501 See (3) You Later?

501 See (3) You Later501 See (3) You Later?
Hub Berkeley
Thursday, April 18
6:30 p.m.

2150 Allston Way, Suite 400
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 649-7700

Is the 501(c)(3) model the only way to run an arts organization? Arts and culture organizations face greater challenges as traditional arts funding decreases and philanthropic needs shift rapidly. Join us to learn about new financial models including benefit corporations (B corps), low-profit limited liability corporations (L3Cs) , and the emerging economy of social enterprises and impact investing.

Experts from the field will teach you essential information on each of these new financial models while you mingle with arts, culture, and business workers from across the Bay Area region. We will conclude the evening with a fun arts prototyping activity giving you the opportunity to make a creative enterprise using one of the new financial models.

Get your ticket now on Eventbrite.


Mariko Chang (Former EAP Fellow & Masters Candidate at JFK University)

Panelists include:

Andy Fyfe (Community Developmment at B Lab)
Josh Furnas (Owner at Selfless)
Daniel Roberts (Attorney at K2 Law Group)

The Arts Skyline 2015

Skyline2915_emergingsfwebThe Arts Skyline 2015
Wednesday, March 27, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 [map]
This Event is free!

Space is limited! RSVP via Eventbrite

With major renovations and new building projects for both longstanding arts institutions and emerging ones underway, the Bay Area’s Arts Skyline is undergoing a significant shift – in philosophy and in practice. Creative placemaking and other trends have begun to inform a reimagined concept of the spaces and places in which we create, exchange, imagine, perform, and present; transient multipurpose projects from pop-ups to reclaimed spaces are transforming the way we think about the arts institution as place.

Join EAP for an enlivening discussion featuring panelists from leading organizations and institutions involved in community practices and capital campaign projects to learn about their contributions to the evolving cultural skyline.

Follow this event on Facebook.


Panelists include

Barrett ShaverDirector of Development, SFJAZZ
Christopher Borg, Executive Director, Community Music Center
Gina BassoPublic Programs Associate, SFMOMA
Jack Carpenter, Production Director, SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Event Recap: At the Mercy of the Crowd(funding)

By Deborah French Frisher 

It seemed impossible to match the frequency outside Gray Area Foundation for the Arts last week on San Francisco’s Market Street when the Giants played the second game of the World Series several city blocks away.

And once inside the no-nonsense GAFFTA location for the panel event At the Mercy of the Crowd(funding), the field of what is possible at the intersections of technology, arts, and culture was alive with a voltage of enthusiasm just as palpable.

The panel addressed the full room full of innovators in a presentation and Q & A that gave new meanings to the terms of  pitch, strategy, team, and fans or friends.

Coaching from the panel
The diverse panel was moderated by the Stacy Bond, creator and executive producer of SonicSF. Panelists included Alex Kane, musician; Eleanor Hanson Wise, co-founder of The Present Group; and John Spokes, director of development,
USA Projects.

Stacy introduced her role on the panel with a generous disclosure about how her experience in crowdsourcing funds through Kickstarter had fallen short of their vision for a launch, creating a credible space for sharing not only successes, but the failed attempts that are inevitable and lead to successful strategies through lessons learned. Eleanor described successes of The Present Group in providing a subscription service for clients to receive and view cutting edge on-line art, web hosting with incentive prizes and an experiment in art micropartronage. Alex described his resourcefulness in a college social media marketing class of enrolling class members to make their assigned project his Kickstarter campaign, describing the critical value of a small mass of friends that moved his campaign as a solo musician. He also spoke about the soft value of getting the word out about one’s project through the crowd funding process. John brought a seasoned presence to the panel, describing the role of the artist in the ecology of culture, providing not only an introduction to the philosophical framework of USA Projects, but validating the challenges and gifts of most of the people in the room.

The thrill of the full house that evening generated the kind of intelligent hope and informed commitment to find one’s community and enlarge the spirit and service of that community through your shared vision. The event at GAFTTA offered concrete ideas for how to get your game on as a team so that the crowd (funding) will come.

