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Performance Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes, and Tips to Overcome it!

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Stage Fright (Performance Anxiety)If you dread the thought of getting up in front of a group of people and performing, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from performance anxiety, commonly called "stage fright." In fact, most people would rather get the flu than perform. Athletes, musicians, actors, and public speakers often get performance anxiety.Performance anxiety can prevent you from doing what you enjoy and can affect your career. Worst of all, performance anxiety can negatively affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. Although it may be impossible to totally overcome performance anxiety, there are many things you can do to control your emotions and reduce anxiety. Performance Anxiety SymptomsBeing the center of attention and having all eyes on you can be stressful. Your body reacts to this situation in much the same way as it would if you were being attacked. Your body's "fight-or-flight" mechanism kicks in, which is why symptoms of stage fright are similar to symptoms that occur when you are in real danger.Performance anxiety symptoms may include:Racing pulse and rapid breathingDry mouth and tight throatTrembling hands, knees, lips, and voiceSweaty and cold handsNausea and an uneasy feeling in your stomachVision changesPerformance Anxiety CausesSimply put, stress and anxiety about performing in front of people causes performance anxiety. Confronting your fears and vulnerabilities, accepting yourself for who you are, and not feeling like you have to prove yourself to others, is the first step toward overcoming performance anxiety. Keep in mind that nobody is perfect, nobody expects you to be perfect, and it is OK to make mistakes.The second step is learning how to redirect your negative thoughts, beliefs, images, and predictions about performing in public. Doing this is not as difficult as you might think. . . read more at WebMD.com.
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Conquering Performance Anxiety from Inside Out

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Article by Helen Spielman, a performance anxiety coach. Her writing appears in a variety of music publications. 'I believe I have to suffer in order to perform well,’ said Isabelle, a beautiful woman and professional singer who came to me for performance anxiety coaching. Although she passionately loved to perform, Isabelle often felt terrified, as though she was ‘going to die’ before walking on stage. She received great praise for her per- formances but thought of herself as ‘not that good’ and described her inner experi- ence as ‘being strangled, as though hands were twisting around my lungs’. Her pulse raced and she felt out of control, fearful of not singing perfectly and worried about what listeners thought of her. At age thirty-four, Isabelle believed she was too old to pursue her musical dreams. She kept herself overly busy doing other things ‘to avoid the pain of not performing’ as much as she wanted to. When she did perform, she felt unsatisfied with the results she achieved. . . read more at performconfidently.com.
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Tax Information for Nonprofits

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Assembled by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD.  Courtesy of Free Management Library. Sections of This Topic Include: Do I Need Help to Get Started? Importance of Good Record Keeping Getting Tax-Exempt Status Federal, State, Sales, Payroll Taxes, etc. Preparing and Filing Form 990s (including about public disclosure) Donations and Taxes Unrelated Business Income Taxes (UBIT) Lobbying and Taxes Assessing Your Tax Management Practices Special Topic -- When Hiring, Need Independent Contractor or Employee?
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Safekeeping of Business & Artistic Records

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Excerpt from an article written for the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF); updated December 2010----- Good Recordkeeping + Safe Storage = Peace of MindNo one, no space, no area is immune from disaster. Be it natural or otherwise, disaster can and will happen. After surviving a disaster, recovery can be difficult, yet possible, since to varying degrees most things such as artwork and work space can be replaced or recreated — most things, that is, save one: important original career-related records. Loss of exhibition or performance documentation, slides, digital images and historical data is permanent if precautions to safeguard these data are not taken. Be prepared by developing strategies that help minimize career disruption in the event of a disaster. Consider this rule of thumb: In the event of a disaster, what records would you need to assure continuity of your business if you had to suddenly set up shop somewhere new?  Start by identifying these things: Records: -Paper and/or Digital: Anything vital to your art career (that isn’t the art itself ) that will allow you to continue doing business or help you seek assistance. (Remember that many relief programs that provide assistance for artists will require documentation of your career!)  -Career-related documents: resume; artist statement and bios; work samples (slides, digital images, recordings, tapes, DVDs, CDs, scores) . . .Continue reading at ArtistTrust.org
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Title Insurance for the Arts

