The Latest:

Press Kit Essentials for Theater Companies

Advice from Theater Critics

Kerry Reid (freelance critic for the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Reader) and Kris Vire (Theater Editor, Time Out Chicago) share the dos and don’ts of press kits for theater artists.

Selling Tickets with a Positive Twist

Chicago storefront theaters experiment with dynamic pricing

In recent years, dynamic pricing has become an increasingly common practice at large performing arts organizations such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and in those contexts it has proven to be very successful. As the example of Theatre Wit shows, this practice is now also making its way into smaller storefront theaters around Chicago.

Basic Checklist for Disaster-Prepping Your Studio/Workspace


Fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, snow, ice—every area has its
vulnerabilities. Knowing which hazards could affect your community
enables you to prepare in specific ways to lessen and manage the risks
to yourself and your family, your assistants or co-workers, your art and
your workplace. Here's a preparedness checklist.

L3C: An Alternative to Non-Profit Incorporation?

By Emily Chan, Nonprofit Law Blog

There has been a recent flurry of tweets and blog posts about L3Cs—Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies—as alternatives to incorporating as traditional 501(c) nonprofits. For those who are just joining the conversation now, it may be useful to go over some of the basics of the L3C form. Emily Chan of the NEO Law Group explains:
The low-profit, limited liability company, or L3C, is a hybrid of a nonprofit and for-profit organization.

Getting Noticed in the Casting World

Advice from Casting Professionals

Dawn Gray (President, Gray Talent Group) and Matthew Miller (Associate Casting Director, Paskal Rudnicke) weigh in on headshots, agents, and leaving Chicago for the coasts.

SBIF Funding Can Help Upgrade your Work Space

Chicago's Small Business Improvement Fund

An important tool for revitalizing Chicago's neighborhood businesses -- including arts and creative businesses -- is the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) program.  SBIF uses local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues to help
owners or tenants of commercial and industrial properties within
specific TIF districts to repair or remodel their facilities.   

Artist Live/Work Space License and Zoning Information

From the Chicago Dept of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

Artists interested in
operating a home-based Artist Live/Work Space
should consider the following licensing information from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer

"Showing your art or another person's art to friends or for a private
party, in your home, not open to the public or advertised to the
public, and even selling art in your home does not require a business
can make art in any residence in
without a license. 

Philip Huang

Cultivating Shamelessness
Artist and provocateur Philip Huang wowed the audience at the recent Dynamic Adaptability conference in San Francisco as he raised money for a series of street performances (see below). At the 2010 Creative Chicago Expo, Huang will present his workshop, "Cultivating Shamelessness."

"The old approaches are dead. Screw submitting for exhibits and doing residencies and going on auditions. We artists must return to the Wild Wild West, and make brilliant careers out of dirt and chutzpah and shamelessness.

Arts Engagement Exchange

An Online Resource to Help Build Arts Audiences

The Arts Engagement
(AEE) is a learning network for
Chicago arts and cultural groups on topics related
to audience engagement. Created through a partnership between the Chicago
Community Trust and the Department of Cultural Affairs, with support from the
Wallace Foundation, the AEE works to build
Chicago’s arts audiences by offering free events and
audience development grants to local arts organizations. The AEE website expands the opportunities for dialogue with other organizations that wish to
increase participation in the arts, reach diverse audiences, and deepen
existing audiences’ participation.

What is Fiscal Sponsorship? NYFA's ArtSpire

And how does it relate to you?

Fiscal Sponsorship is a critical way for individual artists, artists' collaborative projects, and emerging arts organizations in all disciplines to apply for funding usually available only to organizations with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. The right fiscal sponsor will not only allow you to manage your project efficiently, but can actually help you to raise more money and realize your artistic vision.

Artists United for Health Care

Participate in the Health Care Debate

The Actors Fund’s Health Insurance Resource Center (HIRC), in partnership with The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) and Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), has launched a national artists’ health care reform website, Artists United for Health Care.

As attention to health care reform takes center stage nationally, the Artists United for Health Care site brings attention to the critical place of artists in the reform debate.

Free Business Education Workshops and Certification

Sponsored by the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Licensing

Tough economic times may be the best time for entrepreneurs to get a leg up.  Just ask the 200 or more Chicago entrepreneurs that have enrolled into the City of Chicago's Business Start-Up Certificate program. Take it from entrepreneur David Clayton, "This program is outstanding, it provided me with the absolute fundamental knowledge to start a business."

Arts at the Core

A Curriculum Guidebook by the Illinois Arts Alliance

Arts at the Core: A Guidebook and Planning Tool is a helpful resource for arts educators across the disciplines created by the Illinois Arts Alliance. The guidebook addresses major questions posed by teachers and administrators, such as what constitutes a quality curriculum, how to integrate the arts into other subjects, and how to deal with a lack of resources.

Health Insurance Information

From the Actors Fund Health Insurance Resource Center

The Actors Fund Health Insurance Resource Center (AHIRC) has been connecting artists, craftspeople and entertainment industry workers around the country to health insurance and affordable health care since 1998.

Getting Started as a Teaching Artist

excerpted from Teaching Artists Journal

You want to teach!  Now what do you do?  Thisshort document lists some resources, strategies, andinformational sources you will want to think about andinvestigate.

City of Chicago Promoters Ordinance (4-157)

Facts to know about planning events

What is an Event Promoter?

An Event Promoter is a person inside or outside the City of Chicago who engages in the business of promoting amusements or events within the City of Chicago and is directly or indirectly compensated for providing that service. The ordinance requires Event Promoters to obtain a license and provides guidelines to operate responsibly in the City to ensure the health, safety and welfare of people attending these events.

License Application Requirements:

Protect Your Gear With Insurance

What's the best way to insure
your music and sound gear? If you consider your gear personal property,
your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy should protect it. Ask
your insurance carrier to be sure. However, if you use your
equipment for business (and hopefully exploit the tax advantages of
this strategy), you must check with your insurance carrier.

City of Chicago's Entertainment, Performing Arts and Theater Licensing

Ensure your venue has proper licenses and permits

If you offer entertainment as part of your business or are planning a large event in the City of Chicago, you may require a special license. These licenses range from PPA - Public Place of Amusement to PAV - Performing Arts Venue to Indoor Special Event Licenses.