Share Your Ideas with Dance New Amsterdam

DNA-Finalist-new
DNA artist-in-residence, Bill Shannon, in performance. Photo: Brian Cummings.

Our adaptive challenge

Because of the steadily declining trend in institutional philanthropic giving, Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) will empower American dance artists (and, conversely, the national dance sector at large) by providing the infrastructure, support and encouragement to practitioners in the field to research, develop and implement innovative entrepreneurial artistic and business practices that will enable a renewed direction towards sustainability and longevity in the field.

Read more about the big thinking, deep questioning, and visions for the future in Dance New Amsterdam’s project.

We ask the crowd:

  1. How can artists discover and then use their unique creative skill sets in cross-discipline and cross-sector business development? **
  2. What examples of cross-sector professional development are you aware of? In what situations would you envision artists integrating their core creative skills with entrepreneurial skills in order to live a financially stable life and strengthen their work in a creative field?

How will your responses help us move forward in tackling our adaptive challenge?

Your responses will help us move forward in creating a wider spectrum of models that can be used as springboards for artists to create their dream jobs. We hope to discover newly imagined ways of using the full extent of artists’ skills to not only support the development of an artist’s career, but also to help widen the definition of a dance artist’s career path in the performing arts field.

 Share your responses with us (or “up-vote” ideas you like) in the comments section below.

** This question was previously listed as: “What, in your opinion, are basic skill sets that are unique to artists, but that you could also imagine being applicable to cross-sector and cross-discipline business development? How might some of those artistic skills be linked to or benefit entrepreneurship and other business-related endeavors?”

About
Dance New Amsterdam is New York’s leading contemporary dance artist development center, and supports artists’ vision as they train, create and develop their individual voice and place in today’s cultural community. DNA develops new audiences for dance by bridging diverse communities and exploring dance’s role in the sustainability of the performing and visual arts.

  • Eric Booth

    RESPONSE TO QUESTION ONE

    Hello DNA–I love your vision and think it is realizable. BUT, when most artists think of entrepreneurialism, they think of being more effective at marketing themselves. To address the opportunities you are looking to explore, artists and programs have to learn how to listen well, how to ask great questions to prompt potential partner
    organizations to think more deeply about what they really want that artists
    might provide. Neither side is skilled at finding the dynamic meeting point.

    People outside the arts have pretty typical and banal views of what artists
    know and can do—“be creative” and “do impressive things in their art form.” And
    arts people generally haven’t been in inquiring conversations with potential clients
    to really hear what their needs are, so they can tap skills they have that are
    directly relevant. Both sides are kind of shy and ill-informed generally.

    I did a case study experiment once; I asked a group of teaching artists what they
    thought the five greatest needs for a company I had worked with and studied. They got all five wrong, way off—not surprising, we just don’t know. When I shared the top five the company had told me, they were astonished and immediately could identify skills they had that were well matched with important needs. They were ready to start thinking about a REAL conversation with that potential client to discover how they can address the client’s needs.

    So, before you start figuring out what skills and services you might market to local businesses or projects, do some homework in getting to know the needs, to get a sense of the benefits you can bring, and THEN start identifying the skills that naturally arise to help those clients succeed.

    And one little note of caution. The last sentence of your DNA description above is something to watch out for. These kinds of entrepreneurial consulting projects should NOT have a subtext about creating new audiences for dance. That might happen if the work goes well, but that doesn’t belong in the consulting equation if you want to make happy repeat clients–focus 100% on their needs. I believe that you do open up an arts organization, and its welcome, and language in this kind of work, but the goal is not new audiences, not even a secondary goal in my view. It will happen if you succeed, and is less likely to happen if you try for it, because you reduce the intent on the solutions to the client’s needs.

    RESPONSE TO QUESTION TWO

    Yes, I think the vision you suggest here is possible, and is important. (By the way, read Arlene Goldbard’s new book The Wave, a utopian novel set in a future when the arts are fully appreciated by the whole culture—it provides some nice answers to your question.)

    First another “woah, Nellie” suggestion. I find artists are usually inarticulate and unready to strategically apply the creative skills they apply in their art. Outside of the arts, you need to be able to name the skill set you use, and
    articulate how you can develop it in others, and what the client can expect to
    get from the intervention. We tend to get fluffy in our language around
    creativity, and most people from outside the arts find this confirms their
    prejudices of arts people as touchy-feely emotional types. We know enough, but
    few are ready to deliver the goods in the direct, clear way, without arts
    jargon, and without a subtext about how great the arts are. Your job is to
    activate and apply THEIR creativity, not have them notice and appreciate yours.

    Second City does this to the tune of over a million dollars a year. Orpheus
    leads business workshops on management and communications. The Memphis Symphony leads the creativity component of FedEx’s leadership development training. I have led many creativity workshops and projects–from high tech metallurgical engineers, to hospital directors, to the Boards of Fortune 400 companies.

    You first need to do some homework. Distill what you do know about creativity, and find the language that communications sharply with all people, not just arts-loving people. Practice in smaller, low-risk settings so you can hone your offering. It is one
    thing to show creativity, another to talk about creativity, and the marketable
    skill is to be able to catalyze it and apply it effectively in others. That’s all they really
    care about—that it answers their need for greater innovation, refreshed
    teamwork practices, useful experiments, etc. Learn from great teaching artists—you
    may be one or may have some in your organization—they have skills to know how
    to activate and guide creativity in others. Work closely with them. And yes, indeed, if
    you can sharpen your offering and deliver results (and don’t underestimate the
    work it will take–as it would take to create a whole new kind of performance),
    I think there is a lot of money to be earned, and a lot of interesting learning
    to be opened up, for them and for you.

    • cpeila

      Eric, Your response initiated clarification or our questions! I acted immediately – thank you and I have more thoughts as well…I’ve got an artist waiting for me in the hallway! so am getting offline…live humans at my desk. must stand away from the computer. Thanks! Kate

    • Martha Chapman

      Appreciation for clarity of response & practicality of thinking!

  • laura zabel

    Are you imagining these new programs strategies as professional development/entrepreneurial training FOR dancers to create new structures and models to suppor their work or professional development/entrepreneurial training BY dancers for people in other sectors?

    Both are interesting and viable, but demand different approaches.

    I would look at the movement around Design Thinking…there’s much there that is similar to the creative process and a lot of good information to be mined about mechanisms and models for sharing that kind of training/information.

