#SAMspotlight on Kinetic Studio

#SAMspotlight on Kinetic Studio

#SAMSPOTLIGHT #THESAMBLOG

This episode of the #SAMspotlight series features Liliona Quarmyne, the Artistic Director of Kinetic Studio, a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation, development and presentation of contemporary dance. Liliona shares with us how Kinetic strives to adapt to the needs of dance artists – especially during a global pandemic – and how they are working to grow the representation and diversity of artists in Nova Scotia’s contemporary dance sector.

See more from the #SAMspotlight series.

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“More than ever our priority is around building spaces in the dance world for new, more diverse voices.”

Learn more about Kinetic Studio by visiting their website.

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This short video was filmed on the east coast of Canada in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This is a part of Mi’kma’ki, the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship,” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with the surrender of lands and resources but recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. 

Please learn about the treaties across Turtle Island and in your area at https://native-land.ca/  

~~~ 

Music Credit:

Shizuka by AERØHEAD | https://soundcloud.com/aerohead
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…

Snowfall by Scott Buckley | https://soundcloud.com/scottbuckley​
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com​
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…

After The Rain by Vlad Gluschenko | https://soundcloud.com/vgl9
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…

~~

Video by SAM Content Creation Intern Adriana Loewen

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What comes first when I’m starting a business plan?

What comes first when I start planning for my business?

#Businessplanningbasics #thesamblog

So you’ve decided to kick your dream up a notch and start working on a business plan. You open the blank document, your fingers are on the keyboard… now what?  
Here’s what SAM has to say:  

Start with figuring out your revenue sources…

First things first, you need to know the reasonable places where you can get revenue. Generally, in arts organizations, there is revenue from ticket sales, program advertising, registration fees, that kind of thing. But don’t forget about the other less glamorous side of things, like asking for money with grant proposals and fundraising. When you are starting out, you generally can’t afford to skip on one of your possible sources of revenue. So focus up – finding out your revenue sources tells you where to put your efforts so that you can take off.  

… then figure out how much revenue is realistic in the first few years… 

Next, you’ve got to look at the numbers and find out what’s a realistic revenue target. And you have to do your research first. So rather than kind of just saying, well, we’ll sell $10,000 worth of tickets, it is far more worthwhile to go to similar companies and figure out how much money they generate through ticket sales and other revenue sources. So grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and ask those with a bit more experience what you should be expecting before you write down a random number.  

… and then move on to project planning. 

The first two steps were all about getting your foundations right, and making sure your expectations are realistic. Don’t be so pessimistic that you don’t even try to build your dream business, but keep your early goals manageable so you can achieve them and gain momentum. Then, from that solid foundation, you can see which projects to start with and where you should be investing your time, money and effort.  

It may feel counterintuitive to build in this way. You have this idea for your organization’s first project and all you want to do is make the project work, no matter the cost… but hold on. Consider taking it slow. Consider working up to your ultimate dream project over a few years. Why? Because then you can work up your organization’s resources and connections so that your project (and your organization) makes a bigger impact. 

Plan and build with intention. And if you start to struggle with your strategic plan, you know who to call. (hint: it’s us!)

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Tips for Successful Grant Writing: Part 2

Tips for Successful Grant Writing: Part 2

#grantwritingbasics #thesamblog

And we are back for part 2 of our grant writing tips (did you miss part 1? Read it here!)! These general tips were collected from our team of expert consultants, so that you can write a great grant proposal and get the results you need.  

Ask for the money you need and make a case for that amount.  

Don’t feel guilty for asking for money.  Your work is valuable, and you should ask for the money you need in order to do this work, pay everyone appropriately, and get paid yourself. 

Keep the audience in mind.  

Remember who you are speaking to. Jury members are fellow artists like you. They run organizations like you, and they have challenges like you. They want to hear your vision and your plans, and they want to believe in your project. You may even know some of them! So be positive about the community around you and try to avoid speaking negatively about others. You never know who might be reading your proposal.  

Use high quality, engaging demo work and supplementary material.  

Ensuring that your grant proposal looks professional is really important – and it isn’t just about looks and catching the attention of the jury. It is also about showing them that you are confident and professional. You want people to take your ideas seriously and believe that you can achieve your goals. And one way to communicate that is to present the whole package beautifully and with confidence. Take your material seriously and others will too! 

Ready to get going on your grant?

 SAM is here to help on every step of the way! Check out our Funding Calendar to see important deadlines from multiple funding bodies all in one place, and then take a look at our expert consultants to see who could give your application that extra boost!
 

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Now Playing: #SAMspotlight on ViBeat Dance

Now Playing: #SAMspotlight on ViBeat Dance

#SAMSPOTLIGHT #THESAMBLOG

In our latest episode of the #SAMspotlight series, we sit down with our client ViBeat Dance Studio‘s AD Darshini Shah to talk about the communicative power of dance, the company’s journey since launching in 2015, and her strong commitment to anti-bullying and teaching empathy through arts and culture.

See more from the #SAMspotlight series.

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“[ViBeat] is an extension of me, Darshini Shah. It is my happy place and a welcoming environment for all ages, races, beliefs, and abilities. Dance is for everyone and instills self-confidence that not many other mediums can do.”

Learn more about ViBeat by visiting their website.

