Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Business Tools for Artists, Crafters, whomever needs 'em!

Let's face it- we all need a little help when it comes to some area of our business. For me, though I love the business-y side of things, I need a a starting point to jump off from. So, i have been searching the internet, the library and bookstore for business ideas and advice. Here's some online sources that have been helpful.

Biz Ladies on Design Sponge is my new favorite for getting in-depth, but easy to read business advice. Usually oriented towards artists (Wow!), articles such as Microenterprise Development and Fortune in the Follow up have been helpful as I continue to create a successful creative arts business. There are even more articles than the last time I checked. I can't wait to read about Media Kits, since I am putting together some this week!

And, of course, Modish Biz Tips is amazing, as well. I especially like the monthly goals check-in. It's informative to read about how people develop their business and creative goals and how we all deal with meeting, or not meeting, the monthly goals. Also, there are series such as Brick-by-Brick and Biz Basics the latest of which was written by Tara Gentile of Scoutie Girl ( current blog fave).

Got any business resources you want to share? Leave a comment with your favorite!

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Disappointing News From Pennsylvania

I hate that I am still having to post these disappointing updates about the Arts in PA. However, there are still a few more days to make changes to the budget! Here is the latest news from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and Citizens for the Arts:

Proposed State Budget Includes Sales tax Expansion

The new proposed state budget agreement removes a sales tax exemption on tickets to museums, theaters, concerts, opera, ballet and other similar activities as a means of raising revenue for the state. According to an article in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer "Sources familiar with the final package said the deal calls for the creation of a special fund for cultural institutions and the arts."

As the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council continues to work with partners across Pennsylvania to determine a unified course of action, local arts advocates can help by calling their state legislators.

1) Let them know that you are opposed to the sales tax expansion and that this is "taxing" ordinary citizens out of the cultural experience.

2) Ask them why the arts have been singled out for this tax, when other forms of entertainment with much greater revenue generating potential, such as movies and sporting events, are exempted?

3) Demand that if Harrisburg is going to create a dedicated arts fund, then the arts need to be invited to the table to talk about it.

If you need a phone number for your legislators visit the Citizens for the Arts website. The budget will take at least 10 days to pass, so the time to act is now.

For up-to-the-minute information regarding arts funding in the state budget, follow the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

Please forward this message to your contacts or networks who are supportive of the arts.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Art funding in PA, there's some, but not all...

For people in Pennsylvania, this is really important. Call you legislators today!
Call Your State Legislators Now!

During a press conference this morning (9/11/2009), members representing both caucuses in the Senate and the House Democratic caucus announced that an agreement had been reached on the state budget for FY 09-10. It is reported the budget includes $10 million for arts grants (down from $15.2 million) through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and $1 million (down from $1.3 million) for administration of the Council.

This increase is a huge testament to your advocacy efforts considering the ZERO offered in SB 850. However it still represents a cut of almost 30% over last year's approved appropriation. There is a brief window of time to CALL your legislators. Express your appreciation for including the funding for the PCA but urge them to fund arts grants at a level between $12.5 million - $14 million. Arts funding supports jobs, programming in schools and at senior citizens centers, and helps revitalize our downtowns. Remember to tell them why this is a priority to you and your community. Tell them the many ways that we all benefit from an investment in the arts. CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY.

You can locate phone numbers on Citizen's for the Arts in PA's e-advocacy site at http://capwiz.com/artsusa/pa .

Friday, September 4, 2009

Crafts N'At Indie Craft fair this Saturday!

Need something to do this weekend? Want to get a heads start on holiday shopping?

Come to Crafts n'At at the Union Project in Highland Park, Pittsburgh. All the new styles of Xmittens will be there!

10am-6pm this Saturday! Crafts, Music and a Benefit to the Parkinson's Foundation...Find out more here.