Friday, April 30, 2010
Founded in 1987, First Stage Children's Theater has grown from a small theater for young audiences to a nationally acclaimed company drawing annual audiences of more than 135,000 people. With a season including six mainstage plays, two First Steps shows and one touring production (more than 300 performances annually), First Stage has become one of the largest programs in the nation.
First Stage Children's Theater touches hearts and transforms lives by creating exceptional theater experiences for young people and families through...
First Stage offers:
First Stage Children's Theater is a member of Theater Communications Group (TCG), TYA/USA and Americans for the Arts (AFTA), as well as the Milwaukee Arts Partners and Theatre Wisconsin. First Stage is also a Cornerstone Member of the United Performing Arts Fund. The company is the recipient of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts' 2002 Bravo Award for outstanding achievement in the performing arts."
Specifically as an employee of the academy we focus a lot on the "Life skills through stage skills" clause of the mission statement. It is written on our academy T-Shirts, we discuss every morning how we are achieving that mission, and we talk with parents and children frequently about how our goal isn't how to teach kids how to act, but how to live good lives and interact positively with one another. As the website's about me stated, First Stage has gone through a large amount of growth since it was founded and I attribute much of that growth to the amount of focus put on their mission statement and making sure their employees work towards that mission.
I posted this on our project blog as well, but I figured it might reach more people here.
For those of you interested in Twitter, here are a few links to explore! The first link was created by Mashable, a social media guide that specializes in Facebook, Twitter, and everything in between. The 2nd list is from SMM Guru, which is kinda vague about their company but nevertheless, offers a great collection of entrepreneurs. The last list is exactly as it sounds, 100 twitter feeds for young entrepreneurs. Check out Melik Yuksel (gotmelik) from Houston, TX. He is a 15 year old graphic designer, blogger, and entrepreneur who has almost 40,000 followers (wow). I'm pretty impressed. Also check out Ben Lang (entreprenueurpro) to learn more about teen entrepreneurs. He also has a lot of neat videos and links to explore.
Many of these entreprenueurs tweet about their experiences and offer advice. Together these individuals provide a diverse spectrum of entreprenuership and I hope you find some use out of them. Enjoy!
1. Top 10 (according to Mashable)
2. Top 20 Entreprenuers on Twitter (according to SMMGURU)
3. Top 100 Twitter Feeds for Young Entreprenuers
This last one is just for fun! Facebook is now giving business window decals to help promote themselves. I kinda like the idea, especially since you can just text the number on the decal and the business will get a thumbs up! Talk about a great way to get some quick publicity!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
As I was reading the assignments for Thursday, I noticed some overlap in material covered by another book I'm working my way through as part of my internship with Exec. Dir. Marta Weldon at the Fox Valley Symphony.
Monday, April 26, 2010
What's the biggest challenge you've run into with Fringe?
What hasn’t been? There have been so many challenges over the past five years, from personal to professional, some comical and some rather painful. At the end of the 2007 Festival, I took on the role of Executive Director, which means I shoulder fundraising and running the business. I juggle a lot in managing the business of Fringe. I am sometimes too obsessed with our cash flow report. It is very important to me that Fringe remains a sustainable business.
A big part of that is to keep us from becoming an institution too quickly. At the festival last year, I had many tell me that Fringe was now an institution. DC can be a tricky place when it comes to institutions. When you think of DC arts institutions, it usually conjures up images of bricks and mortar. I am trying to keep us as nomadic as possible. We need to be able to react to our ever-evolving city and not be tied down by anything.
I had someone say to me last year that they were confused that we kept changing. They were referring to our image and brand for the festival each year. Now, they did not mean this as a compliment – but it was awesome to me! We very much view ourselves like we’re a band and each year we release a new album. So, of course the image will change but the core is always the same.
Quote from "Cheap (of Free) Ways to Grow Your Business"
"Many small businesses today have yet to really harness the marketing and communication power that online tools can provide them," said Raj Seshadri, Citibank's head of small business banking. "Our survey reveals a huge opportunity for many businesses to begin using some of the basic online tools, such as email marketing, to drive their sales."
