Let's talk about money.
How do you make your money? For real?
Is it from performance fees, teaching, arts admin, commissions, grants, mechanical royalties? merch? sheet music sales? record label advance? or a day job at (fill in the blank)? Are there other ways you can make money from your art that fit organically with your vision and skills? Or do you want a well paid non-art job that gives you the freedom and brain space to create your art independently?
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Empower your self with knowledge. And then act on it strategically.
The music business (non- and for-profit) seems to have so many more opportunities to monetize their art (and they do, sort of) but the principles are the same I think. The super smart ladies of Future of Music Coalition shared their "Accounting for Creatives" seminar with a dynamic group of music artists at The Field's FAR Space on Monday, September 26th. They say that there are 40 streams of money for music artists (well, 29 at first but growing!) The 40 streams of money here may not be your streams. But maybe there is some area of income generation in your life that you can drive harder? or a new one you can test out?
These are four of my takeaways (some are old news but always good reminders, some are newer news that just hit me harder tonight and that bear repeating I think.)
1) develop relationships with your fans! they are your #1 source of support (financial and emotional!) (we all know this, but are you maximizing your people? and your time and skills at doing this work?)
2) we are artist-citizens: be aware of the issues in our community (all of our various communities) and act up where you can.
3) you can be middle class if you want! being a starving artist is not really romantic! what do YOU want from your art work? how can YOU achieve it?
4) knowledge is power! if you know your income and you know your expenses you can be strategic about achieving your goals (do you want to buy a house? do you want to tour internationally? or have a baby? do you want more gigs in the city? do you have health insurance?) Hiding from your own financial comprehension will not help you.
Peek at FMC's survey here and stay tuned for updates. It's all about music for now but I bet this is replicable for theater, dance, etc!
OTHER RESOURCES FROM FUTURE OF MUSIC COALITION:
Educational and Cultural Grants (more than a few artists seem to be getting these grants! this site is a bit obtuse but check it out and the next two links too)
Jazz at Lincoln Center's webpage for Rhythm Road: