Tricks of the Trade Series for Artists- Back to the Basics, Then Back to the Future


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), in partnership with the IS 183 Art School and the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development, is pleased to announce the programming for the 2013/2014 Tricks of the Trade series, a professional development seminar series for working artists in the Berkshires.

Tricks of the Trade, now in its eighth year of serving the creative community of the Berkshires, is a professional development seminar series for artists and other creative workers that gives them the tools and skills they need to grow and sustain their businesses, be that of a independent artist or musician, a non-profit arts institution, or a fast-growing businesses that depend on creative minds.  

The series is free and open to the public.

With monthly sessions across the county, North Adams, Pittsfield and Lenox, Tricks of the Trade works to enhance the skills of those who work in the creative field, and help them grow and adapt to an occupational climate that is ever-changing.

Janette Santos, BCRC executive intern, said she is looking forward to this year's offerings.

"It's just completely fascinating for me to hear such notable people in the arts world express their opinions on such a large array of topics, and bring it down to a personal level," Santos said.  "How often do you get the opportunity to talk to, and hear directly from people like composer Craig Harris, MASS MoCA founder Joe Thompson or theatrical legend Tina Packer?" 

This year, Tricks of the Trade will go back to the basics, revisiting some of the more popular sessions from past years, including grant writing, fundraising, marketing and archiving - all  basic tools an artist needs to run his or her business. 

In the spring, Tricks of the Trade will turn its focus to the future.

"I am excited to have visionary arts leaders from the Berkshires, and coming to the Berkshires, to talk about where the field is going," said BCRC Director Jonathan Secor. "We will attempt to read the tea leaves of the future, the future of the gallery, the museum, the performing arts and contemporary art as a whole. This is a rare opportunity."

During the month of October, Tricks of the Trade will examine "The Art of Writing" as participants create effective artist statements with MASS MoCA's Director of Education Laura Thompson and Dr. Lisa Donovan, MCLA arts management professor, on Oct. 1; drafting grant proposals with Nina Garlington, director of development at the Berkshire Museum, and Thomas Bernard, executive assistant to the president at MCLA, on Oct. 2.

Participants also will discover the power of words in art with artists Craig Harris, Ben Aleshire, Erin Ko, the performers from "Word Becomes Flesh," and BCRC Program Coordinator Jennifer Crowell on Oct. 3.

During the month of November, Tricks of the Trade will delve into the significance of creating a website. Topics covered will include how to take advantage of social media, digitally documenting work and archiving for the modern artist.

In December, Crowell, also a singer/songwriter, will join the Sweetback Sisters for a jingle writing workshop where participants will create and then perform "jingles" in the form of the elevator speech about who they are and what they do.

This spring will bring seminars that examine where the creative field will go in the future, and what exactly that entails for artists and creative workers alike.

In January, Hope Sullivan, executive director of IS183, will lead a conversation with IS183's Andy Foster about the changes that are overtaking the global market, and what they mean to artists. Foster is the owner of Structural Art Services, which provides consulting to businesses, institutions, governments and high net worth individuals who face complex art-related issues.

In February, join Tricks of the Trade for seminars that discuss emerging paradigms in the arts, with guest speakers and panelists such as Joseph Thompson, director of MASS MoCA, Van Shields, executive director of the Berkshire Museum, Tina Packer the founding artistic director of Shakespeare and Company, and Kristin Marting the co-founder and artistic director of the HERE Art Center in New York City.

In March, the series will turn the discussion toward the creative economy. How does the economic health of creative field impact you as an artist, a designer, a cultural institution, and as a for-profit company? Megan Whilden from the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development will lead conversations across the county with leaders in the creative economy.

During the month of April, Tricks of the Trade will expand its scope further by looking into the various ways that individual talents can impact a significantly larger community. We also will examine the future of those who work in the creative field. Moderators Lisa Donovan of MCLA, and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rich Remsberg will guide us in this conversation.

Finally, in the month of May, Tricks of the Trade will look further into the future of the creative world with an intimate conversation led by MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson in "Putting the Contemporary Back to the Forefront of the Cocktail Party." Attend the discourse, then stay for cocktails for a final send-off to the entire Tricks of the Trade season.

The Tricks of the Trade series runs from September until May, with all sessions starting at 6 p.m.

For more information about this year's Tricks of the Trade series, go to Community/bcrc/tricksofthetrade0809/tricksofthetradeabout/, or call the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at (413) 664 8718.

Tricks of the Trade is a program produced by the BCRC, in collaboration with the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and IS183 Art School. The series is sponsored by Appelbaum-Kahn and funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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