Living in Appleton is can be difficult to find, or even believe that there is an art community outside of campus. One need look no farther than down the street to find an exceptional painter living in the Appleton community. His name is Jeff Hargreaves and I first came into contact with him when he wanted to sit in on the figure drawing sessions that take place every Thursday from 7-9. Since then his career as an artist has taken off. He is represented by galleries in Wisconsin and Florida, and he has taken it upon himself to establish community based art classes. I always find it inspirational to know that someone so close to campus could have success as an artist. His website is at the following link: http://www.jeffhargreaves.com/Jeff_Hargreaves_Fine_Artist/Jeff_Hargreaves_Fine_Artist.html
Tonight, President Obama will be speaking about entrepreneurship! He will specifically be highlighting WHY entrepreneurship is important and how to foster entrepreneurial growth. There will be guest speakers from 50 different countries which include socially conscious businessmen, NGO leaders, educators, and entrepreneurs. I highly encourage you to check it out -- it begins at 6pm TONIGHT. You can stream it live from here.
If you'd like more info, go here!
EDIT:: Um, ok, I guess they're only streaming the Presidential speech, but if you can, you should get to a TV and watch it! He mentioned the Gramean Bank and microfinance, as well as up and coming entrepreneurs in the Middle East and developing nations. He said that entrepreneurship is the one thing that can bring the Middle East and America together, and I know that I would sure like to hear the hows and the whys. It looks like an amazing summit, so go, go now! Get to your tvs and watch this! :D
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Here are some examples of some businesses that demonstrate environmental responsibility in their mission and their operation. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1892751,00.html
Tonight there will be a "Rubik's Cube" party in the Theatre House (a.k.a. 711 E Alton a.k.a. the old Phi Delt House). Yui and Nico will be DJ-ing (I will also be around the house) and we would love it if you all could show up and give us feedback on the music, lighting, and general atmosphere of the party.
Any feedback you have regarding this smaller event will greatly help us in planning our larger event at Luna or Anduzzi's at the end of the term. So if you can stop by, even if it is just for a few minutes. Bring your friends. Ask them what they thought or get them in contact with us; and make sure to wear Rubik's Cube colors: white, orange, blue, green, yellow, or red (either all one color or a mix of all of them).
Thanks. Hope to see you there!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Today in class Professor Troy mentioned the Writer's Theater, which I would have to recommend highly! My oldest sister lives and works in Chicago as a dancer/dance teacher, and supplements her income with a bunch of odd jobs. She worked at the Writer's Theater for two or three years, and it really is just a lovely venue with excellent productions. I saw Othello performed there and it was just fantastic. If you guys get a chance, you should really go check it out!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
One of my favorite websites which promotes crafters and artisans is etsy.com. You can sell anything from knit scarves to filigree necklaces to silkscreen prints to steampunk corsets. Though it's not necessarily as entrepreneurial as trying to make your own separate business, selling on a group site like this can do a number of helpful things -- 1) It can help you learn who your buyer base is (if your product is tangible); 2) it can help you adjust your pricing to get the most profit from your product; and 3) it can help you work out any potential kinks or errors in your product in a minimal loss situation before you decide to take it to your own personal business. Also, etsy is a GREAT way to find other people who do what you do and network with potential mentors in your field! Besides, even if you don't have anything to sell, there are thousands of awesome, one-of-a-kind handmade items up there worth checking out...and you'll be supporting other artists! How could it get any better?
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
This weekend the Lawrence Scholars in Business program bis hosting a number of esteemed alums from the investment world. This weekend’s program kicks off at 2 p.m. over in the Warch Campus Center. If you have even an inkling of interest the financial markets coordination of savings and investment, the regulation (or absence thereof) of the financial sector, or even a career in that field, you should think about coming out.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
2:00pm - 5:00pm
Warch Campus Centre
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Hi Guys, my honors project “Occident & Orient” opens at Mudd Gallery on Thursday, April 15, 2010. This is an art show of photographs about Chinese identity embracing, rejecting then merging with the West, through Chinese critical view of the western culture over three periods of time: 1930s, 1960s and the present.
The opening reception is on Thursday, April 15, 2010, from 6 to 8 in the evening.
Hope to see you there!
The show runs until April 27th.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The No Longer Empty group is a great example of people already established who are successfully transforming formerly vacant storefronts into exciting and enriching arts venues. Check out especially the "About NLE" section where they discuss their mission!