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Courtesy of The Economist  WHEN an associate of the Musée d'Art Moderne André-Malraux in Normandy flipped through the catalogue for the auction of impressionist art at Sotheby's in New York on November 2nd, he made a startling discovery. On sale was “Blanchisseuses souffrant des dents”(Laundry women with toothache), a painting by Edgar Degas, which had been stolen in 1973 from a museum where it had been on loan from the Louvre. After being alerted by the French authorities, Sotheby's dropped the painting from the sale.An investigation is under way. The owner was putting the painting up for sale in good faith, but he or she is likely to lose it without compensation when it is returned to France. Like most art collectors, the owner had no art-title insurance, which would have provided compensation for the painting's value, estimated by Sotheby's at $350,000-450,000.“Theft accounts for only a quarter of title disputes,” says Judith Pearson, a co-founder of ARIS, a small insurance firm that has been selling title insurance since 2006 and which was taken over by Argo Group, a bigger insurer, earlier this month. Three-quarters of squabbles occur in cases of divorce or inheritance when a spouse or other heirs challenge a seller's right to sell. A work of art may also carry liens after being used as a collateral for a loan. More rarely, two or more artists may collaborate but then disagree about who has authority to flog their co-production.Does the risk of title disputes warrant the cost of title insurance? ARIS charges a one-off premium of between 1.75% and 6% of the art's value. In return the company will cover the legal costs in case of a title dispute and compensate for the agreed value of the art if their client loses the ownership dispute. ARIS has so far written about 1,000 policies and has not yet had a claim...read more.
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Creating a Budget: How to Figure Out Your Real Project Budget

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Creative Capital prepared these notes for Creative Capital grantees, which may be useful for all grant seekers. Expenses:Pay yourself! This is a new concept for some artists, but it's smarter to figure out now what your time is worth, represent this time in your project budget, and raise money based upon these real costs than to underbudget the project and wind up maxing out your credit cards with expensive, last-minute charges and cash advances. Here are two ways to represent your time in your project budget: If this project is not the primary source of employment or income for you as its director, producer, coordinator, etc., you need to make sure that all artists' fees, including your own, are included in the project budget, and that your organization is "paid" for its services to the project. Organizations typically budget up to 20% of a project's total costs to cover administration and overhead (A), which includes a portion of indirect costs such as bookkeeping, fundraising, audit, and so on. So the A for a $50,000 project would be $10,000, and the "real" budget for this project would be $60,000 (direct costs plus A) . . . read more at  ChicagoArtistsResource.org   
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10 Key Elements for a Professional Art Portfolio

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By Daniel J. Keys, Courtesy of Fine Art Views.com As recently requested by some of FAV’s devoted readers, I’ve decided to share my experience of putting together a competent and effective artist’s portfolio intended to be presented to an art gallery. Setting a standard for ourselves... First, it’s imperative to understand that everything we do in our line of business must be completely professional, tasteful, and tactful whenever possible. There are just no excuses for unprofessionalism; the existence of so many business relationships, and whether or not they’ll remain advantageous to us, can at times depend entirely on what kind of impression is first made upon the recipient of our humble offerings (i.e. our business cards, brochures, portfolio, or photographic images of our artworks themselves).  Remember that your portfolio denotes not only your work, but also in particular what kind of person you are; and a sloppy portfolio can ruin your chances to be represented by a gallery. Putting it all together...1. Use a simple but professional looking binderThis helps to keep all of the portfolio’s contents neat and tidy, and make it easy for the gallery’s representatives to keep track of the materials enclosed at all times. 2. A good cover letterA portfolio is our opportunity (and sometimes only chance) to make a lasting impression on a gallery’s selection committee. I’ve heard of galleries that have returned artist’s portfolios without ever looking through its pages because of how poorly written the cover letter was. This letter needn’t be long, but rather state what’s enclosed in the package that this letter came in, who you are, and why you’re contacting this particular gallery. Be brief and to the point . . . view more at FineArtViews.com
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Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal

