FestivalNet, Asheville, NC
Something so simple as breath is taken for granted until that moment when we experience breath's importance to our life and longevity.
As humans, manifested on earth in the cosmic form of a mammal, our breath connects us to the furthest reaches of the universe and down into the deepest depths of atomic particles.
Being an ever curious and adventurous spirit eager to explore and learn, my body and mind have traveled the path of an athlete, both recreational and competitive, a musician of wind and drum instruments, a facilitator of clients in personal training-massage-meditation-hypnotherapy-sound healing, and journeyed through Western medicine and Eastern esoteric philosophies. What will be brought to you in the words that follow is my small strand of experiences and knowledge gathered from my journeys that threads through the tapestry of this wonderful woven globe that we live in.
Shall we begin the journey together?
Our body is the magical universal instrument and we enjoy that beauty in voice, instrument, and movement. Let us look at five basic benefits of breath.
“When movement of Breath is internal, one will see the world in themself” – unknown Vedic
Each time we inhale with the exchange of exhale, we are rebuilding our nervous system and the entire molecular structure of the body. Your cells are recalibrating as you read this now. So how can you ever be the same person? It is impossible.
The center for breath management expands from the medulla oblongata, a section of the brainstem, and controls the rhythm of our breath. This is done involuntarily. When voluntary rhythmic breath is applied in practice the patterns of the brainstem start to shift and affect the central nervous system, Increasing oxygen and ph in the blood stream.
This exploration of our breath can remove "Dis-Ease" in connective tissues, healing tissue issues in body and brain. (The Mind in a different topic and in not being covered in this article.)
“Breathe easy; have trust and be free form fear.” – Unknown Vedic Sage
Tension derives from the pressure of thought affecting our nervous system and is created in us when we respond to fear and react with a fight or flight response from our reptilian brain stem.
With redirecting the focus to the breath, one can move from the experience of fear in the body into a place of peace, decreasing pain and suffering and increasing clarity of choice for action or stillness.
“Breathing is an action of self who is seated in midst of the breath… those who observe the breath movements regain awareness of SELF which they had lost… reviving original consciousness” – Vedic Hindu text
With a steady mind and lowered heart rate we can make decisions with unwavering confidence.
We trust those that are calm and have clear speech. We can develop this through the study of breath, focus, and the movement between actions and stillness.
How does your breath and heart rate change with different interactions of the day, week, month, year?
The practice of breath awareness exposes the conscious self-awareness of WHO AM I? That question is answered with the focused awareness of our flow of breath while engaged with life.
“…self-discipline is the ability to guide yourself to do what you want to do whether you feel like it or not…” – Ila Barlean
In a culture of should and should not, our breath can become ridiculously small and stifled. Yet with a small shift of mind and will that breath can expand and deepen, allowing our original self to fulfill those dreams and desires we have been holding back from completing. With a little bit of redirecting of our thoughts, our breath will then soon follow.
One can feel a sense of ‘courage’ sweep over the entire body and a flow and ease with the completion of dreams and desires.... be it this article, be it the cake in the oven, be it traveling around the world.
Story Time: "My child was labeled ADD, Learning Disabled and a disruption to the class. I heard that martial arts might be good for him, so I enrolled my son in our local Kung Fu classes. Within a few weeks my child was able to finish a task that he was given. He stood with more confidence. Still full of all that energy, yet clear in his direction." – Mother with frustrated son
5: The FEEL GOOD RESPONSE
As a facilitator I call this exercise “dumping out the trash”. It’s a different feeling from sex or eating something super delicious.
With each breathing practice style there is this build up towards a place like a crossroad in the nervous system. A point where we get to decide
1- Do I continue?
2- Do I stop here?
Either is fine. Yet in the years of working with clients, athletes, myself, family, and friends, it has been discovered that those that choose to “continue" develop all that has been mentioned in this article. Health improves, confidence excels, the ability to relax becomes natural, and discipline is a no brainer.
When we release tension at a tissue level, a set of endorphins are released, and the brain sets off a ton of ATP that has us feeling great.
