Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
8th Annual Arts Festival Conference, Oct. 6-7, Houston, TX -- sponsored by Westaf, otherwise known as Zapplication
To go or not to go? That is always the question. To take the time and $$ to travel to a distant city to learn more about art festivals? Seems unnecessary after my 30+ year immersion. However ... usually I go.
I go for the new ideas and information, I go to see the people, I go for fun, I go because I love travel. Will I go again? Yep. Here is why:
Most of all: be interesting, be newsworthy if you want it to work.
Is it current? (newer is better) Is it talking about something locally? It’s all about the neighborhood. Is it impactful? or unusual? Is it about human interest? Is it prominent? Are you networking?
Instagram really useful for visual artists: the process, beginning middle end (and I'm going to do a podcast about this because I really learned the possibilities of this for artists for making sales.)
give without expecting immediate returns
talk about the things going on around you, not just you — share their info
if you’re a dancer, don’t be talking about it, show it on Instagram
FB, Twitter, Instagram (under 35) FB helps sell tickets; no links in Instagram; it is about relationship; good for selling art and showing your stuff
2 Easy, useful tips for show directors and artists:
1. Show Directors go to your artists FB pages and "like" them. Artists, "like" the shows back. This builds an interconnecting network.
2. Artists when you are traveling to a city, look at that city's Facebook page and add your information to that page. FREE advertising!!
The afternoon sessions were separated into an administrators track and an artists track. For admins sessions on communicating with your board of directors and best jury practices with Christine Berthiaume (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival); Tara Brickell (Cherry Creek Arts Festival); Stephen King (Des Moines Arts Festival) and Nancy Musser (ZAPP trainer). I have so much information on that that it will be in Part II of the Zapp conference.
(Show directors Margue Esrock (St. James), Cindy Lerick (St. Louis), Karen Delhey (The Guild), Mo Riley (AA Street Art Fair) and Tara Brickell (Cherry Creek) synchronize the next big step!)
For artists there was a Public Portfolio Critique. Artists sent in their images to be discussed by seasoned jurors with good discussion about each. The second session Carroll Swayze brought her great ideas for optimizing your success as an artist, working harder, not smarter. Listen to the podcast I did with Carroll on that topic here.
Thankfully then we adjourned to a beautiful, funky, bar nearby for a reception, where I met an AFI favorite, Melanie Rolfes and her partner Michael Zavison. They've both consented to do podcasts. Melanie with her incredible tips on finding affordable lodging on the road and Michael is going to "talk trucks".
Artist track: Learning all the ways to manage and maximize ZAPP for show applications.
Admin Track: Engagement Strategies for Community Events with Barry Fell from Celebrate Fairfax
His top tips:
By utilizing these strategies you can extend the quality and stability of the event and it will bring you new opportunities. People will stay with the event but because they feel valued. You know these stakeholders and you have built a relationship which leads to long term goals.
The afternoon sessions were:
Barry Fell returned to speak about public safety at the events with case studies that about Crowd Management and its importance in event planning.
Who I met and wish you had also as these are the dynamic people who keep our events running:
Show organizers: Robin Aiken and Kerry Murphy from Artisphere; Angelique Allen from Arts Gras; Kerry Allen, Rita James, Meredith McIlmoyle and Jennifer Wilson from the Anacortes Arts Festival; Amy Amdur (who needs no introduction); Paul Anderson from Sausalito, Sarah Aziz from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (3 Rivers); Kayleen Barton and Heather Joy Puskarich from The Woodlands Waterway Festival; Christine Berthiaume from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; Amanda Bleakley from the Paseo Arts Assn.; Tara Brickell and Amy Curlee from the Cherry Creek Arts Festival; Katrina Delgado from Coconut Grove; Karen Delhey from the Guild of Artists & Artisans; Josh DuBose and Renee Rice from the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.
Margue Esrock from St. James Court Art Show; Barry Fell from Celebrate Fairfax; Mary Flad from the Decatur Arts Alliance; Carla Flanders from the Lakeshore Art Festival; Randal Fox from AFFPS; Diane Hdges and Brenda Hyde from Historic Granbury; Barbara Hill from Fiesta Arts Fair: Stephen King from Des Moines; Erma Lee from Main Street Fort Worth; Cindy Lerick and Laura Miller from St. Louis; Angie Macon from Decatur Arts Alliance; Gilbert Magdaleno from the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and Maureen Martino from the Lakeview East Chamber.
Sarah Peil from The Grand 1894 Opera House; Elizabeth Regner from the Lubbock Arts Alliance; Maureen Riley from the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair; Mary Sherman from the Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce and Melanie Whitley from the King William Fair.
Artists: Will Armstrong, April Bates, Brian Carter, Terry Peddle Corcoran, Stefani Domenico, Benjamin Frey, Sara Corkery, Diane Hinckley, Linda McGonagle, Amy McMurry (who won the free Zapp conference pass in our annual pledge drive), Mark Grosser, Cynthia Reed, Paula Ritchie, Dar Schafer, Cat Tesla, Eva and Frank Thompson, Jefferson Woodruff, Jenny Wright, Melanie Rolfes, Michael Zavison and Grace Zuniga.
The Zapp team: Kristina Villa, Kate Kreuz, Kim Morski, Nancy Musser, Anthony Radich and Susan Walicki.