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By S. Joseph Levine, Ph.D., courtesy of Learner Associates This Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal was created to help empower people to be successful in gaining funds for projects that provide worthwhile social service. A major theme that runs throughout the Guide is a concern for the development of meaningful cooperative relationships - with funding agencies, with community organizations, and with the people you are serving - as a basis for the development of strong fundable initiatives. The Guide is built on the assumption that it is through collaboration and participation at all levels that long term change can be effected . . . read more at LearnerAssociates.net Proposal Section  TITLEWriting HintsExamplePROJECT OVERVIEWWriting HintsExampleBACKGROUND INFORMATION/ STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMWriting HintsExamplePROJECT DETAIL  - Goals & ObjectivesWriting HintsExample- ClienteleWriting HintsExample- MethodsWriting HintsExample- Staff/AdministrationWriting HintsExampleAVAILABLE RESOURCESWriting HintsExampleNEEDED RESOURCES  - PersonnelWriting HintsExample- FacilitiesWriting HintsExample- Equipment/Supplies/CommunicationWriting HintsExample- BudgetWriting HintsExampleEVALUATION PLANWriting HintsExampleAPPENDICESWriting HintsExample
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Proposal Development & Grant Writing Tips

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By Jacob Kraicer, Courtesy of HFSP, Human Frontier Sciences Program. Writing a successful grant application is an art. Although the science is primarily being evaluated, presentation and respect for the requirements of the funding agency are key aspects that can make or break an application. In this article, Jack Kraicer, former Director of Research Grants at HFSP provides guidelines on preparing grant applications from the moment of conception to the submitting the final proposal.  1. INTRODUCTION "Grantsmanship is the art of acquiring peer-reviewed research funding"The objective of these guidelines is to assist both new and veteran investigators to optimize their chances of successfully competing in a peer-reviewed grant application competition. It is a competition. With success rates falling to 50% or below, the difference between success and failure often results, not just from the quality of the science, but from the quality of the grant application. In all probability, the quality of science of the applications in the 10% below the cut- off for funding by an agency is not significantly different from that in the 10% just above the cut- off. "Grantsmanship" can make the difference. The art of "grantsmanship" will not turn mediocre science into a fundable grant proposal. But poor "grantsmanship" will, and often does, turn very good science into an unfundable grant proposal. Good writing will not save bad ideas, but bad writing can kill good ones.Why am I qualified to give advice ? First, I was successful in obtaining peer-reviewed funding and I served on a number of national and international reviewing bodies for some 30 years. But perhaps more relevant is the fact that I was responsible for the administration of a peer-reviewed research grants program for four years. During this time some 1600 research grant applications were processed.My comments, suggestions, and recommendations are based on this experience, plus documents and discussions listed in the acknowledgements. They are relevant to most peer-reviewed research grant applications to most granting agencies. The information required, formats, and review processes are generally similar.  2. BEFORE YOU START TO WRITE Read the Guidebooks, Guidelines, and Application Forms carefully and follow them exactly. Make sure that you have the latest versions.  - Make sure that your proposal "fits" with the mission of the agency and that your objectives match with those of the agency. Make this "match" explicit in your written application. - If you have any doubts or questions, contact the relevant granting agency person, who will welcome your questions and answer them. They really do want to help. - Find out the median funding level for the agency. This will allow you to formulate a reasonable budget. - Find colleagues who have served on, or have received grants from, the agency. They can give you "insider" information on how the agency works, and what "sells". Begin to formulate / clarify your ideas. - Do you have a clear, concise and testable hypothesis ?  - Are your objectives and aims coming into focus ? - What questions are to be addressed ?  - Can you define and design specific experiments that will test directly your hypothesis? Start the process early (see timetable suggested by Tutis Vilis (section 3.2), which I have modified slightly).Put together and write up your recent work and submit it to appropriate peer-reviewed journal(s). Do this well in advance so that the work can appear in your application as "published", "in press" or "a submitted manuscript". Most granting agencies will not accept a manuscript "in preparation". Your track record, as judged by publications, is an important criterion in the assessment. Carry out appropriate preliminary (pilot) studies, so that their results can be included in the application. This is especially important for new applications. It will also establish for you, and for the reviewers, whether the experimental approaches are feasible and where the pitfalls may be. Find and study previous grant proposals of colleagues that have been successful. Consider these as models.Find out, if you can, who are the members of the review committee and focus accordingly. Identify essential and appropriate investigators who wish to collaborate with you. Discuss ideas with colleagues in the same and relevant fields. Just going through the process of explanation and discussion will help to clarify and focus your ideas, and to identify possible gaps in logic . . . read more at HFSP.org