“The womb breath” – Taoism Chapter
Belly breathing is the simplest and basic way to remember how our breath was when we were in the womb. Scientists have attached ultra-sound to the belly of a pregnant woman and recorded the rhythm of the breath the baby makes in the womb. It turns out to be remarkably similar to the brain wave rhythm and blood flow through the central nervous system.
When this rhythm is remembered – feeling good is your birthright.
In the second part of this article I will share with you my 7 favorite practices of breath.
Article composed by Ila Barlean (B.S.; LMP; Hp) founder of Tao Energy Movement and We Drum Project. She is a student and facilitator of self-care and healing. From a professional athlete to massage, sound healing, hypnotherapy, meditation, and yoga, Ila’s vast knowledge and experiences spends the global family weaving the threads of tribal to science in our fabric of this short time on planet earth.
While so many fairs have folded for this year for reasons out of their control surrounding the pandemic, others have been able to reschedule, regroup, and reorganize to allow for new safety measures. Because state and county fairs are traditionally multifaceted with many different areas of entertainment and activities, they have the 'luxury' to keep components of their event while cutting out others. For most, this means no rides.
For the folks who only go to the fair for the amusement rides, they might choose to skip their beloved fair this summer or fall, but for the people who participate in the agriculture and livestock contests, arts and crafts, and live entertainment, fairs can often take place in our luckier states that are reopening safely.
The Kentucky State Fair won't let COVID keep it down. Their plan to keep attendees safe is thorough, detailed, and carefully explained on their website. From wider, one-way aisles & reduced occupancy and added hand-washing stations to reduced hours to allow for thorough cleanings & increased outdoor areas, the Kentucky State Fair has adapted and evolved in these trying times.
The Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, TN, who is limiting its event to livestock contests and shows, has also published a set of safety rules and also require attendees to sign a waiver upon entry.
The Kearney County Fair in Minden, NE posted on their social media what to expect and what not.
Still more fairs are doing all kinds of virtual judging while allowing for exhibitors and competitors only in the expo centers because of the crowd limits in many states. Bar none, this is the most bizarre summer for fairs ever.
Many fairs scheduled for late summer are still in a wait and see pattern at this time and sadly some will have to cancel at the last minute depending on the state of the virus & the speed in which local governments are forced to switch on and off certain allowances. It's a trying time from coast to coast for events of all types and FestivalNet continues to work hard to keep fairs updated on our website for all visitors.
Have a safe and happy summer, tilt-o-whirl or not.
While we know there are states going back to Phase 1 and there will be no real world events this summer, others are in better shape. Larimer County in Colorado released very helpful and succinct COVID-19 event guidelines so that Art in the Park in Loveland can happen!
By the looks of a recent facebook post, the decision was quite last minute due to waiting on approval from the health department. As a result, it's not too late to apply to exhibit artwork at this fair, Colorado's longest running artisan event.
Check out the rules and procedures to get an idea of the "new normal" in public gatherings in Colorado.
We are wishing the artists and attendees a wonderful show.
Where and When
August 8th & 9th 2020
North Lake Park
2750 N. Taft Ave.
Saturday 10am-5pm | Sunday 10am-4pm
Each one of us has a story to tell. Some of us have more than one story. Others are a bit more shy. The key thing to remember is that your customers want to relate to you as a person, not a product. Stories help us to engage with people and build relationships. In person, a quick anecdote can help to break the ice and establish common ground. But what can you do in this time of social distancing and remote selling? Here are six ways to improve your story-telling and encourage connections with your customers.
1) Focus on One Thing
Online audiences don't have time to focus on much before flitting off to the next bright shiny thing, so you have to grab them quickly. One hero image of your work as an attention-getter is often a great way to kick off a post or an email. (On the professional forums I visit, people will often use an unrelated image just to get attention.) You, as an artist, should have phenomenal images of your work that can be used to kick off a story. Think about how your work came into being, and let that drive the story.
