creative capital professional development workshop
Post #714 • January 23, 2006, 7:33 AM • 27 Comments
As mentioned previously, I spent the weekend at a Professional Development Workshop put on by the Creative Capital Foundation. People had described this event to me as life-changing, which I downplayed - you know how artists can be. Now I agree. It was life-changing.
The workshop was led by artists, successful ones, and I feel as though they took my knowledge of professional practice formed over ten years of working and doubled it. I have a couple hundred pages of information, a whole new slew of strategies for advancing the business end of my work, and newfound confidence in the possibilities of my art as a viable livelihood, without compromising it at all.
They were style-neutral, too. They had me there, some installation people, some collaborators - the whole gamut of visual artists as well as literary and dance folks. The workshop leaders didn't try to make anyone conform to some corporate model, which is usually the angle of these sessions when, say, marketing people come in to talk about marketing art. They played to peoples' strengths, encouraging them to approach their promotional materials with the same playfulness and invention that they bring to their art, and to become aware of what they're doing with their time, money, and communication and shift it rather than implement massive change all at once. As they put it, dream big and take small steps towards the dream, but do so consistently and often.
I'm being a little vague, I know, but I'm trying to sum up about eighteen hours of coverage of marketing, fundraising, business planning, budgeting, time management, strategic development, verbal and written communication, and networking. And if your eyes glaze over when you read a list like that, I don't blame you, but it was gripping - they made it relevant, interesting, and do-able on artists' terms.
This workshop is coming to Miami next year again, thanks to the efforts of Rem Cabrera, who is a national living treasure among arts administrators. Readers not in Miami should go check the calendar on the website as it is possibly coming to a city near you. And not only do I recommend it, I think you'd be silly not to sign up for it if you can.