    • cpeila

      Laura, thank you so much for your comment. These programs are for both for dancers to create new structure unique to their needs and by dancers. If DNA can initiate a number of models then the artists can adapt the models to their needs. Each artist is different so DNA has initiated adaptive programming for our three foundation pillars Educate | Create | Perform we have added the Beyond to stress apart of the Perform pillar or what has been considered the Career or Artist Outcome pillar.

      The BEAM program is an opportunity for DNA to address what seems to be the ubiquitous problem of the artist working jobs that pay their bills but take away from their core art-making practice. Many of the dancers at DNA sacrifice physical safety by taking on body breaking or mind numbing jobs (jobs outside their scope of interest) so they can dance. Dance means training daily, rehearsing, creating and performing. Dance is more than moving and often we forget dancing is a full time job already.

      Many of DNA’s artists have multiple skills which come from being in a position of poverty and having to create their costumes, music or sets themselves, create graphics for marketing, etc…and our university system doesn’t take it beyond the practice of performance. DNA’s BEAM program is looking at their skill sets or products from an entrepreneurial business sector costume=fashion, set=interior design and architecture, object=product development, marketing image=graphic design so we initiated BEAM as an official program to help artists integrate their multiple skill sets into an entrepreneurial artist dream job. Its a discovery process to figure out and transfer their creative skills to a job that builds their artistic vision.

      Your pointing us in Design Thinking Direction will help get us collecting cross-sector models…let’s see where it goes. If you have any specific ideas – let us know. best Kate

  • Amherst Glebe Arts Response

    One seldom-thought-of strength that most artists have that could be useful in other fields is a sense of space. A sense of one’s own space, not invading another’s space. Use of small spaces (rehearsal, apartment, office) in a super-productive way,

    Another strength artists such as dancers and actors have is using body language to convey strength or weakness, friendship or dislike, respect or disrespect for example. People in many fields can learn how to communicate better from learning body language cues.

    Finally, role play and improvisation can be taught to people in many communities to help them to improve communication, handle disputes more productively, and practice handling difficult situations in a positive manner.

    • cpeila

      thank you…These answers are truly amazing. I love how each comment strengthens the expanding list of skill sets especially the intangibles – communication, relationship, effectiveness in seemingly impossible physical and collaborative situations – about reading body language, sense of space – efficiency that can be related to designing a room, architecture, performing art skills such as improvisation can be an ongoing training workshop for all employees on wall street or IT operations where many of the computer nerds (said with love as I have them in my family and many many friends) have incredibly highly practiced and trained brain function and less practiced social function – Improv can both help create more productive team interaction and communication as well as help IT programs be designed in a more interactive way. There are a lot of models to organize…how can artists work with the organized to help them become more creative, adaptive, flexible without sacrificing efficiency and productivity! Thanks AGAR my Best, Kate

  • NYK

    This is great! I must say, however, that I recognize the photo above, but do not see any credit to the photographer, choreographer, or dancers… This is one of the most basic ways to support artists and to assist in the furthering of their careers, and should not be skipped in the interest of other ideas…

    • cpeila

      Hello NYK, Thank you for the note! You are right The company is Isabel Gotkowsky & Friends. They performed for DNA Presents 2012 season Theater@DNA, The photographer is Paula Lobo. You are right. One way to support artist is it to name the company &/or the dancers and the photographer. We are so excited that as part of DNA’s commitment to both the artists and the field’s development we are using the BEAM program as a spring board for developing an exchange program between Isabel Gotkowsky, who is now in Berlin, the educational/presenting center for which she works, their students and professional artists and DNA’s programs. BEAM is adaptable and is constantly open for development.

      We are hoping that the ideas presented in these comments will build a stronger foundation for developing models for professionalism and artist dream jobs that are cross-sector and cross-discipline. We see this as expanding opportunities for all artists while inviting our scientist and tech nerd or “the other” sisters and brothers in art as core collaborators too.

      Loving your support especially in keeping us honest. Thanks…Kate

    • Hi NYK! Just wanted to follow up again to let you know that we changed the image at the request of Dance New Amsterdam and included the appropriate credits. Thanks for the note on this — we agree that crediting artists is important!

  • M L Hauser

    Artists learn that they will not get immediate results but must work through problems in order to achieve their desired goals. Many artists learn to work in a group setting where they have to blend their personal goals into the group goal. Artists earn the value of deferred gratification and learn to use temporary failure as a necessary step to achievement rather than as a barrier to achievement. These “skills” are certainly relevant to achieving success in a business endeavor. I was a middle school teacher for many years and I repeatedly observed that students who were seriously involved in the arts tended to be not only the most conscientious but also the most successful academically. I have to assume that the same dedication, willingness to learn from mistakes and willingness to work toward a goal that define successful artists and students would also define successful entrepreneurs.

    • cpeila

      ML thank you. What you are describing is about being a key partner in a business endeavor or any research team. Problem solving skills is imperative in any research community; ability to work in groups – a major leadership skill that if the individual has the ability to also collect and manage data plus integrate it in the bigger picture can be a valuable asset.

      Your observations are imperative as they are less tangible than a product created by an artist but you have had the opportunity to observe over time and can help us create a BEAM that includes sussing out one’s person to person abilities – Mr. Fenlason mentioned skill sets. You attest to artist bring a different type of leadership to a business community and I’m reading into this but Conscientiousness is important. Artists add value to businesses that have maybe lost their way in regards to the greater good – society building. Being conscientious is a complex process and means one is thoughtful on many levels – it goes beyond the core of creating a successful surplus focused business. The artist could be the counter-balance an economics focused person who may innocently or not make decisions based on short term gains but end up being dangerous to investors, the product’s sustainability or point out the timeline value. A bit of both is important.

  • Michael Fenlason

    Forbes Magazine, a year or two ago, polled business leaders and CEO’s and found that collaboration, communication and creativity were all primary skill sets these executives looked for when hiring. Ironically, many entrepeneurs in Silicon Valley started off as theatre or music majors. The skill sets CEO’s are looking for are the innate skillsets of artists: creativity, collaboration and communication. Many business structures (like an organizational chart) were re-imagined by artists working in business. Many busineeses famously have included rec rooms so that executives can relax into creativity. With the arts companies I work with, we are re-imagining our relationships to businesses, who we have traditionally seen as underwriters or occasionally employers. Arts models of communcaition and collaboration are often terrifically more effective than those presently utilized in business, which candidly, uses a sports model. American business is legendary for creativity compared to our international friends, but that gap may close as support for artistic and creative education is reduced. An artist-led look at business models would be fascinating to me.