What's the piece about? Did the idea come to you in a dream or was it the result of years of practice and hard work? How did you construct it? What makes it (and you) unique? Find that one thing that distinguishes your artwork from others, and elaborate on it.
In journalism, the first paragraph is the most important. Known as the "lede", it establishes the who, what, where, why and how of your following paragraphs. Perhaps you can relay how you helped a desperate husband find a last-minute gift for his 20th anniversary. Or wax eloquent about the research that went into your latest line of pendants. Remember that this story is not only about you and your work, but also how your customer can relate to you as an artist. People ARE interested in you, and your struggles. They are fascinated by your perceived bohemian lifestyle, and imagine you to be squirreled away in a garret somewhere. Romantic perceptions of artistic endeavors are a powerful hook that you can leverage to draw a picture of reality.
“Lay Down Your Burden” - In this image, captured by photographer James W. Parker, the objects and the light work together to create an air of mystery, leaving questions unanswered. It was shot in an abandoned house in Scenic, SD. Pinned on the wall opposite the crutches was a referral to a wound specialist, dated 1985. One wonders what happened between the time the crutches were left and the image was taken.This picture was made in 2012.
2) Develop a Theme
My photographic work "Stories Told In Things Left Behind" is about preserving past memories and building bridges to the present. Each piece has its own background story, built right in. The stormy afternoon, the odd object out of context, Grandma's chair on the front porch -- each picture offers multiple interpretations, and evokes different emotions from different viewers.
The theme of this body of work makes it much stronger as a whole, and makes it easy to tell stories surrounding it.
Think about the theme or styles that hold your work together. Is it a particular material that's extremely hard to work with? Is it color or texture? What shapes do you find yourself drawn to? As a painter, why do you work in abstract oils or alcohol ink? If you're a potter, what draws you to raku? And why should we care?
The more you reveal yourself to your potential customers, the more they feel they know you. And once they get to know you a bit better, you start to build trust. And trust adds value.
3) Speak From Your Heart
One of the surest ways to build trust is to be yourself. A friend of mine once said, "There are two types of artists. Those who do production to make the most amount of money, and those who create art from the heart."
When your stories and your art come from your heart, write about that passion. Share that passion. Art adds value to people's lives. Knowing the artist adds value to the art. Romance your work. Speak from your heart. And your patrons will value your stories.
4) Segment Your Audience
Hopefully, you have an email list or a Facebook Page. Maybe you still send out postcards. What do you know about your audience? Can you separate the tire-kickers from the buyers? Segmenting your list into smaller pieces may help you to streamline your written communications. For those who demonstrate genuine interest, give them more detail about the work, and VIP access to your newest work. For those who just signed up, an introduction to your story as an artist may be appropriate.
Keeping track, either through a simple spreadsheet, or in your CRM software, can help you define audience segments. Different stories may appeal to different segments of your audience.
5) Develop a Story Calendar
Writing for your blog and posting to social media are two sides of the same coin. Frequency and consistency are key to maintaining your audience's interest. One way to keep on top of it is to work out a calendar for each of your major media outlets. Email, blog posts, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest -- having a specific plan for feeding each of these goes a long way towards keeping you on track and keeping your peeps engaged! Try using a separate Google Calendar, or just write it down on a lined pad. Try to be consistent in how and when you post. I know, I struggle with this, too.
6) Get Published!
While web sites and blogs get all the attention these days, don't forget that printed books and catalogs offer yet another way to reach a select audience and immerse them into a specific facet of your work. Offer a printed catalog of a special collection to your VIP collectors, printed through Blurb (blurb.com) or Lulu (lulu.com).
It's also possible to take a collection of short-form writing and turn it into a book. Many successful writers started by gathering articles from a career in newspapers or magazines. With the proliferation of online blogs and social media, it's easy to build a book as you go. Print on Demand (POD) allows independent authors to have books printed and distributed without having to stock inventory. For more information, check out ingramspark.com or Amazon kdp.amazon.com. And of course, there are ebooks -- Kindle and Draft2Digital.com are two popular e-publishing outlets.
