, she said. It’s one of her key takeaways from ASC’s “Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist” workshop in which she and 20 other creative individuals from around the region participated in February.

Support for this and other ASC workshop and training opportunities is provided, in part, by a generous gift from Duke Energy.

Under the direction of Andrew Simonet, founder of the Philadelphia-based Artist U grassroots planning and professional development program run by and for artists, local artists learned how they can build a life that is balanced, productive and sustainable during the weekend-long intensive.

It came at the right time for Mitchell Kearney, an established commercial photographer who sought insight on how to balance his professional projects with his creative interests, which includes developing an exhibition of his artistic work later this year.

“It reiterated to me what I needed to hear, that I am not going to grow another arm,” he said. “I simply need to bring my two hands together and realize that the strength of my commercial success is linked hand-in-hand with my artistic pursuits.”

The success of those personal pursuits, Kearney said, is tied to his connection to the broader creative community. And though he’s been in Charlotte for 30 years, the “Building a Sustainable Life” workshop still managed to expand his network of local artists.

Now he can call painter and sculptor Deborah Kern for feedback about a project or Allison Johnson if he needs a dancer to photograph. He’s looking forward to working with conceptual artist Erika Diamond – the daughter of a longtime friend – on a portrait with a loom she’s setting up.

“There’s a community with a commonality right there because we all existed together,” he said. “We have fostered an extended connectivity that I know I can bank on.”

There will also be more structured collaboration between the artists as a result of the workshop. They will come together in small groups beginning this month to develop personal strategic and financial plans, as well as to set goals and share resources.

“The whole idea is for us to support one another in different ways that will impact our practices,” Ellis said. “These are crucial things that we need to be thinking about and actually working on.”

They’re also the things that let artists do what they care about the most.

ASC WorkshOpportunities – January 2011

23 Dec

ASC Workshops & Training

Join us for the first offering in a new series…

Presenting Yourself as a Professional Artist:
Business Etiquette
Thursday, February 3
4:30 – 7:00pm
ASC Board Room (227 W Trade Street, Ste 250)

Your art may be amazing, but if you lack basic business etiquette or “people” skills, you may be missing out on a host of opportunities to advance your work. The single most valuable part of your success as an artist may be the relationships you cultivate. And, in today’s professional world, networking is more than a cocktail pleasantry; it’s a survival skill that can open windows and doors you might not otherwise access. Believe it or not, a quick lesson in the art of “schmoozing” may make a big difference in your career development!
Join us for a lively conversation about the importance of business etiquette for professional artists. This seminar teaches skills that can be put to use immediately. You’ll learn strategies for everything from remembering names, business card savvy and introductions to communications strategies, networking saavy, and much more.

CLICK HERE for more details and online registration.

The Price is Right:
Pricing, Projecting and Revenue Management
Wednesday, February 9 – TWO session times listed below
ASC Board Room (227 W Trade Street, Ste 250)

Are you leaving money at the ticket office window? The prices we charge, and the revenue we derive from them, are one of the most important elements of our success. But can you say you really understand them? Practical and proven knowledge on pricing models can be hard to come by; few of us have broad experience in pricing theory and most of us are busy enough keeping the wheels turning that we rarely have time to stop, research and reconsider our revenue models. These sessions will give arts and cultural organizations new tools to evaluate and improve their revenue projections and understand the methods and pitfalls of implementing different pricing strategies.

Part I: Making Simple Changes to Generate Ticket Revenue – 9:00-11:30am
This section, intended for small or understaffed arts organizations, is intended to discuss the concepts of differentiated pricing, house scaling, strategic discounting, and demand projections as simple tools that can be used to better predict, generate and manage revenue from ticket sales for the performing arts.

Part II: Advanced Methods for Revenue Management – 1:00-3:30pm
This section, intended for larger/more sophisticated organizations, presents pricing strategy in relation to demand management, customer loyalty, packaging and cash flow, revenue stability, and value signals.

The registration fee for one session is $20 per person. If you choose to attend both sessions, your total registration fee is $30 per person.