    • cpeila

      Michael, Thank you. Your last sentence is a good one for us act on and for you to suggest a few models – or send us links to, especially business models you’d like to see redesigned by artists. That said – each model could be from a different type of business such as a R&D in two divergent industries – music and pharmaceuticals, or product development for children’s learning tools and hospital use. I have looked at numerous examples to find ideas for better business practices and support for artists from Muhammad Yunus and micro-lending (group support, consortium, association), to investor groups – Toyota, Lucas Films, Micro-soft (corporations), to International networking groups (quangos – quasi-governmental organizations – I rarely get to use that word), and Fashion or Music industry based on the Icon builder.

      The ideas is to find some core models based on ways a dance artist can enter the business world; as a non-profit company, association, for-profit, etc… We’re finding we need to look at artists’ the risk averse factor or maybe we should call it the comfort factor…how comfortable is an artist with taking the risk of going it alone (freedom from other than self demand) or a group (responsibility to the group – less personal freedoms). Our goal is to have models that can encourage artists to find one that looks comfortable to initiate, and they can then adapt it and even choose others to plan ahead and change it to a different alternative model thus building the dream process of initiating, supporting, finding, defining, or merging to create a business or job that can both offer $ and a fulfilling creative sustainable future.

      We’ll start asking artists about describing their creative, collaborative, communication processes and discover common and unique skill sets and initiate the artist tool box that can be translated into the business world…which world? we can imagine that as well. We can find ways to support the development of the skill sets that make someone’s tool box more complete – especially based on the job they see themselves creating or finding.

    • Martha Chapman

      Interesting that creativity & communication were most-valued (or highly valued) skill sets for CEO hires. Collaboration also key -I would love to see what you describe as “the norm” across a broader sector of the business world. It, and the world in general, would be a better place, then better able to serve any client/customer base and/or mission.

  • Martha Chapman

    I am a faculty member at DNA and serve as the Board Chair. I am impressed by and agree with the comments posted by Eric Booth…

    The concept of BEAM at DNA is the help educate artists in exactly what Eric describes as missing: the ability of an artist to do all/some/what they want of the following:

    1) find a skill they have as an artists and learn how to market it to clients/customers who want or need that skill

    2) learn how to identify potential clients/customers and market their skill-base or skill-based product to those prospective customers (perhaps with aide from marketing teams

    3) learn to communicate, in written form and spoken language, about what their skill-base can offer to prospective clients

    Eric mentions that Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (and others) offer workshops in the creative process to the corporate and business sector. My sister & brother-in-law play with Orpheus and have been part of these workshops, which showcase the collaborative rehearsal process for which Orpheus is known; they do not use a conductor to lead the orchestra. Instead, each piece is musician led with the first-chair (or principal musician role) rotating. This is one way in which a creative process that feeds a creative produce can be integrated into an alternate business model. Integrating alternative creative processes, or arts-related skills – a costume designer working in the fashion field as an example – are possible and an exciting way to envision arts skills having great value and marketability in mainstream business.

    Arts & Culture is already a powerful economic engine to city economies where cultural organizations live – bringing tourists, restaurants, street life and more to communities. I look forward to seeing more blurring of boundaries, and to seeing new ways emerge where artists can offer skills and be rewarded with that basic human right or earning a living.

    All: excellent report on PBS News Hours last night on the economic struggle of being an artists, from a business reporter, not a cultural reporter! See it here:
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/jan-june13/artists_06-27.html

    Now I’m going to find Arlene Goldbard’s “The Wave” and read it!
    Martha Chapman

    • cpeila

      DNA is trying to do is support artists so they can branch out – and it’s a full mixed sector process. DNA works directly with artists and cross-sector field to support expertise, niche development and the model that would best support a successful sustainable model. The outcome may be modest at first but the BEAM program is meant to suss out numerous models that meet short and long-term goals. BEAM’s goal is to offer artists opportunity to find a way to make money immediately, while building in research and development while creating a strong future business.

  • Martha Chapman

    Interesting article in today’s NY Times re: Mayor Bloomberg leaving office… and his philanthropy to NY arts orgs thereby uncertain: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/arts/art-world-fears-losing-a-mayor-and-his-money.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&ref=todayspaper

    Another piece of the philanthropic landscape in flux – and an example (for good or ill … discuss!) of the power one person with large funds can wield.

  • Michael Blake

    I know there are movement therapy methods that help integrate the mind and body. These methods usually treat medical, social, physical and psychological impairments. I’d be interested in narrowing down a movement therapy study to one thing, and that one thing would be to reveal the “truth” through movement.

    We express ourselves more truthfully through movement and physical expression as it is. How can we teach ourselves to consistently reveal the truth by learning to merge mind, body and spirit with an emphasis on uncovering the essence of what it is we’re expressing, and how we express it.

    This therapy would help us to cut through the murkiness of any situation, and it will also teach us to listen with less judgement. It will help artists get to the core of their artistry more directly, and help the business persons problem solve more confidently and successfully.

    • cpeila

      Micheal, thank you. this is a brilliant aspect we haven’t yet addressed. It’s like a preparation for understanding individual abilities and possible productive paths – ones that the artist will commit to and see to the end, follow the process and manage as they move through the many years of needed and tireless work.

      Thank you. This is definitely going to be listed as an element of developing strength and the ability to find one’s path to become a partner with a business person and use one’s creative abilities fully.

  • OceaneHC

    Hello DNA,

    I find these questions extremely interesting for my personal growth and financial stability as a dancer. I would love to be making a living from my art in some capacity in leu of being a nanny and cater waiter. John Bohannon had a wonderful presentation on Ted Talks about the power of using dance to explain complicated scientific ideas through a project he developed called Dance Your PHD. Here is the link to his talk.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/john_bohannon_dance_vs_powerpoint_a_modest_proposal.html

    I would be curious to hear other ideas of how we can offer our abilities to other fields and create mutually beneficial experiences.

    • Ruth

      I loved this ted talk! Thanks for sharing!

    • cpeila

      This is great. I’d love if dancers and other than dance communities get together and watch this tedtalk and discuss the power of dance and what are next steps in the process…..a round table of community

    • Martha Chapman

      FINALLY had time to watch this TED Talks… it is amazing, and I find I understand more about molecular behavior than I ever have by watching the dancers used in the presentation. THANK YOU for sharing – the use of dancers as a visual demonstration is amazing. How wonderful it would be to have this concept used in business presentations… even once in a while!

