Monday, September 29, 2008

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts- MediateArt

I have previously mentioned Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, but here is specific information on a program that deals with work contract and condition disputes.

MediateArt: VLA's alternative dispute resolution, contract negotiation, and negotiation counseling program.

MediateArt, a VLA program since 1998, offers artists and arts organizations three services in an objective, supportive forum at a nominal cost: Mediation (dispute resolution), contract negotiation, and negotiation counseling. Respectively, these services assist artists and arts organizations in resolving arts-related disputes, in forming mutually agreeable arrangements among collaborators, and in preparing for a negotiation.

Artists have used MediateArt's services successfully for many types of matters: For example, resolving disagreements about intellectual property ownership, such as who owns the name of a band or film footage; working out the business terms, including compensation, credit and control, between a lyricist and composer for an opera; and working through differing opinions about the proposed services of a web-design project.

MediateArt's Mediation (Dispute Resolution) service offers a process for artists to resolve their differences with the assistance of neutral mediators. This service, an alternative to engaging legal representation to begin an adversarial process seeking a remedy, can resolve disputes without the significant time, cost, and resources involved in the type of process that may lead to litigation. Mediation is not an adversarial process resulting in winners and losers. Instead, our process empowers artists to resolve their own disagreements by coming to resolutions through win-win and creative solutions to these disputes. Through this effective model, we regularly help artists restore business and creative relationships that once seemed irreparable.

MediateArt's Contract Negotiation service assists artists and arts organizations in working though the terms and conditions of a prospective or existing relationship with the ultimate goal of expressing that relationship in writing. Among other things, this service provides a forum for artists to discuss and work through their mutual expectations, how the project is going to proceed, what will happen if the project does not occur as anticipated, and who is going to own and control the creative output. The two VLA-trained facilitators will assist in moving the discussion forward and focusing the participants on the critical issues. The end goal of the process is to produce a written agreement formalizing the terms and conditions of the working relationship.

MediateArt's Negotiation Counseling service helps artists analyze business opportunities and prospective collaborations in advance of creating a written agreement with another party. Negotiation Counseling may be useful for artists in several different contexts including artists who have negotiations that have stalled because of a lack of business skills, artists who are working with others without a written agreement, artists who would like assistance in analyzing an opportunity that has been presented to them, and artists who are preparing for mediation.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

October is National Arts and Humanities month!

Americans for the Arts in Washington DC coordinates and declares October National Arts and Humanities month. This is a time when art galleries, political activists and the media honor and focus on the contributions of art from coast to coast.

Now is the time. Despite our countries current economic crisis we need to support the arts. There is a huge opportunity for attention the election process.

This link will take you to the national website with links to local activities, political advocacy tools, creative conversations and ways to get involved.

President Bush expressed this in regards to last years National Arts and Humanities month, "National Arts and Humanities Month is a time to recognize the ability of the arts to lift our spirits and enrich our lives. I encourage our citizens to support the arts in their communities by attending a theater performance or concert, visiting a museum or library, or enjoying the many exciting cultural programs in their communities."

National Arts and Humanities Month

Sunday, September 21, 2008

some down time

For many of us a new season is under way and "down time" is valuable.

Here are a few links to some fun ways to get some R&R.

Free frogger online.

Garfield minus Garfield a esoteric take on the popular comic.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do your part.

This blog is a resource for dancers to empower themselves. At this time, every four years, we have an opportunity to exercise our right to vote. Here is a link to the governments page to voter registration, absentee voting and any thing else you made need to do your part.

If you think that things need to change or stay the same, you take responsibility and vote.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Job Description. Part IV- Artistic Director

So who is the artistic director of a company and what do they do? Most simply the Artistic Director is the vision behind an arts organization. Interestingly in dance the artistic directors are often former dancers who have acquired leadership and business administration skills. They navigate the territory of both art making and the means of making art. Together the Artistic and Executive director are the top level of the pyramid in the organization. There are a many dance companies however that combine these two jobs into one person or devise an organizational manager or artistic manager to perform particular duties of the one of the positions.

And just from my own observations of Artistic and Executive directors that I have known, both jobs are 24 hour per day jobs.

Here is some information From the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations:

Artistic Director
Sample Job Description

Job Title: Artistic Director

Reports to: Executive Director

Supervises: Artistic and technical personnel

Responsibilities and Duties:
The Artistic Director is responsible for conceiving, developing, and implementing the artistic vision and focus of the organization. The Artistic Director is responsible for major decisions about the ongoing development of the aesthetic values and activities, after extensive consultation with the Executive Director

The Artistic Director:
- Hires, supervises and evaluates artistic personnel including directors, performers, designers, and stage managers
- Hires, supervises and evaluates key technical personnel, including Production manager and Technical Director
- Develops, implements, and evaluates programs for the year
- With Executive Director, develops annual program budget
- Acts as a spokesperson for the organization's artistic purpose via speaking engagements, public and social appearances, and, as requested, at fundraising events and solicitations
- Fosters the development of good relations with other cultural organizations by participating in meetings and joint activities where appropriate
- Directs at least one production per season
- Reports to the Board of Directors on a regular basis to give an update on artistic activity
- Supervises the maintenance of written procedures manual for technical and production staff

Friday, September 5, 2008

New goodies on this blog. Scroll Down.

I am trying to stay up to date with blogging latest and greatest, although I am sure I am still far behind. But in case you haven't scrolled down all the way, please note the video bar at the bottom as well as the yoga pose of the day (which is suppose to refresh everyday!). As I have mentioned before, yoga is a great tool for dancers and office workers to realign their body at the beginning or end of a day!

Let me know if you have any recommendations for widgets or other resources to serve empowered dancers.