~~~

This short video was filmed on the east coast of Canada in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This is a part of Mi’kma’ki, the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship,” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with the surrender of lands and resources but recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. 

Please learn about the treaties across Turtle Island and in your area at https://native-land.ca/  

~~~ 

Music Credit:

Shizuka by AERØHEAD | https://soundcloud.com/aerohead
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…

After The Rain by Vlad Gluschenko | https://soundcloud.com/vgl9
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…

~~

Video by SAM Content Creation Intern Adriana Loewen

Looking for more #SAMspotlight videos?

Follow us on your favourite social media site and be the first to know when our next video is released.

3 quick website updates for 2021

3 quick (and easy!) website updates for 2021

#artsadmintips #communicationbasics#thesamblog

We at SAM like to think of our website as our “online home” and just like a real home, it needs regular tidying and maintaining – especially after the holidays! 

Here are three quick things you can do to make sure your arts website is in tip-top shape for 2021:

1) Update the year in your copyright footer

Often overlooked and forgotten* the website copyright footer is a small but important aspect of any website – especially for a website where you’re marketing your work. A current-year footer reminds visitors that the content on your website is protected by copyright and also tells them at a glance that information on your website is current and maintained.

Don’t know what a copyright footer is? If you scroll down to the very bottom of this page, you’ll see ours which reads: © 2021 Strategic Arts Management. If you’re totally unfamiliar with copyright, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has a great guide to copyright in Canada you can check out here.

If you don’t know how to update your website’s footer yourself, try Google-searching the name of the Content Management System (CMS) you use to maintain your website and “copyright footer” to find a tutorial (ex: WordPress copyright footer, Squarespace copyright footer). If you want to add the copyright symbol to your footer, you can copy and paste the following: ©   or type it yourself by holding Option and hitting the g-key on a Mac or holding Alt and typing 0169 on the number pad on PC.

*Seriously – if we had a nickel for every website (arts-based or not) we’ve seen with a copyright footer 2+ years out of date, we could probably offer free services for a month!

2) Take a look at your “About” and “Staff” pages

2020 changed a lot of things in the arts and the world. No doubt you/your company was affected in some way, shape, or form. Make sure your “About” page reflects the adaptations you may’ve made to weather the pandemic and ensure you direct visitors onwards from the page to other pages and/or social channels where they’re able to engage with your activities.

Tip: “About” = current. It’s what you’re doing now. If you want to talk about your history, make a new page or section where you share that information.

Knowing who’s behind the organization helps visitors connect to you/your organization in a more personal way. Making sure you have current headshots and bios is an easy way to fulfill that goal AND, as a bonus, you can re-use bios and headshots to create a “meet our staff” campaign on social media!

3) Refresh your landing page

It’s a new year, time for some new pictures! Whether you use a slider or static images, it’s nice to change things up to keep imagery current and applicable to your activities. It’s also a great chance to shine the spotlight on your most recent activities or encourage visitors to check out your social channels.

You could also explore new layout options or copy text if you have feedback/analytics data saying your current setup isn’t user-friendly.

If any of this seems outside your skillset, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

SAM has consultants who specialize in web design and development who would be happy to help you tackle tidying up your online home. Reach out today to get started.

Looking for more #communicationsbasics?

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Top Three Graphic Design and Photo Editing Websites Anyone Can Use!

by Krista Tannahill, SAM Consultant

When it comes to marketing yourself, your business or a non-profit organization there are a lot of great do-it-yourself resources. From marketing materials to social media graphics here are my favourite websites for creating professional looking graphics. 

Each of these websites are user-friendly with a variety of templates, photos, fonts and graphics you can use for free. They also have a paid option which provides you with even more tools and templates. 

1. Canva (https://canva.com) 

Canva is the most popular option for non-graphic designers to create posts on social media and online marketing graphics. In addition to pre-made templates for social media they also have fun videos you can modify to use on your social media accounts. 

PicMonkey is focused on photo editing, collages and social media posts. There are a lot of fun and colourful templates that you can use and adjust to suit your needs. PicMonkey is by far one of easiest website tools for editing a photo. Whether you want to brighten a photo, add texture or touch it up the options are endless. 

 

Fotor is a photo editing site with social media graphics as well. However, it also has some of the most professional looking templates that you can modify and use create printed material. Their templates are high end with options for different industries, holidays and events.   

The best way to find out which website works for you is to sign up for the free version and give it a try. Once you get comfortable on each website you will be able to decide which one suits your needs and is the easiest to work with. 

I personally use all 3 for different reasons. I use Canva.com for social media posts, Fotor for printed material and PicMonkey for photo editing. Additionally, these websites are constantly being updated with new graphics, templates, photos and text options.  

Also, I love the fact that if I am stuck for ideas I can just log into one of the websites and get inspired with new ideas or if I am in a hurry I can just use one of the pre-made templates. 

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Now Playing: #SAMspotlight on “Woodlight”

Now Playing: #SAMspotlight on "Woodlight"

#SAMSPOTLIGHT #thesamblog

Strategic Arts Management clients Erin Donovan from Hear Here Productions and Susanne Chui from Mocean Dance have been working on an exciting project these past few months. Get ready to see this incredible short film, incorporating dance, poetry, music, and gorgeous visual storytelling. Coming soon in 2020! Be sure to follow @hearhereproductions to be the first to know when the film is released.

See more of the #SAMspotlight series here.