  • Jeremy L. Havens

    Response to Question One:

    Each artist comes to the table with a different composite skill set. If an artist wants to discover and then apply their unique creative skill sets in new and non-traditional capacities, it will first require some self reflection and/or evaluation by the individual artist. Numerous self-analysis tools have been developed to help individuals
    identify their personal strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Additionally, employment agencies and employers in many industries have already developed written evaluation tools to determine the strengths and weaknesses of employees (or prospective employees) in a given field.

    Perhaps DNA could utilize some of these already developed analysis tools as a basis and create a comprehensive set of analysis tools uniquely tailored to artists and their skill sets. By comparing the individual outcomes of the self-analysis tool with the identified skill sets required in various other industries, the artist could potentially identify new and personally interesting synergies between what they are currently doing and how it may be applied in a non-traditional field.

    Response to Question Two:

    Examples of cross-sector professional development abound. It really depends on how much the artist insists on focusing on developing their core skill set vs. their willingness to be more flexible regarding the activities in which they personally engage themselves. “Entrepreneur” can be defined as: “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable
    initiative and risk”.

    It could be as simple as marketing oneself: a dancer who just wants to dance could market themselves as an entertainer for private or business events much like a musician would. Your prior commentator, Eric Booth is a quintessential example of the teaching artist, one who furthers a field of interest with less direct engagement as the creative artist, putting more emphasis on teaching others, but still being intimately and directly involved in the creation of art.

    Moving further into “management”, I’ve met professional dancers who became producers of live performances. Again, it depends on how purely focused on the original art form the artist wants to remain. A dancer could choreograph a pure dance performance, or become a producer for theater which incorporates dance, or going several more steps removed, a dancer could design and sell a clothing line for dancers and/or other artists (as mentioned by Kate).

    Perhaps DNA can work with artists to develop a set of self-assessment and comparative assessment tools. Then each artist could identify their individual skill sets and personal preferences and also recognize other occupational fields that require similar skill sets, but may also allow the artist the opportunity to further develop their art form in a capacity that is acceptable to them.

  • Paul Nagle

    I think the problem with philanthropy these days is that it is following the lead of the status quo and seeking to consolidate its giving behind large institutions with obviously high impact programs. This is especially problematic for the arts, where we tend to “go deep” in our investigations. Therefore, I suggest teaming up with other groups and sectors that have been similarly excluded from the money game, because they are working on solutions and paradigms that are either more subtle or less likely to make bundles of money for anyone immediately. If we can target them to be the partners in our entrepreneurial endeavors it will be a triple win – for both parties and for the alternative idea that needs to move forward. Take renewable energy technologies, for example. The status quo, right up to the -president of the US have decided that soalr and wind are pie-in-the-sky fantasies and that gas – the “transition fuel” is the only answer. We can use our artistic talents to try to protest and break that message – but there won’t be any money in that. Teaming up with solar power technology inventors, providers, etc to craft communications messages that will forward the industry by changing perceptions could provide mutual benefits. I like Green Bronx Machine, which has created the youngest certified work force in the country out of public school kids from the South Bronx, who are now earning a living wage designing and installing green roofs. Metaphorically – find the other kids who are getting picked on and team up with them. Don’t try to change the bully’s mind.

    • cpeila

      You’re right! and I need time to respond but I already have a number of ideas including the New York Philharmonic’s leader Alan Gilbert is trying new things and one of our Artist in Residence is a composer and we need to link DNA and the Philharmonic up…

      we need a tool to find a way to research links for each of our artists

    • Martha Chapman

      The fact that the philanthropic community is not the same as a decade (or 2 or 3) ago is clear. A ‘consortium’ or community of artists being supported would indeed spread the ‘risk-factor’ for funders.

  • cc

    I think that cooperation is the key to performing artists moving into the future in control of their own businesses. Most presenters manage to convince artists that they are doing them a huge favor to present them at their theater- when in fact the presenter is reliant on the artists to create compelling products. By collaborating on shared programs and delegating the work of presentation among groups of artists we could possibly use the incredible team work skills that we develop as dancers to take charge of our opportunities to share our work.

    • cpeila

      cc Thank you. I can’t agree with you more and that is how DNA is trying to move forward. We have created adaptive and flexible programming so we can include our artists in the process and strengthen our own ability as a presenter to support the artist. Our BEAM program is all about finding methods and mechanisms. The idea of a group, consortium, partnership or other team process is a good one; new ideas regarding the shared responsibility is more than welcome.

      We are trying to work with entertainment lawyers to help create a list of possibilities for artists to find ways that each artist can work as an individual business, a consortia, an association, a group under a nonprofit umbrella, an Lc3, a for-profit looking for investments, etc. We are also hoping the community can give us ideas on how to ask the artist how they prefer working then we can initiate ideas for finding partners, or finding micro-loans to support their product if they’re creating a product other than a performance, etc.

      Presently, the whole system is set up in NYC where the Presenter is responsible for giving the artist a fee and the artist performs and the presenter collects the ticket income and also searches for funds through the philanthropic portal – all of this is changing and often the artists are unable to earn enough to create, manage the development process (administration and creation), pay their dancers let alone themselves a salary, etc.

      Any examples of working structures would be fantastic! thank you.

  • kevin

    I would like to suggest that your frame needs to shift. Your question “How can artists discover and then use their unique creative skill sets in cross-discipline and cross-sector business development?” perpetuates several myths that are actually an impediment to business development. First it assumes that artist need to “discover” their capabilities when in fact most of us are seasoned professionals with advanced degrees and years of hard experince and second it assumes that our skills and talents are somehow unique or unusual implying that we are a difficult fit in the “real world.”

    Our arts organization has increased its earned income by 1000% a year over the last three years by leveraging the talent and skills of our artist/technician/artist entrepreneur community through providing artistic and production services on a commission or contract basis to larger non-profits and some corporate and government entities through interdisciplinary design and production. We have also been able to modernize our non-profit production focus to a cross platform framework and so build a growing catalogue of intellectual property assets. Our community and audience are much larger (about a tenfold growth) since we began this new business model and we are self financing full productions with multi week runs and award winning feature films.

    We have sought support from the philanthropic community for these activities but have met resistance because of the perception of our talents and network as somehow “unique” or “special.”

    The fact is that our interdisciplinary network and aggregate skill set is a standard skill set common to anyone working in performing arts, digital arts or film/media. Our tendency to pull together custom teams with a good skill set for each particular project and our production tool kit are common aspects of any producing not-for-profit arts organization. We didn’t even have to change our contracts or accounting to implement this highly successful new practice and our artistic production and capabilities have doubled. But the value proposition underlying this success is not what is unique, different or special about us but what we have in common with the art, communications and entertainment world across sectors and scales.