Take-home tips

  • Go together, not alone. Have a supportive circle, a group of friends that can amplify your reach through social media.
  • Take confident hold of the important roles played in culture and its economic ecology by artists, tech innovators, and cultural administrators when sustaining the original passion through the long concrete hours of work that goes into project crowd funding.
  • Practice pitch perfect; it takes feedback and revision of content to choose the words that get your project’s idea out of your brains and into someone else’s heart.
  • Rejection or falling short of the funding goal is an opportunity for clarification.
  • Repeat yourself, oh, yes, say it again and again and be sensitive to the timing: a burst of enthusiasm in the beginning, a slump in support after, and a subsequent need for that second wind to bring the project home in the life of your crowd funding campaign.
  • Make innovative offers with meaningful benefits to those who give to your campaign and, thereby, become partners in reaching your goal. Cultivate community and involvement.

Thanks to folks at GAFFTA for the open door on Market Street and it’s role in making sense that night of the madding crowd(funding).


About Deborah
Deborah French Frisher is a writer working as project Director for GlobalChill.org, assistant professor in drama therapy at California Institute for Integral Studies, and author of the burgeoning blog her French press.

Mercy of the Crowd(funding)

Thursday, October 25, 6:00 PM
Gray Area Foundation For the Arts
923 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco (map)
Sliding scale, $5-$25

Space is limited! RSVP via Eventbrite


Crowdfunding platforms are proving there’s a new way to raise money in the arts. As of April 2012, a total of 20,000 projects raised $200 million+ through Kickstarter alone. Join Arts + Tech SF and Emerging Arts Professionals (EAP) as we explore how crowdfunding platforms are being used in the arts and creative sector.

We’ll explore questions like:

  • How is technology and a hyperconnected world helping artists get their projects off the ground?
  • How are funding models being changed by technology?
  • And what happens if my project isn’t funded?

Eleanor Hanson Wise, Director & Co-Founder, The Present Group
Alex Kane, Musician
John Spokes, Director of Development, USA Projects
moderator Stacy Bond, Creator & Executive Producer, SonicSF / EAP Fellow 2011-12
6:00 PM Performance by Alex Kane
6:30 PM Panel
Reception to follow


This program is presented by ArtsTech, Emerging Arts Professionals / SFBA, and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, and is one of many Creative Conversations taking place in October as part of National Arts and Humanities Month, coordinated by Americans for the Arts.

Special thanks to our in-kind partners Naked Wines and Whole Foods Market, and Tumblr as lead sponsor of ArtsTech.


Panelist Biographies

Eleanor Hanson Wise is the co-founder and director of The Present Group, a project-based initiative that blurs the line between art production, commerce, advocacy, and philanthropy. She has developed a program for TPG that includes an art subscription service, a web hosting service that funds an intermittent arts prize, and Art Micro Patronage, an experimental exhibition platform showcasing and funding artwork online.





John Spokes, an experienced fundraiser and management consultant with an extensive background in the performing arts, joined the USA team in 2011 after serving as the director of development at UCLA Live for five years. In Minneapolis, Spokes operated his own nonprofit management consulting business and served as director of development at Chrysalis, A Center for Women, successfully implementing a multimillion-dollar capital campaign. From 1994-98, he was a key part of the development team at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater, working as director of annual and individual giving, interim development director, and director of community giving. He was also the annual fund manager at the highly respected Children’s Theatre Company, director of development at the innovative Illusion Theatre, and co-founder and managing director of the Eye of the Storm Theatre. Spokes devotes much of his work and leisure time to arts advocacy as a volunteer leader. When he moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, he was able to sell his snow blower – a day he considers to be the most liberating moment of his life!



Emergence Recap: Decentralized Leadership and Managing Creativity

decentralized leadershipBy Brien Henderson

Models of arts leadership and organization will naturally fall somewhere on a spectrum from heavily centralized to markedly diffuse. This discussion on June 4, 2012 at the Emerging Arts Professional’s annual convening, Emergence,  focused on organizations closer to the latter. Of course, nothing starts out that way.

What is the process of taking an organization towards a more decentralized form of leadership and what are the benefits and concerns of such a model? The discussion engaged two leaders who have done it.

Todd Brown of Red Poppy Art House and Charith Premawardhana of Classical Revolution founded and direct their respective organizations. At first, each took a lot of work and individual effort, but now various levels of responsibility exist in both.

Clear vision, clear mission

After having done the hard work of bringing an idea to realization comes the moment when that idea is maintained through the continuing efforts of other individuals. When that moment comes, both Brown and Premawardhana cautioned that anyone to whom you give that responsibility has to be clear on the vision and mission of the organization, and they have to be on board with it. As leadership diffuses, keep an eye on the progress of the organization, making sure that all activities stay mission-focused.

