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Live Performance Contracts: the Booking Agreement

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Courtesy of Music-Law.com If you have a band, you probably do live shows.  You may not do them all the time, or you may be out almost every night playing at a club or concert, but either way, you should consider a written contract for each performance.  The contract can be very basic, essentially stating that the club is going to pay you “x” amount and you are going to “y” songs.  This would bind both you and the club owner to paying and playing what was originally discussed.  That said, most performances are more elaborate than that, and have many more facets and it would be wise for you to add a few other parts to that contract.Obviously the contract should have the signatures of both parties on it.  This binds them both to the conditions set up.  Now that doesn't mean that the whole band needs to sign the contract.  Normally, depending on the business license you have, only one person in the band, or a manager need to sign the contract in order for it to be binding for the entire band.In order for the contract to be worth anything, it needs to be specific.  A non-specific contract will leave room for debates and fighting later.  This means that you need to specify how long the band must play.  This can be a number of songs or a time frame.  If you don't do this, the club owner may not feel as though you played enough when you've finished and could try and refuse to pay the agreed upon fee . . . read more
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Branding Your Cow : The Importance of Branding in the Sale of Art

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By Eric Rhoads Fine Art Connoisseur & Plein Air Magazines Moos of panic filled the dusty air as cowboys pressed the hot branding iron against the flesh of the cattle out West. This painful exercise, branding, served the purpose of marking ownership of the cow. But the mark on the cow was less important than the reputation of the rancher. For instance, cattle rustlers knew which farmers would overlook the loss of an occasional cow and which were so tough they would hang cattle thieves on sight. Rustlers would avoid stealing cattle with certain brands. The behavior of the rancher became the meaning of the brand.  If you're marketing art, you've probably heard a lot about branding, and you may be wondering how it relates to you. We know companies like Apple, Coke, and McDonald's have the most recognizable brands, but those brands also have meaning. For instance, the McDonald's brand means consistent quality and fast service. . . read more
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How to Get an Artist Grant

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Courtesy of Valerie Atkisson of ArtBistro Do you have a great idea, but can’t afford to make your dreams into a reality? You need an artist grant. Grants are a great benefit to artists. They help beginning creative professionals reach career goals; provide support while working on a specific project and can even enable artists to research for a piece or collection.Sounds great, right? Not so fast — grants are very competitive and the amount awarded, stipulations, and application procedures for each grant vary widely. Some grants are privately funded, while some are publicly funded. And, many are given for a specifically proposed project while some are awarded outright for the work done. But, as one artist/mentor advised me, “Don’t give up until you have applied at least ten times.”How to Apply...Jackie Battenfield, artist and business practices specialist has the following advice about artist grants:“If you aren’t in it you won’t win it. How many times have you rejected yourself by not following through with an application? If you are eligible for an artistic grant, then it is your responsibility to your work to apply for it. Don’t let this year’s rejection keep you from reapplying next year. Panel’s change, your work develops and you may become the perfect match for the grant.Guidelines Many grants are rejected because the applicant has not followed the guidelines. Read the guidelines carefully. If they are online, print them out and use a marker to highlight the most important information. Confirm that your application includes exactly what is requested . . . read more at ArtBistro.com
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How to Build a Contract for Commissioned Artworks

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Courtesy of the Practical Art WorldMany artists, ranging from emerging or amateur artists all the way to fully established professionals, create commissioned works for clients. The idea of a commission is that the purchaser has some input into the finished work that they are buying. This can range from vague direction or discussion all the way to specific agreed upon terms for colors, subject matter, materials used, size, etc. It is up to each artist to decide how much input or direction they will accept from a client and how much they prefer to decide for themselves.Whatever your artistic boundaries are for commissioned works, you should always create a written contract or commission agreement outlining your own stipulations. I have listed some common examples below. Having a written contract signed by both parties is meant to:eliminate any surprises for both the client and artist (everything is agreed upon in advance) andprotect your interests and the interests of the clientPOINTS TO INCLUDE ON YOUR COMMISSION AGREEMENT CONTRACT. . . read more at ThePracticalArtWorld.com
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Fractured Atlas Pocket Guide: Insurance for Actors and Theatre Groups

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Insurance for public art projects can be a nightmare to understand: every city and commissioning entity is likely to ask for different insurance in different ways. This guide is here to help you begin to navigate the maze of requirements that your next project may present. Topics include:  Commercial General LiabilityVolunteer AccidentWorkers' CompensationProperty CoverageGeneral Liability Insurance (Individuals)Directors and Officers InsuranceInternational TouringHealth Insurance (Individuals)Health Insurance (Small Groups)Disability Insurance Courtesy of FracturedAtlas.org
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Fractured Atlas Pocket Guide: Insurance for Musicians and Music Groups

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As a musician, insurance may not be something that you have had to consider very often. However, when the issue arises it's best to know what to look for and the most important types of coverage to consider.This guide will help you to decide what is absolutely essential, what is relatively important, and what is simply nice to have. Topics include:Commercial General LiabilityVolunteer AccidentWorkers' CompensationProperty CoverageGeneral Liability Insurance (Individuals)Instrument InsuranceInternational TouringHealth Insurance (Individuals)Health Insurance (Small Groups)Disability Insurance
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Fractured Atlas Pocket Guide: Insurance for Dancers and Dance Companies