    With the creation of “feeder foundations” who siphon off a large percentage of foundation and government support that used to go directly to artists and small organizations and with a generational leadership change that has brought in philanthropic directors and program officers that have less and less direct knowledge of the actual workings of not-for-profit businesses, there is no choice but to adapt and find a way to leverage what you have in a different context.

    Your artist and technical network are a major asset and most of them have worked across the not-for-profit and commercial production landscape. Many not-for-profit artists know how to stretch a budget and still produce a quality product and not-for-profit managers are some of the most adept and flexible entrepreneurs I know. Despite the condescending myth being perpetuated by the philanthropic community that tells us the problem is that because we are artists we have an innate difficulty understanding business (usually answered by “granting” “technical assistance” from a consultant with grossly inappropriate corporate business experience rather than say a successful diner or club owner) not-for-profit managers and artists are often extremely creative entrepreneurs able to squeeze hundreds of dollars of value from a dollar and used adapting to business situations and day to day fluctuations that would make your average MBA faint dead away.

    I went to a National Conference of Arts Organizations back in the 80’s. The topic of the conference was the self-defeating question “How Can We Remain Marginal?” I am a confirmed experimental artist. Nonetheless I decided then that I was in the wrong place. We need to stop undercutting and marginalizing ourselves by pretending that what we do is somehow unique or outside the scope of normal human experience. In fact everyday artists and not-for-profit arts managers couldn’t be less unique. We are de facto small business people with all the attendant cash flow driven problems and our skill set is very much in demand in this new world of declining philanthropic support and ubiquitous digital imagery.

    • cpeila

      Kevin – all this said, we need to talk about this. This is a longer discussion where, yes, artists do know their skill sets but its the rest of the world that need to understand it too.

    • Martha Chapman

      Hi Kevin- all your thoughts on artists needing to be de-facto small business people is spot on. Non-digital artists are not quite in the same boat as 3 Legged Dog in a marketplace that is simulatneously driven towards CGI/digital technology AND conversely towards home-grown/hand-made/artisinal. Finding the ‘voice’ to express and market and network each artists work/product is the key factor.

  • kdesk

    It is very intriguing to read all of the responses and different angles which are taken. That said, I think that the artist is exceptional at seeing in the angles. An artist is not simply in it for the end of the spreadsheet and can help bring depth to a conversation when it comes to business. As a student going back to school after having spent ten years as an artist I see not only the skill to take direction well, but the skill to talk about a topic and dive into ideas as opposed to give a flat answer, as valuable.

    However, when I was managing businesses I think there was a stigma about hiring artists. Some artists are seen as flighty and non-committal because past projects they worked on are not similar to working at a job for a number of years. The challenge for the artist is to make the choice to be a part of the business world and show that they are dependable. Artists have great work ethics, it is simply the challenge to prove it.

    For an artist looking to make the transition to business it is not just about what you can offer the business but what that business can offer you. How can you be challenged, how can you be creative and how can you make an impact? After all, at the end of a project in business there is no applause. No matter the project, there has to be passion.

  • Ruth

    What tools can we use to identify strengths of artists and all individuals?

    • cpeila

      Ruth, I think that is what we’d like to hear from the community. I find that when I sit with one of the DNA artists and ask what are your needs? and then spend over an hour talking and listening to them (it includes an upbeat meeting that addresses process, ideas, etc) we come to find a few ideas that the artist has never thought they could even attempt to request from a presenter. They never thought that they could have access to our student base of professionals, then they begin to open up. So the first step for DNAers is the question – what do you need. It’s usually time, space and money and then we ask – what will you do in that time and space (the money question gets clarified after a number of meetings) but we often find amazing things.

      So, the tools I have been using which we find successful is sitting to talk, listen, ask questions and then initiate creating a program for the artist.

      I’d like to find a few other streamlined tools similar to those of doctors that we could give to artists so we could have a tool box of diverse tools to support them.

      Any thoughts?

    • Paul

      I think we should look at some traditional market development strategies and think of this, in part as the creation of a new more savvy population that understands the role of artists in contemporary urban life. It is up to us to do the cross-sector matchmaking since we have the creative capacity to envision new things. We will have to develop a solid echelon of leaders across arts disciplines who are thinking entrepreneurially and speaking in a language that policymakers are already familiar with.

  • cpeila

    Today I found an amazing site that has an Arts Marketing Kit for engagement and increasing income – GoSeeDoArts. what I have found when looking at kits, templates or processes that are already developed are that what is missing is what a few people have already suggested is needed and that DNA needs to initiate, that’s a tool kit for the artist to understand her skill sets and how those skills sets can be used cross sector in already existing businesses or ways to find a path to creating a self sustaining business that they manage alone or with a partner (s). Does one use an umbrella nonprofit, create an LLC, or an Lc3, an Association, a Consortia, etc. it’s complex but it seems there are many templates for once something is started but how do we support the process of getting to the more developed arena?

    Are there any templates yet of choices to be an artist and find your path to run your own show?

    I am also finding social entrepreneurial programs to research ideas! I love Twitter by the way! I find so many interesting ideas!

  • Jaamil

    Question 1 response
    * Strategically
    Market work, lose the awful dance marketing low res, abstract imagery. Make high
    quality dance films and visual images! Use social media more. If an artist is
    smart and talented, they can make something that’s funny or beautiful that can
    go viral or at least attract few thousand hits. Make a fierce YouTube channel.
    You must post consistently to build an internet audience and the content
    must be things that people care about. Again, the work must be high
    quality.
    *Execute a more
    savvy business planning. Think for-profit, not non-profit. Get rid of the
    non-profit model (it doesn’t serve anyone or any entity that earns or raises
    less than $500,000.
    * Collaborate with
    Corporations by providing Private Broad Retreat Entertainment, expand skillset
    to include more high profile commercial events. I think artists have to blur the
    line between commercial work and high art/culture.

  • Jaamil

    Question 2 response:

    *I’m not aware of
    any cross sector professional development on a large scale beyond projects that,
    perhaps, a creative capital may support. Now there are some smart artists/
    entrepreneurs out there, many of which come
    from money or know someone with money, so they have some cushion to
    be creatively risky and make mistakes.