Monday, April 12, 2010
In order to try to do his talk justice, I'm going to format my blog entry like the articles that Professor Skran gave us, as I believe his mission falls into a similar category. Also, just as a note, Ted Levin has been a part of MANY, MANY 'ethnopreneurial' projects; but in the interest of being concise, I have decided to only outline his recent work with the Aga Khan's Music Initiative.
The Problem and The New Idea
During Levin's Watson Fellowship in Afghanistan, he realized that traditional music in rural areas was dying out due to many different factors: 1) that music was passed down through a dying oral tradition 2) that without new music influences, the music was becoming stagnant, and 3) that because these traditions were located in such remote areas and the world had never had access to them, there was no cultural push to keep them alive.
Ted Levin suggested that they approach the problem firstly by promoting awareness of such musical traditions, and secondly, by introducing said musical traditions to other musical traditions from around the globe. "[He] not only wanted to revitalize these traditions, but give these musicians a chance for their traditions to grow [... He] wanted to get these folks out and connected with other people from around the world." He decided to "curate" collaborative concerts between musicians of the world and market them to an international audience.
Ted Levin understood the magnitude of such an undertaking, and came up with the following plan (as presented in his lecture):
1) Translating the language of art into the language of donor support (ie:: writing a proposal and a development strategy, the how and why someone should support his idea - "when someone gives you money, you can't just fumble around [...] you have to make a business plan, invest the money in some creative process.")
2)Translating the language of donor support into the language of art (ie:: why the musicians should/would want to be a part of his project)
3)Translating the language of art into the language of the audience (ie:: to give the viewers something desirable, to "make the audience come away with an understanding of something new.")
4)Translating the language of art into the language of media (ie:: writing press releases, producing cds, dissemination of both advertising and material. "If you want to be an entrepreneur," Ted Levin says, "you must be able to get the word out.")
5)Translating the language of art into the language of art (ie:: considering the feelings of those you are working with, as well as finding a lingua franca and common ground to enable the international artists to work together).
By taking all of these factors into consideration, Ted Levin has been incredibly successful in his endeavor; "[he has] created an enthusiasm that wasn't there before."
Notable Quotes with Regard to Our Class
On what it means to be an entrepreneur "1. Not to have a regular job. 2. to take risks and try to get other people to take risks as well - to share and explore music and drive it through other cultures"
That even in doing something like "amplifying voices that are being drowned out and documenting music which is in danger of dying out, there are people [out there] who are willing to pay you for it"
On getting paid for social projects: "You're a salesman. You're providing a service, [and] you gotta get someone to pay for it. It's not exploitation; you're doing something important."
That sometimes, "if you want to go North, go South. I wanted to study throat singing in Tuva, but first I had to produce Billy Joel's rock concert in Russia [...] which allowed me access to the KGB guy who was in charge of allowing [foreigners] into Tuva. Many people had tried to go there and had failed, but [because of the rock concert,] I was allowed in."
Finally, on being an entrepreneur: "You have to do it all, but there's never a dull moment!"
One morning you wake up, and it’s facing you. Everything you took for granted and that made your life comfortable is suddenly gone. Probably forever. Welcome to the economy of fear.
Your formerly cozy job, which once brought you a new batch of creative challenges every day, now brings you a daily dose of doubt and uncertainty. From photo editors who are not sure how long they will keep their jobs, to staff newspaper photojournalists who could be shooting their last images, everyone is living in fear.
In the last decade, the photo industry has pivoted from an economy of wealth and abundance to an economy of fear. It is not so much about talent, creativity or effectiveness anymore. It’s about who can scare the other into submission.
Decision-Making Based on Fear
Pricing for example, is no longer based on usage, or talent, or even level of professionalism. It is based on the fear that someone else could price it lower and thus take the sale.
Whether assignment or stock, images are priced on how high they can go before losing out to the competition; these days, that is not high. Photo editors negotiate with the “I can get it cheaper” stick raised overhead — forcing photographers and agencies into fearful submission. There is little conversation about quality anymore.
The fear factor goes beyond pricing. Companies like Getty Images approach and retain photographers on fear. If you do not work with Getty, they claim, your images will never be published. If you work for a competing agency, you will never work for Getty, and so on.