Grants: Proposal Writing Short Course

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Courtesy of Foundation Center.org The subject of this short course is proposal writing.  But the proposal does not stand alone. It must be part of a process of planning and of research on, outreach to, and cultivation of potential foundation and corporate donors. This process is grounded in the conviction that a partnership should develop between the nonprofit and the donor. When you spend a great deal of your time seeking money, it is hard to remember that it can also be difficult to give money away. In fact, the dollars contributed by a foundation or corporation have no value until they are attached to solid programs in the nonprofit sector. This truly is an ideal partnership. The nonprofits have the ideas and the capacity to solve problems, but no dollars with which to implement them. The foundations and corporations have the financial resources but not the other resources needed to create programs. Bring the two together effectively, and the result is a dynamic collaboration. You need to follow a step-by-step process in the search for private dollars. It takes time and persistence to succeed. After you have written a proposal, it could take as long as a year to obtain the funds needed to carry it out. And even a perfectly written proposal submitted to the right prospect might be rejected for any number of reasons. Raising funds is an investment in the future. Your aim should be to build a network of foundation and corporate funders, many of which give small gifts on a fairly steady basis and a few of which give large, periodic grants. By doggedly pursuing the various steps of the process, each year you can retain most of your regular supporters and strike a balance with the comings and goings of larger donors. The recommended process is not a formula to be rigidly adhered to. It is a suggested approach that can be adapted to fit the needs of any nonprofit and the peculiarities of each situation. Fundraising is an art as well as a science. You must bring your own creativity to it and remain flexible. Gathering Background InformationThe first thing you will need to do in writing your proposal is to gather the documentation for it. You will require background documentation in three areas: concept, program, and expenses. If all of this information is not readily available to you, determine who will help you gather each type of information. If you are part of a small nonprofit with no staff, a knowledgeable board member will be the logical choice. If you are in a larger agency, there should be program and financial support staff who can help you. Once you know with whom to talk, identify the questions to ask. This data-gathering process makes the actual writing much easier. And by involving other stakeholders in the process, it also helps key people within your agency seriously consider the project's value to the organization. Concept  It is important that you have a good sense of how the project fits with the philosophy and mission of your agency. The need that the proposal is addressing must also be documented. These concepts must be well-articulated in the proposal. Funders want to know that a project reinforces the overall direction of an organization, and they may need to be convinced that the case for the project is compelling. You should collect background data on your organization and on the need to be addressed so that your arguments are well-documented. Program  Here is a check list of the program information you require:the nature of the project and how it will be conducted;the timetable for the project;the anticipated outcomes and how best to evaluate the results; andstaffing and volunteer needs, including deployment of existing staff and new hires. Expenses  You will not be able to pin down all the expenses associated with the project until the program details and timing have been worked out. Thus, the main financial data gathering takes place after the narrative part of the master proposal has been written. However, at this stage you do need to sketch out the broad outlines of the budget to be sure that the costs are in reasonable proportion to the outcomes you anticipate. If it appears that the costs will be prohibitive, even with a foundation grant, you should then scale back your plans or adjust them to remove the least cost-effective expenditures.  Components of a Proposal   Executive Summary: umbrella statement of your case and summary of the entire proposal1 page Statement of Need: why this project is necessary2 pages Project Description: nuts and bolts of how the project will be implemented and evaluated3 pages Budget: financial description of the project plus explanatory notes1 page Organization Information: history and governing structure of the nonprofit; its primary activities,  audiences, and services1 page Conclusion: summary of the proposal's main points2 paragraphs  . . . view more
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