    *Honestly, unless an
    American artist is famous or knows people with money, he cannot live solely on
    art alone, because the American system is broken. We live in a commercial
    society, so if you are not making commercial work, you will not be able to live
    a sustainable life as an artist. As simple as that!

    *We graduate
    university with a bunch of debt. We spend our whole lives trying to pay it off.
    It’s simply unrealistic. Artists have to wear multiple hats. As a result they
    must do art in their free time (evenings and weekends) which having a 9-5 job
    can support pretty well actually. I know some artists who luck out and find an
    art job (full or part-time) that provides their basic needs with health
    benefits. This is the only example of successful cross-sector development I
    know of. When I say art, I mean designing, photography, apply store, etc.

  • Daria Fain

    Response to Question 1

    I believe that the first think to focus to on is to create a space and a time where dialogue between different disciplines can take place consistently and over a long period of time. I believe that in creating that space with individuals from disciplines such as art, economy, sociology and law making, we can focus with an open mindfulness and creating a potent endeavor to look into the criteria of values and redefine them to revitalize the creative field of our culture. To my view it is clear that parameters of thinking needs to expand and shift in relation to the situation
    and needs of our time and that it takes time and a variety of minds to come together and willing to talk about things that have been suppressed for a long time in relation to the systems of value in place.

    Response to Question 2

    Examples of organizations (alphabetical order):

    * Creative Capital with their model that applies to selected artists

    * Dance New Amsterdam

    * Dance NYC with discussions

    * Danspace Project who hire choreographers to curate a season

    * The Field workshops

    * Gibney Dance Center in the way they process the structure of their program
    * MAP Fund with workshops in conjunction with Creative Capital

    * Movement Research with curatorial responsibilities

    * NYFA discussions, workshops

    These organizations are creating opportunities for artists to focus on entrepreneurial skills with workshops or discussions. These events provide tools to develop entrepreneurial
    skills to strengthen as an individual artist or organization representing the artist. This is a good thing but it is geared towards individual success. My belief is that in order to create real changes to the state of the economy of our culture, it requires first, long time dialogues and work between artists, economists, funders, presenters, education organizations and
    government representatives to focus on the needs of the creative field in relation to the larger picture of our society, and be careful how to involve individual artists. The individual artist should be involved to serve the creative field and not be selected to be rewarded for her/his work as an individual artist or organization representing them. It is important to shift
    this notion of reward of the individual in order to affect the culture at its core and not try to provide compensation to individual in a system that is obsolete at this time. The necessity of creating time is what is very critical and at the same time crucial to asses the real difficulties that we are facing.

  • Anonymous

    Question
    1 response:

    * Strategically Market work, lose the awful dance marketing low res, abstract imagery. Make high quality dance films and visual images! Use social media more. If an artist is smart and talented, they can make something that’s funny or beautiful that can go viral or at least attract few thousand hits. Make a fierce YouTube channel. You must post consistently to build an internet audience and the content must be things that people care about. Again, the work must be high quality.

    *Execute a more savvy business planning. Think for-profit, not non-profit. Get rid of the non-profit model (it doesn’t serve anyone or any entity that earns or raises less than $500,000).

    * Collaborate with Corporations by providing Private Broad Retreat Entertainment, expand skillset to include more high profile commercial events. I think artists have to blur the line between commercial work and high art/culture.

    Question 2 response:

    *I’m not aware of any cross sector professional development on a large scale beyond projects that, perhaps, a creative capital may support. Now there are some smart artists/entrepreneurs out there, many of which come from money or know someone with money, so they have some cushion to be creatively risky and make mistakes.

    *Honestly, unless an American artist is famous or knows people with money, he cannot live solely on art alone, because the American system is broken. We live in a commercial society, so if you are not making commercial work, you will not be able to live a sustainable life as an artist. As simple as that!

    *We graduate university with a bunch of debt. We spend our whole lives trying to pay it off. It’s simply unrealistic. Artists have to wear multiple hats. As a result they must do art in their free time (evenings and weekends) which having a 9-5 job can support pretty well actually. I know some artists who luck out and find an art job (full or part-time) that provides their basic needs with health benefits. This is the only example of successful cross-sector development I know of. When I say art, I mean designing, photography, apply store, etc.

  • Mari Meade Montoya

    Question 1:

    Artists can initiate new pathways to cross-discipline and cross-sector development by first becoming aware of the possibility. The more I personally am exposed to politics, to advocacy, to business and to corporate structures, the more important I realize these connections are, and the more I see possibilities for my “creative skill sets” in these areas. For me, they often have to do with garnering support,
    increasing interaction between different groups, and creating an enthusiastic environment full of informed parties. How can artist discover their creative skills? Awareness and exposure. How can they use them? Take the risk to propose something new (like BEAM!).

    Question 2:
    There are plenty of examples here in the city of arts
    organizations and companies working fervently at cross-sector professional development. BEAM at DNA; ERPA at the Field http://www.thefield.org/t-erpa.aspx; town halls at Dance/NYC https://dancenyc.org/dancenyc-events/;
    and companies like Brian Brooks, Kyle Abraham and Andrea Miller http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130721/ARTS/307219982.

  • Mari Meade Montoya
  • Martha Chapman

    As a part of the DNA community, I have been ruminating on the questions posed in our Arts Forward Challenge… a paradigm shift of the valuation of what the arts do for the economy is part of the picture. One quote showing what the arts offer comes from this NY Times article: __________

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/business/artists-rescue-funds-can-help-in-times-of-crisis.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1& :
    “…SELF-EMPLOYED artists, whatever their specific field or previous level of financial success, cannot collect unemployment benefits and often face restricted access to traditional forms of capital, like bank loans or lines of credit. And their contributions to the nation’s economic life are sometimes dismissed.

    Yet a 2008 study by the National Endowment for the Arts, called “Artists in the Workplace,” found that artists, athletes and museums contributed $70.9 billion to the economy annually. Artists are twice as likely as other American workers to be college-educated and 3.5 times as likely to be self-employed. No matter how successful they’ve been, many creative people can run into financial trouble if their work falls out of favor, if they lose clients, if arts budgets wither or if they have a health crisis.”_______

    Every time an artist interacts with people who work in other economic sectors (corporate, finance, academia, manufacturing…), alternate ways of thinking, interacting, processing, etc. meet. Thinking “outside the box” (and even artists are in our own boxes sometimes) is crucial in a marketplace and economy that change radically and quickly. ALL business sectors need to cross-pollinate in order to remain flexible and adaptive.

    So – that’s the “Macro.”