It’s a bit like Walmart’s infamous strong-arming of its suppliers: “We own the market, we own you.” Some Walmart suppliers, by the way, have been forced into bankruptcy, because they were forced into unsustainable low pricing.
Stock shooters fear the ever-growing crowd of microstockers. Photo agencies fear other photo agencies. Wedding photographers fear lower-cost wedding photographers. Photo editors fear their bosses. Publishers fear the future.
On top of that, almost everybody fears Orphan Works, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the government, new technology, and in some cases, even their car.
Recently, an image-matching company released a report saying that eight out of 10 images appearing on commercial Web sites are being used “non-legitimately,” offering their service as a solution. Fear as a selling strategy. If I scare you enough, will you buy my product?
Magic Potions and Security Blankets — for a Fee
When the future is uncertain, like it currently is in the photo world and elsewhere, it is natural to be worried and scared. No one can seriously say today that they know for sure where they will be five years from now.
However, for companies, or individuals, to capitalize on that fear, to use it as their primary bargaining tool is despicable. It is like pushing down on the head of a drowning person with the promise of saving them. A false promise.
Photography does not live well under fear. Creativity gets lost and conformity becomes the norm. Snake charmers invade the land with their make-believe magic potions, orators take to the podiums to agitate more fear and offer their security blankets — for a fee. Opportunists see opportunities to make deals that defy reason, well aware that fear is a powerful logic sedative.
We are going to see a lot of decisions driven by fear this year and next, mostly creating poor results for our industry. We’ll see a lot of people jumping off cliffs in order to avoid the fire. But mostly, we will see a lot of fear-smellers taking advantage of the situation.
original posted By Paul Melcher | Posted in Business of Photography
Sunday, April 11, 2010
One of the blogs I always turn to when I have questions about the business-related aspects of the art world is Work Made For Hire.
Katie Lane is a consultant for a large company in Portland, Oregon, and provides simple, clear advice on a variety of topics: contracts, negotiations, how to network with clients etc. I was interested in being a cartoonist for a large part of my childhood, and in particular Lane provides some really sound ideas for working in the comics/graphic novel field. And she's hilarious.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I know this festival isn't nearly as artistic or beneficial to society as many of the examples others have posted and what we've discussed in class, but through my experience with this festival and the rest of the Wisconsin music scene, I've influenced and inspired others to make music with their friends and perform.
If you're not going to do it, who will?
Friday, April 9, 2010
In this day and age entrepreneurs are finding new ways to appeal to the demands of their consumers. Such is proven in the article above, in which 27 young online entrepreneurs have created multi-million dollar websites all before the age of 33 (slightly depressing for us "normal" people, dontcha think?) While the projects vary in topic, all have one thing in common...they all have figured out the perfect way to target their target population.
It seems extremely important for a business to consider why, how, when, and where their target population would use their services. And in the case of these online entrepreneurs they have done just that. In a technologically savy world where Generations X, Y, and Z are using the internet on average 24.5 hours a week, it seems logical for a business to be online. So location, location, location...even if its not an actual location. ;)
I took a few moments to look over the project proposals and I'm very excited for you. I'm pleased to see how many groups are identifying and shaping a space to present performances and other activities. I want to reinforce how important 'real estate' is to the life of a performing arts organization. Audiences identify the activity with the space it occupies. Even the way they arrive at the space shapes their experience. As you refine your projects try to keep in mind factors like: ease of parking, natural light, accessibility, and safety. A new audience member is confronting all these factors before they're introduced to your creative work.
Remember the three most important things about real estate: location, location, and location.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Talking in class on Tuesday about social entrepreneurs immediately made me think of TED. TED started out as a conference bringing together people from three different backgrounds (Technology, Entertainment, Design), and has since expanded to encompass many other worlds as well; two conferences are now held every year, bringing together innovative thinkers and doers all over the world, challenging them to present their hopes and dreams for change in an 18 minute speech.
"Our mission: Spreading ideas.Three $100,000 prizes are awarded annually to help the winner achieve their dreams. Topics range from literacy to systematic government corruption, and there are literally hundreds of videos available on the site and on youtube to watch.
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."
