The Latest:

Interview with Erin Barnett, Curatorial Assistant, Guggenheim

Courtesy of New York Foundation for the Arts

What led you to curatorial work?

I've liked museums
since I was a little kid. Some of my fondest memories were taking a bus
from Connecticut to come to the Met. I did some interning in museum
education departments, but it wasn't a good fit. I prefer curatorial
work, because it allows input into what's being shown.

Can you describe your job?

I facilitate anything and everything. I answer research inquiries from
collectors, coordinate loan letters, go through the Guggenheim's
holdings to find work to fill gaps in exhibitions, arrange for the
evaluation of works...

Is there any relationship between the curator and the artists, when curating shows of living artists?

Interview with Linda Earle, ED of Skowhegan

Courtesy of New York Foundation for the Arts

Skowhegan receives over 1,100 applicants for 65 spots. How are admissions decisions made?

Our overarching desire is to create a community that is diverse in
almost every way. We’re looking for people who are communicative,
curious, and open. And everything is very subjective, of course. We try
to cast our net as widely as possible-- we have artists who work
digitally and artists who do frescoes, and of course someone accepted
based on his or her work as a painter may not paint the whole summer
but instead perform or write. We hope to provide an atmosphere where
people will move outside their comfort zone, and fail or stumble. Some
people follow a straight line, others will arrive and find themselves
influenced to work in different directions.

What do you look for in faculty?

Lawrence Rinder

The Whitney Museum

Lawrence Rinder on curating and the Whitney BIennial

The best way to learn how to be a curator is to curate and to look at lots and lots of work. Academic programs in curating are good for some people but should be approached only when you have a very heavy sense of your own purpose and passions.

Cory Huff

Gallery Representation Contracts

Bambino and I were interviewed recently by a charming and very smart young writing duo who are working on a how-to book for artists that's being published by a major publishing house

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.

Kay LaSota: Co-Producer, Other Dance Festival

The inspiration for and the evolution of the Other Dance Festival

The Other Dance Festival (coming up at the end of September) came out of a heated talk about the lack of performance opportunities for Chicago modern dance that turned into a mad plan for change. Six years ago Elizabeth Lentz and I were talking about what the community needed: a visible performance event that would draw audience,

Writing for Results

Writing isn't anyone's favorite pastime. Not even for writers. As sports columnist "Red" Smith once explained, "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." The blank screen is a formidable opponent for everyone.

Beyond Richard Florida

A Cultural Sector of Our Own

Now that Richard Florida has moved on from the “rise” of the creative class to the “flight” of the creative class, the cultural sector is left with the question: are we better off today than before he re-classified us?

Richard Florida's High-class Glasses

Article by Ann Daly, Arts Consultant

When Richard Florida took the mainstage at last year's Americans for the Arts conference in Portland, Oregon, the woman next to me—we had never met—leaned in with an immediate response. "Hubba-hubba," she murmured in my direction. The Carnegie-Mellon University professor of economic development had come a long way since the publication of The Rise of the Creative Class in June 2002.

Managing to Succeed

Article by Ann Daly, Arts Consultant

Whatever your personal goal as a photographer (to earn a living, to develop a reputation, to share your passion with friends and family—or all of the above), you need to manage your photographic practice.

What that means, simply, is organizing your work so that you are both efficient (giving minimum effort) and effective (getting maximum results).

Most of us are very efficient. We’re getting alot of stuff done. The question is: Is it the right stuff? Are we actually being effective with our energy, accomplishing the most important things?

Mission Accomplished

by Ann Daly, Arts Consultant

By day I am a cool-headed consultant, advising arts organizations and leading workshops with titles such as "How to Write a Mission Statement That Succeeds." But tonight I am a frustrated board member, just back from another meeting that leaves me wondering about the future of this organization and our capacity to help it move forward. Without a clear sense of mission, we are hamstrung. There is no coherent viewpoint from month to month, and therefore no consistent criteria for making decisions, plans, or innovations.

Defining Your Brand Identity: What business are you in?

Article by by Ann Daly, Arts Consultant

What business are you in?

It's a deceptively simple question. And it isn't a rhetorical one, either. At last June's Dance/USA Roundtable in Miami, opening keynote speaker Alberto Ibargüen, editor of The Miami Herald, urged every attendee to consider the question seriously. Are you primarily an entertainer, he prompted, or an employer? "What," he asked, "do you stand for?"

Unemployment Benefits for Artists

by Melissa Potter, New York Foundation for the Arts

Unemployment insurance provides an income to workers who have been laid off or terminated without cause by an employer. Employers pay a separate tax, which the New York State Department of Labor uses to pay these benefits. Unemployment insurance is a universal entitlement to those who qualify, even for some artists who work seasonally or part-time. However, many artists who are self-employed or work freelance may not qualify for unemployment benefits.

Copyright, Public Domain and Work for Hire Overview

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the creators of “original works of authorship,” including literary, artistic, dramatic, musical, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available for both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

Lecture Checklist

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

Once you have a lecture venue, make sure you find out the answers to the following questions, and follow the suggested timeline below.  Choose the questions that are applicable to your project and the venue.


(Choose the questions that are applicable to your lecture and the venue.)

• Date and time for the lecture.

• What is the honorarium or artist‘s fee?

• Who is your audience?

• How long are you expected to talk?

Screening Checklist

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

Once you have a screening venue, make sure you find out the answers to the following questions, and follow the suggested timeline below.  Choose the questions that are applicable to your project and the venue.


(Choose the questions that are applicable to your project and the venue.)

• Dates for the screening(s).

• What is the honorarium or artist’s fee?  Will you receive a share of the gate?

• What are the responsibilities of the venue or gallery?

Writer's Block

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

Writing an artist's statement can be challenging.  Below are some suggestions if you're experiencing writer's block.  These may be helpful exercises for other forms of writing.

1. If you can’t get a handle on your own work, or are stuck, record a conversation between you and another person talking about your work.

2. Use other written materials about your work, i.e. your mentor’s reports, a review, an article.

Writing an Artist's Statement

Courtesy of Side Street Projects

Writing an Artist's Statement can be an important exercise in developing your work as well as providing key insights for curators, gallerists, funders and others. Find out the types of statements commonly requested, and whats, whys and hows of successful Artist's Statements.

Billing and Collection

By Karen Atkinson, courtesy of Side Street Projects

Keeping track of who owes you money will reduce a lot of headaches in the future.  Create a bill of sale for each work you sell.  Make sure you use a contract for every agreement you enter into.

If you make special payment plans for certain individuals, make sure you include that payment plan in the bill of sale.  You should always retain the work until the final payment is made.

Always get a list of the work located at a dealer, a gallery, or an art consultant.  Keep in touch with them regarding sales.  Know where you work is.