Classical Revolution began as a weekly event in San Francisco, whose mission is to bring classical music into unconventional venues to serve the community in the places they go, rather than trying to bring them to a concert hall. After five years, there are chapters operating under the Classical Revolution banner all over the world. Each chapter’s activities are completely self-contained, but no matter where you go the mission remains clear.

In founding the Red Poppy Art House, Brown’s vision was to alter the context of the creation and reception of art, rather than the conventional artist’s focus on the content of art. It began as a project fueled only by Brown and, later, an all-volunteer staff. Since then, it has grown into a thriving organization with a staff receiving stipends who make programming decisions independently.

Managing risk

Like the growth of any venture, you must be careful as to who you entrust with shepherding your vision into the future. Premawardhana pointed out that Classical Revolution, previously always operating on trust, has had to begin putting things in writing more. This is one of the drawbacks of continued growth in a decentralized model, but at some point it becomes the best move forward.

On that point, Brown articulated a multi-tier model of responsibility at Red Poppy, where he draws several layers of decision-making from low-risk to high-risk, and delegates respnsibilities to the volunteers and staff accordingly. Some he keeps for himself.

Drawing by Todd Berman

Drawing by Todd Berman

A fertile ecosystem of ideas

While there are certainly risks and concerns, along with that can come great innovation. Premawardhana noted that many people involved with Classical Revolution will sometimes be working on similar projects, but they won’t be communicating with each other. While inefficient, what comes from that may be a particularly interesting thread with a lot of people already attached to it. This can generate and lead to more successful side-projects.

The Mission Arts Performance Project (MAPP) is just such an example. The initial idea was to create, as Brown put it, an ecosystem for things to emerge. You may not be able to predict the result, but as long as you’re comfortable with that, great things can come out of it. A satellite project out of Red Poppy, the MAPP promotes street-level curating of performances and installations. It now runs on a regular basis with no central leadership of any sort. The only centrality to speak of in the MAPP is one of information, connecting those who are looking for space with those who have space to use.

Measuring success

In such a diffused environment, what sorts of benchmarks can be put in place to learn and grow with a project? In the case of the MAPP, the various venues, or at least those who are more invested in continuing the project, measure their own success from one event to the next, trying to improve each time. In the case of Classical Revolution, this same process unfolds at the chapter level.

About Brien Henderson

Brien Henderson is a composer in San Francisco. He is developing the San Francisco Composers Guild, a music presenting organization dedicated to the growth and development of young composers through ongoing realtionships with talented ensembles and master composers.

Todd Berman’s work can be found at The Art Don’t Stop.

Emergence Recap: The Working Process of Innovation in the Arts

Innovation in the ArtsBy Dania J. Wright

Pathways toward innovation

Being labeled an innovator is earned through extensive exploration and a bit of chance. “Collect programs and projects, learn some things, do it again,” recommends Marc Vogl, Executive Director of the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) during the panel discussion on June 4, 2012, as part of Emerging Arts Professional’s annual convening, Emergence. His journey began upon founding Killing My Lobster (KML), with a collective of performing artists.

Following his immersion in the arts, Vogl transitioned and found opportunities in the technology sector. Working in startup environments, his entrepreneurial skills formed. Vogl credits much of what he learned in the private sector to his success in arts administration.

“Innovation is in the marketing,” Vogl states. He found that categorizing KML by the genres it encompassed (comedy and theatre) affected its engagement with media, funding partners, and patrons. This presented a publicity barrier. However, as Vogl’s marketing skills developed, he learned to think less about labels, and more about what KML wanted people to experience. It was then that he began to find success.

Passion and the courage to challenge the status quo are key characteristics of innovation, notes Cynthia Taylor, Assistant Director, Public Programs, Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). Similar to Vogl, Taylor credits the robustness of her arts administration skill set to exploration of a multitude of job functions and organizational settings.

She has contributed to the sector as an administrative assistant, an executive director, and almost every imaginable role in between. Focusing on the experience versus the title, Taylor learned the inner workings of the nonprofit arts organization — from the ground up. Regardless of the role, she advises emerging arts leaders: “Do your homework. Come with a plan, and be prepared to back it up with information. Put yourself in a position to be in that conversation, and give people a chance to join you.”