One of my favorite speakers, and winners of the TED prize in 2008, is author Dave Eggers. In his speech he challenged the TED community to personally, creatively engage with local public schools, and discussed at length how he created his own nonprofit organization to do this called 826 Valencia in San Francisco. Presented as a pirate supply store on the outside, contained within is a space for children who struggle with writing to receive one-on-one attention from volunteers who range from professional authors to SAT course-instructors. It has since expanded to two other locations, The Time-Travel Mart in LA and the Superhero Supply Company in Brooklyn.
The Once Upon a School website goes even further into his ideas and how the TED prize money helped him achieve his goals.
Roger Nierenberg, Conductor & Entrepreneur
I'd like to point out a great resource: the League of American Orchestras.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
After experiencing Ike's for myself, I decided to compile a list of features that makes Ike's as popular and successful as it is.
- Ike's has a menu of around 200 different sandwiches consisting of every different combination of meats, veggies and sauces. Add-ons are also available for an extra fee, which enables customers to compose their dream sandwich if not something very close.
- There are also a large number of vegetarian and vegan sandwiches for those with dietary restrictions.
#2 Store Layout
- Instead of having a walk-in/sit-down area like many sandwich shops, Ike's uses their limited space for food prep alone. This creates two benefits:
1) Rent is cheaper because less space is needed to begin with.
2) Customers must line up outside the store, which basically creates a constant advertisement for anybody walking or driving by the store. In the short period of time (45 minutes) I was standing in line, several people walked by the store asking about the food and how good it was. Everybody was like "It's unreal, you gotta try it." This could never happen if the line was inside the store.
- Ike's offers various types of bread just like Subway, but they also offer a type of bread called DutchCrunch, which might be the one of the best things that have ever happened to my mouth.
This new type of bread is innovative and extremely delicious. And apparently they bake all their bread right after you place the order!
Obviously, a place this popular can't just have lots of variety and good marketing. Ike's definitely makes some great tasting sandwiches. It might have been one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. If I lived by Ike's I would definitely be a regular.
Founded in the entrepreneurial hotbed of San Francisco, Ike's Place is an example of a business that has found a competitive advantage in an industry dominated by larger companies like Subway, Jimmy Johns and Quiznos.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Yet, there was one factor I did not take into consideration: the failing economy. When people started to struggle to pay for food and gasoline, they obviously no longer had the means to buy my work; with no more expendable income, sadly, art became expendable.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
While I was in Boston to get to Mount Holyoke College, I checked all the transportation options, and at last I decided to rent a car ($112.78/day), because even though it was a lot more expensive than public transportation ($59 for LinkPass), the public transportation would have taken me 10 hours, which I could not afford for only two hours' worth of driving.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
“People don’t know the rules, so they just shoot what they like — and other people like it, too.”Marshall McLuhan wrote in the Medium is the Massage that "The amateur can afford to lose" with the implication being that the amateur can trip upon something great that could be verboten for the professional such as the financially-strapped Annie Liebovitz mentioned in an earlier post on this blog.
Image: Burt Glinn: Andy Warhol with Edie Sedgwick and Chuck Wein, New York, 1965
Thursday, April 1, 2010
"I really do feel that 90 hours of work a week, although I love every moment of it, is not a rational life after 35 years."
In summary, the article discusses how people tend to be happier with experiences rather than possessions. This is because the initial joy of a new object fades over time as people become accustomed to having it, therefore implying that the total utility of that product is decreasing. As Prof. Galambos discussed in his lecture, consumers are always comparing the marginal benefit to the marginal cost. For a product, its life time can be short and easily forgotten (think about the pair of shoes that is hidden in the back of your closet, or the jeans that are are out of style) but an experience continues to "provide happiness through memories long after the event occurred." This could be due to the fact that an experience is a single unit and therefore holds more marginal & total utility, while products in contrast can be a dime a dozen, thus greatly diminishing its utility. Of course there is an exception to this rule, in some cases the act of giving or receiving can be an experience in itself. Also keepsake or sentimental gifts can maintain more value than a trip to the zoo. In this case, the sentimental gift maintains a certain standard of quality versus a gift shop picture frame which was built for the primary purpose of quantity.
Clearly I am a novice at economics, so please correct me if I'm wrong. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the article!