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Artists, Craftspeople, Musicians, Festivals, & Others that exhibit, perform or work in the music, art, craft, festival biz and special events industry, will find these past Newsletters of interest.

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Years 2012-2014. To access a back issue, click the Newsletter title. Use the search box above to find a topic in all years.

February 2015 Newsletters - Artists & Crafters | Musicians | Food Vendors | Promoters | MarketPlace

Artists and Crafters News:

How to Label Your Portfolio Images

by Harriete Estel Berman

artWhen you're submitting an application, an unlabeled CD may become useless without the artist's name. It may not be shown, it may not be returned. It might be thrown away.

Always label your images EXACTLY according to the instructions specified in the prospectus. Follow the instructions for labeling your digital images. Some programmers prefer all lower case letters or an application might specify an entry number as the file name. Use only periods(.) or underscore(_).

If not specified differently, digital Images should be titled with last name, first initial and a short description. If all your images start with the same letters, they will automatically organize themselves as a group every time they are loaded or reloaded on a computer or disc. For example:





Avoid sticking labels on your CD that can jam, get stuck, or throw the disc off balance. Write with a Sharpie in the clear center of your disc, or use one of those special pens for writing on CDs.


Slide mounts should look neat, conforming to the prospectus instructions. The slide film can be removed from your slide mount and inserted into a new slide mount for new labeling according to the instructions. Fine point Sharpie works the best on plastic mounts. If the instructions do not require your name on the front (for example, some shows use a number system) try to put your name in some other area that does not require information (like on the back.)

Information to appear on your slide label may include:

  • TITLE of the artwork
  • Date of artwork
  • Dimensions: height, width, depth
  • Materials/Media (example: Type of print, acrylic, wood with decoupage, glitter)
  • Sometimes "media" simply means your craft-jewelry, ceramics, etc. Better check to make sure you know how much information they want.

Read more!

Musicians News:

How to Get More Fans to Your Gigs

by Tom Hess

positive attitude

Are you frustrated because you aren't getting as many people to come to your gigs as you want? Getting 'new' people to come to your gigs is not even the main challenge, even most of your own friends and fans usually won't come to your gigs regularly. This fact makes it harder to get bigger and better gigs that pay more money.

If your band plays 25 gigs this year, how many of your friends/fans will come to see more than 4 of these? A very small percentage. Why?

It's not you, it's them. Let's find out how and what you can do about it.

If you ask your friends/fans to come to your next gig, what are you REALLY asking them to do? Are you asking them to listen and watch you perform your songs? Not really.

In reality, you are really asking people to travel all the way to some unclean club where they need to pay to get in the door. Then they will be surrounded by intoxicated people who yell in their ears because the music is too loud to talk, pay for overpriced drinks, stand through an opening band they probably have little or no interest in, then wait again an additional 15 minutes while the stage changes from one band to the next, then finally they get to stand through 90 minutes of your band's cool songs in a room that is booming with muddy bass frequencies because the sound man does not know how to properly mix bands in a room that was never acoustically designed to have loud music played in. After the gig they leave the club and drive home with their ears ringing and a bad headache.

Read more here!

Promoters News:

What Event Directors Need to Know About Insurance

This article was provided by the team at ACT Insurance

Planning and organizing an event is never easy. There are so many contingencies that can happen and hundreds of different things to arrange. The preparation can be daunting and stressful, but there are ways that event directors, and the artists and vendors who sell their products at your show, can mitigate not only the stress, but also some of the risks associated with putting on and selling at events.

Having insurance is a great way to relieve worry and stress. Think about it: Most people don't drive their cars around without having auto insurance because if they were to cause an accident, the expenses could be more than they could afford on their own. The same goes with event insurance. And with dozens (and possibly even hundreds) of different artists and vendors attending the event, the risk that something can go wrong increases.

Promoting events

Read more here!

Food Vendor News:

Sanitation Tips: Cautionary tales at Chicago's Summer Festival Food Vendor Sanitation Seminar

by Jake Malooley Time Out Chicago Magazine

Becoming a city-certified festival food vendor is enough to turn anyone off the idea of eating giant turkey legs.

"Has anyone ever eaten something and shortly after you feel a gurgling in your stomach?" Daria Kulczycky asks her Summer Festival Food Vendor Sanitation Seminar one afternoon last week at Harold Washington College. The stern, middle-aged woman in a blue turtleneck is attempting to stir some gastrointestinal empathy in her students-myself included.

We will soon join the ranks of 2,200 vendors certified annually by the city to serve fried dough and meats on a stick to the masses at music festivals, neighborhood street fetes, farmers' markets and church fund-raisers. The workshop quickly feels like an episode of MTV's Scared Straight for summer food vendors.

"Suddenly, you make a mad dash to the bathroom," Kulczycky continues. "No sooner than you sit on the almighty throne, you realize whatever you consumed was contaminated with a pathogen!" A wave of ewww! sweeps through the sixth-floor classroom.

My ten classmates include a vegan Indian food vendor setting up shop at the Pitchfork Music Festival, a soft-spoken coffee entrepreneur from Portage Park hoping to start pouring cups at the 'hood's farmers' market, a veteran purveyor of cevapcici who recently began serving the pita-wrapped sausages at U.S. Cellular Field, and a brassy Italian-ice peddler whose sister operates a stand on Navy Pier.

The class, offered April through September, is admittedly a breeze. If your $35 registration check clears and your butt is in the chair for all three hours, you're gonna pass. In lieu of a diploma, a graduate walks away with a little blue card that fits nicely at the end of a lanyard.

Read more here!

MarketPlace News:

Turning Your Artistic Hobby into a Business

by Rosalind Resnick

art fairWhen Terry Speer was a struggling art student in the 60s, he put himself through college by selling his prints and paintings at local art shows. In 1979, after eight years as an art professor, Speer left academia to do the show circuit full time with his wife, Deborah Banyas, a fellow artist and quilt maker.

"I had tenure and benefits," Speer recalls, "but I was miserable. I thought, 'Why am I torturing myself as a professor when I can have more fun doing this and make more money?'"

Speer hasn't looked back once. Today, he and Banyas run a homebased business selling their whimsical mixed-media sculptures at art festivals and craft shows around the country, including the recent Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Miami where they rang up sales of several thousand dollars over the three-day Presidents' Day weekend. Despite an estimated $3,000 in travel and other miscellaneous costs, Speer and Banyas ended up making a tidy profit. Then they packed up their truck and headed home to Oberlin, Ohio, where they stayed for less than a day before traveling to another show in Baltimore.

"This isn't an easy way to make a living," says Banyas, who estimates that the couple exhibits at 12 shows a year. "You've got to be willing to drive a truck and get up at four in the morning."

Still, Speer and Banyas can't see themselves doing anything else. And they're not the only ones who feel that way. Though it's impossible to know how many artists and craftspeople sell their wares full or part time at shows and festivals, their numbers appear to be growing as crowds turn out by the thousands to buy paintings, sculptures, woodwork, metalwork, glasswork and jewelry and to meet the artists and craftsmen who make them. And as Speer and Banyas have discovered, there's real money to be made. Last year, the Coconut Grove festival drew more than 150,000 visitors who purchased approximately $4 million in artwork from more than 330 exhibitors over the course of the three-day show. (Figures for this year's show were not available at press time.)

Read more!

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