Taylor continues, “As a ‘changemaker,’ I was nothing without a posse. Everyone needs a team to navigate through this industry.” Recognizing the value of collaboration among internal and external stakeholders leads to success. Impact-driven work is work that is most gratifying. An innovator in arts administration must ask: What does a visitor/patron want? What will compel them to come to my institution? What will they gain from engagement with my institution and vice versa? Answering these questions creates a state of constant discovery, and community building.

Drawing by Todd Berman

Drawing by Todd Berman

The significance of innovation and the ideal environments in which it can flourish

The need and desire to remain relevant prompts arts organizations to foster innovation. On an individual arts administrator basis, Vogl shares: “We are all in this field because we want to create something that didn’t exist before.” Some ideal conditions needed to usher innovation include

  • Intent to change
  • Proactivity toward changes in the field
  • Time to reflect on the work
  • Transparency
  • Feedback from external perspectives
  • Flexibility in ideas and work allocation
  • Stakeholder buy-in

Vogl reminds arts administrators that there are times during which complete redesign is unnecessary. “Don’t change for the sake of changing,” he expresses. Organizations may feel pressured to repair things that aren’t broken, due to industry trends, obligations to funding partners, or even promising opportunities that present themselves.

Managing opposing ideas and rejection

Reflection on the work is important, as it is part of the creative process. However, many funders operate differently, making the project timeline much more rigid. This dynamic can be better managed by setting the tone at the start of collaboration. Vogl states that organizations should ask, “Is our project in alignment with that of our funders?” The project could possibly stray from its original mission, in order to meet funding guidelines. There should be an assessment of what an organization is willing to forego in the name of maintaining the partnership.

Crowdsourcing, although far from new, has become increasingly popular with the aid of social media. Vogl notes that many organizations utilize this resource to reach a wider audience in their fundraising efforts. This is the result of decreased success via traditional means of development (e.g. grant programs). Organizations should also explore opportunities in social entrepreneurship. Diverse revenue streams (admission/ticket sales, tuition, etc.) supplement operating and program costs. When considering profit-driven activities, Vogl advises to “find what you’re good at and what people would value.”

Goal setting and measuring success

QuestionBridge, a Black male identity transmedia project, is currently on exhibition at OMCA. Taylor recognized that QuestionBridge’s presence at the museum could positively impact one of Oakland’s largest at-risk populations, young Black men, as well as the larger community. Taylor exclaims, “I knew this idea was innovative because it was hard to fund!” However, as word about the project spread, the museum began attracting partners (including BAVC) to aid in bringing the exhibit to Oakland. These partnerships led to curriculum design in Oakland Unified School District, and the establishment of Black male achievement programs, panels, and community meetings, mirroring the outcome that Taylor originally envisioned. She notes that the museum as a whole made a conscious decision to create social change, and that was a major contributor to its success.

When developing organizational aims, consider the following:

  • How does cultural innovation address society’s value changes?
  • What happens when galleries and museums finally become inclusive?
  • How can your programs be more accessible to people?
  • What experiences are you creating for people?
  • How do you empower people?

In closing, innovation can be fostered in a multitude of ways. However, arts administrators should be conscious of when to practice innovation versus iteration. Perhaps a simple tweak is necessary instead of a total program reconstruction, Vogl remarks. There must also be balance in the exploration of projects. Vogl warns, “Don’t be a hoarder.” When it comes to arts administration, some projects must be dropped in order to strengthen those that have the greatest potential. The purposeful innovator constantly asks, “How can we make it better, and how can we get other parties in the conversation?” To which Taylor responds, “If you do it well, people will come.”

About Dania J. Wright

Dania J. Wright is a San Francisco Bay Area-bred artist. She is a Loyola Marymount University School of Film & Television alumna; having earned a BA in Animation, and Studio Arts minor. Wright’s professional experience ranges from art direction to visual art instruction. She previously interned for The Clorox Company, BET Networks, and MTV Networks. As a freelance artist, her clients include: Stanford University, Keetsa Mattress Company, and Loyola Marymount University. Wright also taught visual arts in K-12 schools, and a host of community-based organizations. Currently, she works in communications and development at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and serves as Art & Education Program Co-Chair for the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) Vanguard. Wright is pursuing her Master of Public Administration degree at the University of San Francisco, and will graduate on December 13, 2013 (woo hoo!). She enjoys discovering and creating new methods of fusing the arts, education, technology, and community development.