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Your insurance needs to meet the demands of the theater as well as the demands of your budget. This guide will help you to decide what is absolutely essential, what is relatively important, and what is simply nice to have. Topics covered include: Commercial General LiabilityVolunteer AccidentWorkers' CompensationProperty CoverageGeneral Liability Insurance (Individuals)Directors and Officers InsuranceInternational TouringHealth Insurance (Individuals)Health Insurance (Small Groups)Disability Insurance    
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Introduction to Licensing

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The basic definition of trademark licensing is rather straightforward, if somewhat legalistic. A license is an agreement through which a licensee leases the rights to a legally protected piece of intellectual property from a licensor – the entity which owns or represents the property — for use in conjunction with a product or service.But the relative simplicity of that definition is a mere gateway to a way of doing business in an ever-widening range of product categories and types of properties.Licensing is a marketing and brand extension tool that is widely used by everyone from major corporations to the smallest of small business. Entertainment, sports and fashion are the areas of licensing that are most readily apparent to consumers, but the business reaches into the worlds of corporate brands, art, publishing, colleges and universities and non-profit groups, to name a few . . . view more
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How to Write an Exhibition Proposal for an Art Gallery

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Courtesy of Art Explainer. The topic today may be a little different from the common grind of discussing artists and art works but I’m sure that it’s something that concerns most young artists, especially those who are still fresh from art schools.  Anything that serves the interest of art is a sound topic for the Art Explainer and so today we tackle the practicalities of writing exhibition proposals. I am surprised to know that until now a special topics class covering the practicalities of mounting exhibitions is not taught at most art schools here in the Philippines. Unlike in my college where we have a creative writing course called CW 198 or a special topics class that teaches the young budding writer how to write scripts, copies and proposals (those writings that bring food to the table) including proposals for publication, most fine arts graduates are left to figure it all out on their own. How to mount exhibitions is a complicated subject. Enough is said about that  but you know what’s more complicated than that?  How to create the possibility of an exhibition. This scenario is of course not true for every artist. Sometimes you just stumble upon a gallery owner and if he likes your works then presto! The more likely scenario is that you are able to gain some prominence by winning some recognition in an art contest and you are almost immediately invited to exhibit. Others start by standing out in a series of group exhibitions until perceived as someone that has really something important to show. The better situation is that the gallery perceives that you have something important to show after say, working on your thesis for a BFA or MFA. But if you’re not in any of the those scenarios above or if you are in one but the stroke of luck has never struck you then you will have to work for an exhibition proposal and portfolio. Either that or some lucky uncle owns an art gallery. . . view more
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Making Art on Commission: Tips for Artists

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Courtesy of Alan Bamberger at ArtBusiness.com-----Pretty much all artists are interested in either working on commission or are presented with offers to produce works of art on commission at various points during the course of their careers. While most commission arrangements progress to completion with no problems whatsoever, many artists have also had what looked to be a golden commission opportunities turn into unmitigated nightmares. The following tips and pointers on how to approach commissions and on what to expect when commissioned to make art will not only increase your chances for successful outcomes, but will also help you identify situations when the best approach is to just say no rather than take on the job.To begin with, working on commission-- creating a specific work of art that someone asks you to make-- is completely different from working for yourself where you make whatever you want to make without any input or influence from others. Making a work of art for yourself is solo act; producing a work of art on commission for someone else is a relationship-- a partnership between you and that person. Never confuse the two.From your end, the key to successfully working on commission is your ability to be flexible and communicate with whomever hires you. A commission relationship only succeeds when you respond effectively to the other party's concerns, requests and needs (which hopefully aren't too numerous or demanding). Put another way, if you don't work well with people, don't take commissions.The number one commission pitfall by far is taking one on without knowing who you're dealing with. No matter how badly you need the money, how much they say they love your art, how well your initial contact goes or how much you both like spumoni, if you haven't worked together before, do due diligence. Many commission disasters can be avoided before they even start.Meet with the other party in advance to discuss the project, preferably at your studio or wherever you make art. Make sure they see a variety of work so they get a good idea of the range of your skills. Some people say they want to commission a work of art when all they really want is an exact duplicate of one particular piece, or something that looks like one of only a few pieces of your art that they've ever seen. The more of your art they see, assuming they continue to like it, the better they understand the scope of your work, the easier it becomes for them to accept the finished product, and the less you'll have to worry about having to produce a very specific composition or be given directions or instructions at every step of the way.Watch how the other party reacts to your art; find out which pieces they like the most and the least. Politely ask questions and encourage them to do the same. Tell them you want to make sure they're satisfied with the finished product. The two of you have to imagine the creation of the art in pretty much the same way for a commission to work. Differences in initial perceptions of how the process should proceed could lead to problems later. Answers to questions like the following will help you understand what you're in for if you take the job.... . . continue reading at ArtBusiness.com
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