Your story is your passion!
Marketing for artists really means conveying your story in the most passionate and genuine way possible. Let your artist self shine through your writing. Let your unique voice carry throughout all of your written communication as well as your in-person interactions.
James W. Parker is a writer, photographer and designer whose work spans four decades. When not on the road for art festivals and photographic assignment, he assists others in telling their stories in words and pictures.
Hammered and Hung is an Event Based Art Gallery currently producing art festivals and farmers markets in Lakewood, Colorado. It's evident by their responses to COVID-19 that they are committed to ensuring that their local artists have a place to show and sell work this summer.
West Colfax Farmers MarketTheir West Colfax Farmers Market is taking an awesome direction this season to show how much they care. Having realized what an impact COVID-19 is having on artists and vendors, they were quick to take action. They adjusted the monthly market season to run from June thru October in order to get past the stay at home requirements. They are also easing the burden by offering the market to vendors for free. That's right, no vendor fees but a donation is encouraged.
Who is Eligible to Participate in Farmers Markets
Where and When
Lamar Station Plaza
6579 W. Colfax
Lakewood, CO 80214
Runs every Sunday thru October 18th
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Heart of ArtAn outdoor art festival also in Lakewood, Heart of Art will take place next month.
"We will take precautionary measures as recommended by the CDC to ensure that we are keeping everyone safe. We have made the decision to change this art fest from a fine art fest to include other artisans. All items will still be hand crafted, but we will not jury entries. H&H will continue to do what we can to support our struggling artists and vendors, therefore, we’ve lowered the price from $150 to $100 for a 10x10 booth."
- Event Website
By lowering their price and changing their event's model to be non-juried and open to all artist types, Heart of Art will be able to allow more makers to participate.
Have a look at their safety guidelines mandating masks, social distancing, and hand-washing stations.
HEART OF ART IS CALLING FOR ARTIST and VENDORS:
Where and When
August 1st, 2020
12:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Lamar Station Plaza
6579 W. Colfax
Lakewood, CO 80214
Best wishes for a fun and fruitful summer to Hammered & Hung Events!
We've seen events scramble and we've seen events cancel. Some festivals are determined to support their participants & artists by providing an online platform for sales and entertainment, others believe that the internet can't do their event justice (or do not have the means) and have canceled for this year. Still more events have rescheduled from Spring to late Summer or beyond in the hopes that by then, there will be guidelines and allowances to congregate.
I want to highlight one event who has done the "three-step pandemic shuffle" and is covering all the bases to assure that their event can take place this year... They've rescheduled, they've integrated online components, AND have changed locations to allow for social distancing at the real-world event next month.
The Acworth Art Fest is a true celebration of vibrant art every spring in Acworth, Georgia. They rescheduled for August because of COVID, choosing a new location that will allow for adequate social distancing. Also, they have integrated with eventeny.com to produce a symbiotic online counterpart to their event! Kudos Splash Festival!!
"Acworth Art Fest will also be going VIRTUAL on August 10 through 17. We're also moving to Logan Farm Park, just a block from the historic downtown. The beautiful lawn will be the perfect backdrop for social distancing while shopping the whimsical and talented artisan wares from around the country. Their creative booth displays will charm you with paintings, pottery, metalwork, folk art, glass, jewelry, yard art and much more!"
-source: Event Website
The following very thorough and helpful list of safety enhancements for event reopening can be found on the Acworth Art Fest Website.
COVID-19 Safety Enhancements for Event Reopening
Due to the pandemic, Splash Festivals, Inc. is following the CDC Festival guidelines as well as The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide published by the ESA (Event Safety Alliance) for all of the festivals we produce. Our goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable shopping experience while helping artists, one of the most economically affected groups by COVID-19. Your cooperation and support will help to ensure outdoor events can be held safely as we move forward. Therefore, we’ve implemented the following practices:
Where and When
Acworth Art Fest
Logan Farm Park
4405 Cherokee St
Acworth, GA 30101
August 15 & 16, 2020
Saturday & Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
|Next Page »|