Todd Berman’s work can be found at The Art Don’t Stop.

Microfinance for the Arts: How to Build an Investing Community

By Mariko Chang, EAP Fellow Microfinance for the Arts

As artists and arts and culture workers, we are fueled by passion, ideas, and the creative process. And although we hate to admit it, we need money, too.

With that in mind, in March I attended an evening seminar at Pro Arts in Oakland to hear John Spokes, Director of Development at United States Artists, talk about microfinance opportunities through a program called USA Projects.

Microfinance with USA Projects

In 2010, United States Artists Projects (USA Projects) was formed in response to recent budget cuts and a diminishing number of individual grants available to artists. Similar to Kickstarter, the organization gives large groups of people the ability to donate small amounts of money to specific projects. For instance, Michel Varisco raised more than $11,500 over several weeks to fund a photography book in which she proposed to document the beauty and destruction of the wetlands and Gulf of Mexico.

This process, known as microfinance or microphilanthropy, uses an online platform to funnel private donations directly to artists. With the help of technology, sharing information and funding are convenient and easy, which helps to engage new donors.

Benefits for artists

  • Professional services: USA Projects provides one-on-one advice to help with your pitch and video. Dedicated staff members also provide consultation regarding project deadlines, goal setting, and social networking. (Note: Grants, fellowships, residencies, or other recognition are required prior to participating in USA Projects.)
  • Matching funds: USA Projects offers access to a pool of funding to leverage additional support. A development team assists artists by matching them with interested donors or agencies that help to build one’s personal donor base.
  • Fundraising share: Artists receive 81 percent of the money raised from the campaign (the remaining 19 percent goes to USA Projects). Although this may seem like a lot, USA Projects boasts a 75 percent success rate with an average of 114 percent raised over goal set.

Benefits for donors

  • Tax deduction: As a nonprofit with IRS 501(c)(3) tax exemption status, all donations to artists through USA Projects are tax deductible.
  • Social network: USA Projects offers social networking features as part of its website, which allows donors as well as other artists to track the progress of both an individual artist or project.

My two cents on microfinance

Early this year, the blog Read Write Web published an article stating that Kickstarter was on track to outfund the National Endowment for the Arts. For me, this proved the power of collective action, and I wondered how this model could transform the relationships between people and museums.

Today, museums struggle to address the gap between established donors and younger generations. Based on the concept of microfinance, one solution might be to give younger audiences an option that fits their lifestyle, budget, and comfort level. By providing interesting opportunities to give without it being a huge commitment, museums can help familiarize younger audiences with the idea and act of philanthropy in hopes of building life-long community members.

Have you tried microfinance, either as a donor or to fund a project? Tell us about it in the comments.

Image: Adapted from a photo by JD Hancock


Taxes, the Arts, and You

By Karl Cronin, EAP Fellow

From a Sobering Affair … to Ecstasy?

On February 18, at 5:00 p.m., I left Fort Mason feeling oddly ecstatic. My pulse racing, I jumped on my bike and peddled feverishly. Blowing through stop signs. Dodging dog walkers. I simply couldn’t wait to get home and… start my 2011 tax return.

I should preface my story by saying that until California Lawyers for the Arts’ workshop Relax with Tax, I had been the kind of tax payer who puts off filing as long as possible. It’s depressing to look at meager performer stipends sitting in the files alongside travel receipts from festivals where I barely broke even. Filing taxes as an emerging artist is a sobering affair.

Relax with Tax focused primarily on the kinds deductions that sole proprietors should consider taking on their Schedule Cs. I have filed Schedule Cs since 2007 and, much to my surprise, I found I had indeed been taking all the appropriate deductions for my business. I always thought there was some magic deduction I’d been overlooking. Nope. Just the deductions you’d expect (home office, business travel, research expenses, etc.).

However, here are two takeaways I found useful.

It’s All One Business

Early in the workshop I asked if I should be filing two schedule Cs since I work in two distinct capacities: as an independent artist and as an independent arts consultant. The instructor, Tom Andres J.D, C.P.A., said, “No.” They are both arts-related and can go on the same Schedule C. For years I have leveraged my meager earnings as a freelance arts consultant to offset the losses from my emerging art practice. I have always felt it is one continuum of arts production, so it was a relief to find out that the federal government sees it the same way.