CLICK HERE for more details and online registration.


ASC Funding Opportunities

Cultural Project and Cultural Access Grants

Deadline: Friday, March 18th, 2011 at 12:00 NOON
Written Notification: By June 30, 2011

Click here for complete Cultural Project Grant details and online application.

Click here for complete Cultural Access Grant details and online application.

Cultural Project and Cultural Access Grant Information Sessions

Thursday, January 27, 2011- 6:30-8:00pm
Cornelius Town Hall
21445 Catawba Avenue
Cornelius, NC 28031

Tuesday February 1st, 2011- 6:30-8:00pm
Mint Museum of Art
2730 Randolph Rd
Charlotte, NC 28207

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011- 6:30-8:00pm
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell Street East
Matthews, NC 28105

The (NEW!) Cato Excellence in Teaching Awards program seeks nominations of exceptionally creative teachers who have distinguished themselves in teaching the arts, sciences or history or who have demonstrated creative infusion of the arts, sciences or history into the core curriculum. Three $1,500 awards will be presented annually through the support of ASC’s Cato Excellence in Teaching Endowment. Both Finalists and Recipients will be recognized at ASC’s annual Impact + Investment event in July. Teachers, principals, school administrators, parents or students may nominate teachers for consideration.

Deadline for receipt of nominations is January 31 @ 5:00 pm.

Click here for complete details and to download the nomination form.

Special Project Grants provide one-time, matching and restricted support for special opportunities that arise during the fiscal year. Special opportunities are defined as projects that are not part of the applicant’s annual budget, regular programming or annual event. These grants are one-time, matching and restricted grants that could not otherwise be addressed through another ASC program.

Next Deadline: February 21 @ NOON

Click here for complete details and online application.

Technical Assistance/Professional Development Grants provide funds to Charlotte-Mecklenburg non-profit organizations with a primary mission of arts, science or history to hire knowledgeable consultants to strengthen management and programs, develop a resource publication, engage in planning or allow staff and/or board members to attend workshops, conferences, or short-term training programs. We wish to encourage staff and board development at all levels of the organization. These grants are one-time, matching and restricted grants that could not otherwise be addressed through another ASC program.

Next Deadline: February 21 @ NOON

Click here for complete details and online application.


Other Resources & Opportunities for Individuals
(M) – Misc. (Calls to Artists, Space, Partnerships, etc)

Click here for an extensive listing of Artist Opportunities from the North Carolina Arts Council.

(M) Call for Artists: Citizen Schools
Want to help others? Good at teaching? Want to connect with middle school students and make a difference in their lives and your own? Become a Citizen Teacher and help middle school students move to a long-term trajectory of success! Follow the link above to learn about different reasons volunteers become involved, or find out about how the program works.

(M) Call for Artists – Participate in Sensoria Saturday on CPCC’s Central Campus
Central Piedmont Community College’s annual Sensoria event is emerging as the premiere arts event in the Charlotte area. Known for bringing the best in literature, music, visual arts, history and culture to the College’s Central Campus, the event attracted more than 9,500 attendees last year and featured a variety of events throughout the week, including meet and greets with local artists and scholars, information sessions on CPCC and its many programs and the works of the region’s talented artisans and exhibitors. The festival will take place Saturday April 16, 2010 from 10 am – 3 pm on CPCC’s central campus and will be in partnership with FABO (A Fabulous Art Buying Opportunity).

Participants will receive…
• Placement on website as a participating artisan
• Space at Sensoria Saturday to share/sell your art
• 10′ x 10′ tent with one 6′ table and two chairs
• Pre-party ‘meet the artists’ event at FABO the week before the event.

Artisan Booth Fee is WAIVED, but space is limited to forty artists (Charlotte regional artists – only 16 counties around Mecklenburg) will have the opportunity to participate. Artists will split any sales made 50/50.

Click here for exhibitor application or contact Stacy Harris at 704-330-6825 for more information. Deadline for submission: January 31


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