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Self-Management for Folk Artists

A Guide for Traditional Artists and Performers in New York

Patricia Atkinson Wells

The Folk Artists Self-Management Project of the New York Folklore Society is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The society's ongoing programs are made possible in part with general operating support from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

AUTHOR'S NOTE

Despite cuts in public funding for the Traditional Arts, the public presentation of folk culture, including community heritage days, celebrations of ethnic pride, exhibitions of regional arts, and festivals of all sizes, continues to grow. Many communities are looking at the unique culture and heritage of their "place" or of local ethnic groups as "cultural capital" to be developed and marketed for cultural or heritage tourism. As the marketing of traditional art forms ­ including dance, music, food-ways, and folk crafts­ increasingly becomes more about economics than education or preservation, it is critical that traditional artists and performers have the knowledge, information, and skills that will help them make informed choices regarding where, when, how, and for what compensation they will demonstrate, perform, and sell their art. It is hoped that the materials included in this handbook will allow those who so wish to take control of the public presentation of their traditions, and to receive their fair share of any forthcoming profits.

Patricia A. Wells Murfreesboro, Tennessee December 1998

Contact Information: New York Folklore Society, Inc. P.O. Box 764 Schenectady, New York 12301 (518) 346-7008, Voice, (518) 346-6617 Fax Email: [email protected] Web: http://www.nyfolklore.org

Copyright 1999 Patricia A. Wells, Heritage Partnerships and The New York Folklore Society

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Creating Promotional Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A Brief Biography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Personal Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Artistic Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Resume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Photographs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Brochure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Portfolio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 5

5 5 6 6 6 7 8

Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Performance Situation -- New Audiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Booking and Promotion for Performers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Self-Booking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Self-Promotion . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Press Kit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Get a Good Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Folk Festivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13

13 13 15

15 15 16 16 17 19

Festivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Product Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Performers' Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Sales for Artists and Craftspeople . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Crafts Fairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Deciding where to sell -- things to consider : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Preparation -- Before the Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . On Site -- At the Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . After the Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 23 24 25

Starting Your Own Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Types of Businesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sole Proprietorship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Partnership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cooperative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Limited Liability Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

30

30 30 30 31

Keeping Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Pricing Your Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Consignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Commissioned Works/Special Orders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Sales Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sales and Use Tax Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . New York State Income Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Federal Income Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 39 39 40

Art Income and Social Benefit Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Expanding Your Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

New Audiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Sound Recordings and Videotapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Copyright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Performance Rights Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 50

Teaching Your Traditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Resources and Contacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Getting Professional Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Resources on the World Wide Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 State and National Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Rochester Area Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

Small Business Agencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 The Service Corps of Retired Executives Association (SCORE) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Small Business Development Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 U.S. Small Business Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Legal Assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Insurance Associations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Health Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Tax Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Grant Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Exhibition Spaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Performing Arts Venues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Arts Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

North Country Resource List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

Small Business Development Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Financial Assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Marketing Outlets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

Capital Region Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Business Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Legal and Insurance Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Exhibition, Performance, Grant, Demonstration and Teaching Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Social/Cultural Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SCORE Chapters(The Service Corps of Retired Executives) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bar Association Involvement Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lawyer Referral and Legal Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Small Business Development Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Insurance, Credit Card Acceptance, Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Galleries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 105 106 108 109 109 110 111 112 113 114

New York City Area Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Frequently Requested Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Artist Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

Select Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Sample Documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

Sample Resume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129 Sample Festival or Fair Contract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 Sample Performance Agreement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 Sample Craft Fair Entry Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Liability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144

Credits and Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149 Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

Training Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

Introduction q 1

INTRODUCTION

During the past decade, hundreds of outstanding folk and traditional artists from communities throughout New York State have been featured in thousands of public programs, including museum exhibitions, concerts and festivals, broadcasts and recordings, and educational programs of all kinds. In the process, many artists, used to doing their traditional arts within small traditional settings (e.g., performing music at a wedding, making quilts for family members, or creating elaborate displays of special foods for a feast day) have reached new audiences and discovered the potential of earning a part--or in rare cases, all--of their living from their folk arts activity. Most of these folk artists, though accomplished in their artmaking, have not been trained in the management and marketing of their arts. The challenges are intensified by the necessity of dealing cross-culturally in their business transactions--negotiating with presenters, advertising in publications, pricing their products in local, regional or national markets, and so on--where the rules of commercial and social interaction may differ vastly from those within their own communities. Folklorists have often helped to mediate some of these relationships and advocated for the interests of the traditional artists with whom they work, but many folk artists are interested in learning to manage their business opportunities on their own, independent of cultural specialists. In 1997, four New York State organizations formed a consortium to carry out the Folk Artists Self-Management Project through which we are publishing this Handbook and sponsoring a series of workshops around the state to offer some basic training in self-management for traditional artists. The participating organizations are the New York Folklore Society in Ithaca, the Ethnic Folk Arts Center in New York, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York in Canton, and the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester. With funding from the Heritage and Preservation division of the National Endowment for the Arts, the consortium hired Patricia Atkinson Wells, author of the Handbook for Tennessee Folk Artists, to adapt her Tennessee book to New York State and train a group of sixteen folklorists to conduct workshops for folk artists in their regions of New York. We hope that, whether you are a traditional artist or a cultural specialist, you will find this Handbook a useful tool to help traditional artists in New York State acquire the resources and skills they need to be successful in the marketplace. This Handbook is a work in progress. We have published it in loose-leaf binder format so that it can be improved as people using it discover its strengths and limitations. Once you have it, and as long as you keep us informed of your address, we hope to be able to send you new or revised sections as they are developed. So please stay in touch with us. Let us know what works and what doesn't as you read and make use of the Handbook. If you discover other resources that are useful, add them to your copy and tell us about them so we can make them available to others. If there are things you like about the manual, tell us so we don't drop them, and send us your suggestions for improvement.