    RE: QUESTION #1: In “Micro,” DNA’s goal of finding pathways for artists to use their creative art-based skills as entrepreneurs, embodied in BEAM, could partly work by finding interested businesses or persons in a non-arts business sector who could mentor each other – cross-culturally, so to speak. Each person would bring their skill set to the table… and perhaps find economic benefit for both parties.

    Both Eric Booth & I mentioned in previous posts that Orpheus Chamber Orchestra offers workshops in the corporate sector detailing their creative process as a conductor-less ensemble utilizing a flexible leadership model. This is one example of cross-pollination. It would be fantastic to see business-sector leaders interested in working with artists to mold business practice and models to better serve their client base. Artists would be paid for their creative/alternative thinking and processing skills. Business leaders would benefit by achieving more flexible and adaptive business practices.

    And – I’m reading “The Wave,” recommended by Eric Booth. Fascinating and inspiring.

    Thanks to all for input and creative juices!
    Martha Chapman
    DNA Faculty & Board Chair

  • Kh

    I believe that artists are not encouraged enough to think on questions such as these two. This comes from my experience as a dance major. When you have a passion for your art and want to pursue it as a career, especially in highschool/college, it becomes your main focus. It is sometimes implied to dancers that, if this is your dream, it is the only thing you can focus on. Anything else that takes away time from dance makes you less of a dancer, and not as commited to your career goals. However, i have found that the opposite is true; the more you are open to other experiences, the more well rounded you become, and the more you can offer as a performing artist, on and off the stage.
    A place where these questions should be discussed and focused on is in the BFA performing arts programs at colleges and universities. So much time is spent on the technical and artistic training, but there is not enough time spent on how the skills and experiences in the studio and on the stage translate into professional development and cross-disciplines. A major reason for this is that many dance professors only had professional dance careers, and sometimes didn’t even attend college. Dance students aren’t taught how to find ways to support themselves as artists with cross-discipline development, or how to set themselves up for longevity and sustainability as performing artists. Dancers may not realize how much oppurtunity there is within the arts field; how they can empower themselves; how they can creat financial stability using their core creative talents with entrepreneurial skill, until it is too late.

    • Martha Chapman

      I agree completely – dancers are NOT encouraged to be well-rounded… they are encouraged to focus exclusively on their dance technique. And it is a grinding, time-consuming thing to hone one’s technique. Well-rounded artists who have a chance of building a career need a broader focus… and the balance of this is important to start figuring out. For current artists, and even more so for the next generation. Thanks, Kh!

      • Stephanie

        I agree with your point Martha. I think that artists need to be trained/educated to be good business people. This isn’t something you are born with. There should be courses/training out there which are geared toward artists that will go into the detail of starting a business and sustaining it. Courses could be developed and offered in a BFA, MFA , or business administration program or within an arts organization. The Arts & Business council or Career Transitions for Dancers perhaps could support us in this endeavor, as an example. Successful artists and/or business entrepreneurs could be brought in to classes to tell their stories. And maybe a mentoring (1-1) relationship can be established between those artists who have been successful and those who are still developing.

        • Martha Chapman

          Excellent thoughts, Stephanie.

          I think the main point that many comments are getting to is that we are in an age when being good at only one thing is not always enough… an artist needs business skills, AND business people need to be able to think/act creatively as we both live in a changing marketplace/economy/environment.

          If one’s own skills are narrowly focused, one needs to either broaden one’s skill-base, or find access to the skills needed from other parters or mentors.

          The Arts & Business Council or Career Transitions are good suggestions for places where seminars or courses could be offered – I hope DNA will have the human resources to follow up on those ideas soon!

  • Nicole

    These questions really target key issues that I feel have been lacking the attention (maybe language is a better word?) needed to find practical and sustainable solutions. In many ways, artists are just now learning how to articulate their practices in relationship with other disciplines. For many of us, we’re still learning the language needed to express our needs in measurable terms.

    From a process perspective, we have been learning that one of the ways to survive as an art-maker is to work interdisciplinary and collaboratively. Why? Well, for one reason, to secure funding and support so that the art-making can happen in the first place. The same logic should apply for our sustainability in the field and the greater community. By and large, we’ve been conditioned to think that it is acceptable to work for trade, or with the assumption that one day our underpaid efforts will pay off. How can we, then, change the climate so that we can work towards a better and sustainable model?

    I think that more dialogue is needed. How can we find collaborative partnerships with non-arts organizations to learn skills needed to strengthen our entrepreneurial intelligence and savvy? In seven years of college education, I can safely say that personal development and marketing were overlooked (and I think I had a good education!) – and this is only one perspective, self-promotion. What about using skill sets in creative and different ways to work towards sustainability, and as the question was asked, to strengthen work in a creative field?

    Many times I’ve heard the same complaint, that big business doesn’t understand the arts. Well, what about artists? Often, we don’t understand how to “play the game”, or even how to clearly and analytically articulate our work as it relates to other fields. I say this as an artist and an advocate for the arts. I think that we need to strengthen our field through education – learning how to work interdisciplinary and collaboratively with others so that we can hone skills needed to maintain our respective practices. How that manifests itself, I’m not exactly sure.

    This is why support and mentoring from ArtsFwd would be beneficial!

    • Martha Chapman

      Nicole- I think you’ve hit one of many nails on the head here… artists complain about not being understood by the mainstream/business/corporate community, but often do not work to understand the point-of-view that “big business” – or just businesses in general have. This viewpoint becomes more and more important for artists to comprehend as (per Paul Nagle’s comment) the philanthropic community is mostly interested in supporting arts organizations who are are strong economically already. Arts organizations and artists must think in “for-profit” mode to survive… and understanding a business point-of-view is essential. An artist can then choose to ignore that point of view for whatever reasons her/his project or work demand, but we all as artists should understand what we’re then ignoring.

      Clarity and accountability coupled with risk-taking in developing new work… a difficult balance to achieve, but necessary.

  • Gianluca

    My thoughts on question 2 are as follows: The important issue for any artist is that their entrepreneurial endeavors give them enough flexibility to continue their art, go to rehearsals and auditions, etc. Being self-employed is always preferable. If they are costume designers or jewelry makers they can taylor their hours around their art. They might even be able to make their own dance-wear and sell it in the studio they rehearse in.
    As for question 1, Its opaqueness seems like it’s written by someone who writes grants. I’ll need another day to try and figure out what it means.

