Creating a Creative Community

My heart belongs to music and theatre. It has since I was a little girl. No matter how well I have done in marketing, management or other business adventures, I have always made time to support the creative community. 

The US Education System and The Arts

One of my favorite classical performers is the beloved “venture culturalist” Yo-Yo Ma ( he also plays the cello from time to time). He wants to save the arts – read more. Consider me on the Yo-Yo Ma bandwagon. Several people have heard that our education system in the US is killing the arts and creativity. Maybe this is for the best. They were not doing such a great job with it before. I think it is time to take control of our creative education outside of a traditional classroom.

Birth of Creative Communities

There has been a strong response to a lack of creative education throughout the country.

“Let’s just do it on our own.”

This response has occurred in the form of artist collectives, websites to share your art, blogs, and community based organizations. I love it! Here in Austin, Texas I have stumbled upon a huge and highly talented society of creatives. They have created co-working spaces, galleries, stages, and other safe/affordable places for developing your art – music, visual art, film, theatre, writing, graphic design, comedy, dance, etc.

Creative Talking Bubbles

Ideation

The thing that most of these communities are missing is business education. A band is just something you do for fun until it becomes an income generator, right? The successful bands have at least one member who understands the business – contracts, finance, marketing, etc. BUT right-brained people generally do not want to deal with or learn any of that business stuff. I am an unusual breed of musician because I love all of the business stuff and I have a knack for making it easy to understand. How will I leverage this insight and talent into a business that supports the creative community?

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Funding Your Business Idea

After working for a funded start-up I gained many valuable insights. One of those was a better understanding of how new businesses get the money to pay the bills. I have met powerful investors before and big donors to non-profits, but few of them impressed me. This is not to say that investors are not a wonderful thing for start-ups. However, with investors comes additional management. If I was an investor in a company, then I would probably want a say in how some of the operations are run – which is why I do not fault investors at all. It’s the relationship and the process built around it that can often go off track and make things…mucky.

Let’s dig deeper into this concept. If I want to start a new company and I need $50k to get things going, then I will do a few things:

No matter how I decide to fund my business, I need to have a clear plan and relationship with who/where I am getting the money from. Investors and banks need you to be very honest, clear and detailed about what you want from them.

blog, money crowd funding

  • How will the relationship work?
  • What is their stake in the company?
  • Is there an end date?
  • Why do they want to help you?

Grants, crowd-funding and bootstrapping take on a whole other level of finesse. These folks want to know more about you, the person behind the idea.

  • Why should they choose to help you instead of someone else?
  • What social good are they making by working with you?
  • How will they be involved in the process of developing this business?