John W. Suter, Executive Director New York Folklore Society

2 q Introduction

The New York Folklore Society (NYFS) is a non-profit, statewide organization, founded in 1944, that works to nurture traditional arts and culture in the communities where they originate and to foster the sharing of folk traditions across cultural boundaries. NYFS publishes the scholarly journal New York Folklore and the quarterly New York Folklore Newsletter. The Society provides technical assistance through its Mentoring and Professional Development Program for Folklife and the Traditional Arts; produces an annual Fall Conference and a statewide series of Folk Arts Forums that address issues concerning folklife; and undertakes other special programs with statewide scope, including our Folk Archives Project and the Folk Artists Self-Management Project. The Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD), formerly the Ethnic Folk Arts Center, has been working for 30 years as an advocate for cultural equity and as a catalyst in strengthening the practice of traditional performance arts indigenous to ethnic communities in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area. The Center's programs are designed to have a positive impact upon the constant evolution of cultural traditions within a community, helping to ensure that the traditions which define a community will continue to exist and have contemporary meaning for successive generations. At the same time, in bringing these traditions to general audiences, the Center plays a significant role in affirming the value and importance of cultural diversity as an essential component of our national identity. Through concerts, festivals, tours, dance workshops, recordings and publications, the center has introduced many thousands of Americans to the richness of community-based arts and artists. Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY) is a regional arts organization dedicated solely to community-based folk arts and traditional activities. TAUNY was formed in 1986 to collect, conserve, and present the traditional cultures of Upstate New York, with an emphasis on the fourteen-county region north of the Mohawk River known as the North Country. TAUNY conducts field research, maintains a print, sound, and photo archives and a gallery for changing exhibitions, and presents its findings in concerts, conferences, lectures, media productions, and publications. TAUNY also collaborates with other not-for-profit organizations in projects which present and promote traditional arts and artists. Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester The mission of the Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester is to develop, promote and support the cultural industry for the benefit of the people of the Rochester region. We do this through the fulfillment of six major goals, two of which are especially relevant to this project: 1) Strengthen the economic base of the cultural industry; and 2) Create opportunities for artists to serve as valued resources to the culture and economy of the region. During the past three years, the Arts Council's Folk Arts Program has institutionalized its Folk Artists in Schools service, conducted an annual Folk Arts Day, presented traditional folk musicians at many public venues, and documented a number of folk artists on video. The Folk Arts Program markets a large roster of folk artists to schools and community groups throughout the metropolitan region, and folk artists now receive annual fees of over $5,000 for their participation in school-based festivals and other presentations. The Folk Artists Self-Management Project will complement these efforts by giving folk artists tools toward economic self-sufficiency and enabling them to take better advantage of the support offered by the Arts Council.

Introduction q 3

Heritage Partnerships is a cultural consulting firm that specializes in assessment processes, community cultural resource inventories, marketing and promotion, product and program development, public presentations, strategic planning and training and technical assistance. The principals of Heritage Partnerships, Millie Rahn and Patricia A. Wells, are cultural specialists--trained as folklorists--with extensive experience in New England, the MidAtlantic, the Mountain States, and the Southeast. With offices in the Boston and Nashville areas, Heritage Partnerships maintains a network of professional associates across the country with expertise in museums, historic preservation, cultural resource management, rural and urban planning, environmental conservation, travel and tourism. Heritage Partnerships fosters public/private collaborations to identify and develop resources representing living cultural traditions that promote a unique sense of place and a quality tourist experience, contributing to sustainable economic and community development. Patricia A. Wells 421 East College Street Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130 phone/fax: 615-895-5042 e-mail: [email protected] Millie Rahn 11 Evans Street Watertown, Massachusetts 02472 phone: 617-924-4975 fax: 617-923-3540 e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

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