Hobby Loss Rule and Audits

We spent a lot of time in the workshop talking about the hobby loss rule, which basically discourages filers from claiming deductions for hobbies. The IRS wants you to make a profit. More specifically, they want to tax you on that profit. They want to make sure you are actually in it to win it. To make same cash. Otherwise, the deductions you’re taking for your “hobby” are just scamming the system.

As an independent artist, I have been afraid of an audit because I know that the IRS likes to see a profit after three years. While I’ve never reported a loss on my business, there have been years (particularly when I’ve been incubating new work) where my profits are awkwardly meager.

Yet my intent to be a gainfully-employed full-time artist are documented and clear. I create work. I send it out. I change tactics when things aren’t working. I join associations. I show up to meetings. I file my taxes. I’ve dedicated my life to making this a thriving business. I left the workshop feeling confident that were I to be audited, I could present my business with confidence. And you can too, by holding onto all those business cards, conference programs, notes from your research meetings, and your calendar.

This Arts Hustle

When I arrived home I dumped my receipts on the floor, and began sifting through the year. Relax with Tax confirmed that the piecemeal life I live — in which one day I’m writing a grant, another day producing a photo shoot, the next day coaching the ED of a nonprofit, or editing a promotional video — is indeed a business.

The nonprofit arts sector has some serious problems. We’ve all been to the conference break-out sessions: “Where are the patrons?” “Concert dance in the age of new media.” “Music licensing in the age of Youtube.” Yet, step by step, year by year, we are each building sustainable arts practices against the odds. If we each can become crystal clear about our income, expenses, ROIs, margins, and tax deductions, perhaps we can participate more fully in the collective building of a new arts economy.

Are you working on your taxes now? Let us know in the comments what challenges you’ve faced and what advice you’ve found helpful.

Image: Images of Money

How Not to Get Screwed When Signing a Contract

By Danielle Siembieda-Gribben, EAP Fellow

For anyone just starting out in the public art world, it can seem tempting to take any commission you can get. No doubt it is competitive out there, and there may be dozens of people applying for the same calls for proposals.

If you have been one of the lucky few to receive a public art commission, you may be saying to yourself: “I am so lucky to even get selected, let me sign the contract before they change their minds!”

Before you do, think twice — and come prepared.

On January 31, 2012, I attended a webinar from California Lawyers for the Arts titled “Public Art Contracts: What Every Artist Needs to Know about Public Art Commissions, from RFQ to Moral Rights.”

Here are the top ten tips that I took away from the seminar.

  1. You will only receive 15 to 20 percent of the commission budget. For example, if the budget is $30,000, you will receive $4,500 for the entire duration of the project, from design to fabrication through execution. The lower the commission, the lower the artist fee.
  2. Your ideas are yours, not the city’s. When you present your proposal, put your name, copyright, and date on every page and slide. By doing this, you prevent others who may borrow or “appropriate” your idea to be built by someone else.
  3. If you are working with fabricators, do not sign any contracts with them until your own contract is finalized. Some fabricators may charge you for their design time and, if you end up losing a contract, you will have to pay them anyway.
  4. Most likely you will get paid on a time schedule with different payouts for different benchmarks. When this happens, front load the payment so you don’t get stuck with big fabrication bills at the end.
  5. Title vs. copyright. Never sign your copyright off to the city. You own that! Remember Prince? He had to change his name to a symbol to get out of a copyright dispute.
  6. Site compliance. The city shall be responsible for all expenses, labor, and equipment to prepare the site for the timely transportation and installation of artwork.
  7. Insurance. Yes, you need it. You’ll primarily need liability insurance until your work is installed, and then it is the city’s responsibility.
  8. Where did you get that model? If you use an image of a person, place, etc.  in your work, make sure to get a release from them.
  9. Site credit. Don’t you hate it when you see an amazing piece of public art work but have no idea who did it? Make sure the city pays (not out of your budget) for a plaque or credit site near the work with your name on it.
  10. Budget. These budgets are the hardest. It takes a lot of time to put one together, but they are very important. Call around to fabricators to see the realistic cost for your project. If it’s out of scope, think about scaling down. Also, call a public art manager to see if they have any input.

There are many other ways to look at your public art contract. If you are nervous about confronting a city or other entity about the contract, keep in mind they have chosen you out of all the applicants, and are set on making the project work just as much as you are.

Make sure to check out the downloadable public art contract templates and resources, and let us know in the comments if you have any contract advice or horror stories to share.

Image: Ben Bunch