  • cpeila

    I’m finding that I’m having some very interesting conversations about DNA’s project mostly what has driven DNA to add the entrepreneurial element to our lexicon of programs. What is BEAM and what do our questions mean?

    The questions we have posted are meant to give us a wider foundation to initiate the process of Building Entrepreneurial Arts Models (numerous different creative models) that allow for adaptation and flexibility and will help artists, of all ilk, find their way in a new changing economy.

    Some people who haven’t added their voice yet on the website are confounded by our questions, until we talk it out. And before I go further, DNA itself is creating a new model for sustainability and is being influenced by all our conversations and research as we wade through our restructuring process. The EmcArts/ArtsFwd process has made all of us at DNA think about next steps for the organization while we maintain support for the artist – training and professional. We need that same care and focus on us. We are spending more time with our peers (artists and organizational leaders) culling from them larger ideas for successful models. It’s been inspiring on all levels.

    So, each day I find myself talking about why DNA, as a presenter, is so committed to supporting artists by initiating the Building Entrepreneurial Arts Models (BEAM) program. It started when I began working at DNA and was faced with the challenge that is NYC and non-profit in a struggling area of the city and our responsibility to the constituencies we serve. DNA can not serve the field and the individual if the artist (which includes our faculty, and the training and professionals taking the classes) is not served, trained, produced and watched. All elements are necessary. DNA is unique we focus on studio-to-stage and beyond. So, we’ve developed programs that are true to the Dance Space Center – Simonson Mission support for the whole artist – educate (train), create (develop), Perform (performance and beyond) we care that the artist has a future, they are trained so they can keep their instrument (their body) in quality shape and they experience how to fulfill an audience’s expectations and also their own life long dreams.

    I deal directly with each artist, I hear their issues especially that they have to have up to 4 jobs to create a salary that covers their cost of basic living and also supports their creative career. The artist counts on DNA and all presenters as a source of their income. Presenters in New York are unable to pay a fee that will cover a full year’s salary for a choreographer, their dancers, their creation and rehearsal time, their costume, set and lighting designers, and all the other elements of existing in the business of dance. Often the presenter with the most money and biggest name doesn’t have to pay as much to the artist because the artist needs exposure. If a presenter does have a large commission it is most often for a small group of dance artists. DNA and like small organizations offer subsidized or free space and other resources to ensure the artist has the ability to actually create work that will be shown on the greater stages and in front of diverse and audiences abroad. This is a huge challenge for the artists as well as the presenter.

    Additionally, most presenter contracts in New York, especially commissions limit the artist ability to perform in NYC it’s about six months surrounding their premiere (3 months either side of the performance). How can an artist live? We are cannibalizing our own community of artists – we lose them to cheaper cities and often they leave and we lose our talent, they stop creating or they take jobs that break their bodies and sometimes their spirits. And so I have been finding myself offering ideas, creating programs and opportunities to our Artists in Residence, faculty, training artists, DNA Presents artists, guests, etc that will not only help the artist develop their careers outside the stage to fulfill their basic needs but also build their creative skill sets to further their artistic goals. That is at least the goal. DNA is one element of the formula of a dancer’s yearly earnings and way to build their careers.

    Thus the questions we have posted are to initiate the process for DNA to work with artists and their cohorts and Build Entrepreneurial Arts Models (numerous diverse creative models) that allow for adaptation and flexibility and will help artists of all ilk find their way in a new changing economy. And hopefully, it will help make it common place to ensure all economically sound businesses include ways to integrate artists.

  • Mary S. Burns

    I am a DNA faculty member, also offer classes in Pilates for the Dancer (Clippinger-based) via DNA’s Pilates studio, and am an avid fan of the school, faculty, and techniques offered. DNA/Dance Space Center has been a part of my life for over twenty-five years! The first NYC studio where teachers asked my name (and remembered it!), taught me how to both breath AND smile while in technique class (including ballet!) and helped me truly comprehend, inside and out, how to properly dance with MY body!
    I have been a strong advocate of teaching our next generation of dancers not only how to perform, but practical, realistic approaches to the business side of the arts via seminars I have offered in bookkeeping/accounting, fundraising/grant-writing, and alternative income sources in order to survive through ANY monetary crisis. It can be done. But we must teach this aspect of the arts, as well as anatomically correct means of dancing, teaching and choreographing works, and also health-conscience clinics, as DNA has already begun via Harkness Center for Dance Injury. Together – with DNA and our team of artists and instructors – both the practical and the creative goals can be reached! And remember Churchill:
    “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!” :)

  • Martha Chapman

    Excellent! Exactly on target with BEAM’s objective… an artist must not only hone her or his craft… but be able to understand how that art/product/mission exists in the world and the field. Great comment, well stated.

  • Benny Simon

    Question #1:

    Although cross-discipline application of the arts is becoming increasingly common, participation in cross-sector business development still carries a social stigma. The idea that the authenticity of artistic endeavor is somehow lessened through collaboration with commercial interests is mistaken. The reality is that both serve each other in ways that benefit society.

    Businesses require an influx of creative thinkers and risk-takers in order to remain competitive. Exposure to art and artists–especially a dynamic and accessible art form like dance–is a breath of fresh air to a static organization. Beyond that, inclusion of the arts in the marketing of consumer-facing products and services increases the social credit of the company while simultaneously raising the profile of the arts with the public. Shows such as So You Think You Can Dance already do this in an overt way, but even less direct uses of dance via mass media channels are beneficial. For example, commercials including dance perform well with consumers, and are frequently shared via social channels. Conversely, the opportunity for artists–and dancers in particular–to step out of the creative bubble and interact with industries provides can provide a rich field for developing new content.

    Question #2

    I work in the advertising industry, and a common problem for marketers is how to communicate brand authenticity to consumers. Craft is a large part of solution; that is, the ability to project the real and honest benefits of a product or service via a medium that’s up to it’s ears in hyperbole: television. Incorporating an artistic medium–dance in particular–helps us solve this problem. People recognize the craft, training, and professionalism that goes into the fine arts, and associating that recognition with a brand can be very effective.

    These kinds of partnerships support the development of the artist’s career both financially and by generating awareness about the art.

  • Mari Meade Montoya

    Yanira- Thanks for your answer! Sarah is actually one of the artists that has greatly informed the BEAM program. We are in constant conversation with her, and she is a AIR and is also opening our 2013-2014 Season. Sydney Skybetter has also been one of our speakers in our “The Business of Making Art” series. I personally attended and learned so much–I definitely concur with your suggestions.

  • Guest

    This is a

  • Guest

    Great conversation!