I am not preaching how to build a business in the arts sitting in a lofty tower but on the front line of battle building all brand new business’ right before your very eyes.
One of my goals, for this blog, is to have it serve as a historical reference for anyone who wants to take the time to go back and read archived posts, to see my progress, struggles, and strategy for moving forward. Like someone on stage with a box full of parts to build a bicycle that I have never built, before your eyes I will find a way to assemble it and so can you.
So this post is devoted to updates on my next steps most specifically for my newest start-up, my arts ensemble; Bite-Size Arts Ensemble. The quickest way to explain The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble is: Culture in a Bite. My goal is to entertain, enlighten and educate my audiences to the possibilities in art and to expose possible ways for them to be more involved in the arts. The ensemble’s core focus is classical, jazz, poetry and film fused together in new forms as well as independently displayed.
The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble is making great strides forward. We have identified 2 venues that fit our target market demographically- one in Chicago and the other in Arlington Heights, IL. Performance dates are going to be set in the next couple of weeks. The venue’s alone will cost $10,000 for a total of 8 dates to rent; so we are shooting at 2008 to book concerts to allow for some audience development work, at least 2 fund raising performances and to allow time to pull our marketing, brochures and most importantly, the programs together.
A short film documentary will be part of each performance and those also have to be shot before the year is over to be ready to go. The idea of the 10 minute documentary’s will be to show the audience a “how to” on something of interest- a commercial photographer at work, a day in the life of a potter throwing clay, what it takes to repair a musical instrument and more.
Because Bite-Size will be a mix of jazz, classical, poetry and film at its core, I am also working on material that will both be on my first solo cd titled “creative (r)evolution” and also can be included on the series next year. I just recorded a piece written for me, by Don Draganski, resident composer from the group I played in for 10 years, The Pilgrim Chamber Players, titled Shiva; which is for solo clarinet. Its a cross between klezmer and Arabic music but each section is being expanded to turn it into a “tune” by including tabla and Chinese cymbals and perhaps more ethnic drumming.
As a classical musician getting to work with drums and in a studio is a new experience and really exhilarating. I feel free to try new things and am really enjoying the fact that I can break as many “rules” as I like because this is about my expression of my musical creativity and not about following the strict rules of classical music; where I was raised.
The web sites for Lisa’s Clarinet Shop and Entrepreneur The Arts are about to go through a major overhaul and incorporate the Bite-Size Arts Ensemble into one large site. Its time to do that now. It has been in the plan since the beginning and now its time to take that next step. My book, Starving Artist Not! will be released first in an ebook format so watch for that when the new site roles out.
I am also starting to work with a publicist to write some articles about my book and The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble so that by fall I can start getting some press and start radio interviews.
If you think any of this is easy- don’t be deceived. But it really is true- no pain no gain. In the next 6 months I have to find a way to have my 3 person board raise 10 K to cover the cost of the hall rentals for starters, I have a web site to re-design and pay for, there is work to be done with a publicist to write articles and get them strategically placed in print, magazines and other media sources and of course pay for; musicians to pay, studio time to pay for, music/poetry to write and transform, practicing to do to prepare for all of this and still I have all the things I need to do to continue to move my book forward to be published. Oh, and there is of course the work I do to actually make my living through Lisa’s Clarinet Shop to cover the costs of these projects within the budget I have established. It’s quite a balancing act; to say the least.
But at the end of my day, I know that my life is my own. My work is what I create. My money is money I have earned doing things I love. And the money I spend is an investment in my future. Risk offers reward if you work hard, follow your heart, test your ideas, plan and follow through with good execution.
If you don’t know how to do everything you need to know then start with a Bite-Size amount you can handle. Start wherever you are but take a bite and start. This is how I have done everything I do and will do: one bite at a time but the whole meal is planned in bite-size amounts I can handle. Evenutally you can handle more and more.