~~~ 

Woodlight is a short film by Hear Here Productions, in collaboration with Susanne Chui from Mocean Dance, Justin Pickens and Eliote Schuler from Picnic Studios, John Adams from Stonehouse Sound, and Alice Burdick, a local Mahone Bay poet. Woodlight is made possible with the support of Canada Council’s Digital Originals grant.  

Woodlight and this short video were shot on the east coast of Canada in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. This is a part of Mi’kma’ki, the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship,” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with the surrender of lands and resources but recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. 

Please learn about the treaties across Turtle Island and in your area at https://native-land.ca/  

~~~ 

Music Credit: 

The Restoration by Scott Buckley | https://soundcloud.com/scottbuckley 

Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com 

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) 

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/… 

~~

Video by SAM Content Creation Intern Adriana Loewen

Looking for more #SAMspotlight videos?

Follow us on your favourite social media site and be the first to know when our next video is released.

Tips for Successful Grant Writing: Part 1

Tips for Successful Grant Writing: Part 1

#grantwritingbasics #thesamblog

Grant writing is a tricky beast. It is one of SAM’s most requested areas of expertise and our consultants frequently sit down with artists and arts organizations to share their knowledgeprovide valuable feedback, and work on specific grant proposals. But for those of us just starting out and looking for some general advice, SAM has you covered too!  

We rounded up some of our consultant’s best advice for the beginner grant writers out there, to help you get your ideas in order before writing your proposal. No more confusion halfway through writing! Get your thoughts organized first.  

Answer "The Six Ws” and make those details clear.

When you are writing your proposal, it is helpful to have a document open that breaks your project down into really clear bits of information. Start out by asking yourself “The Six Ws” – who, what, where, when, why and how? Answer those questions as clearly as you can in the document, and then refer back to those answers as you continue developing your idea, edit them as needed, and then have the document open on your computer later when you write your proposal. That way you won’t leave out any important information the jury needs to know.  

Practice the elevator pitch.

You have the time it takes to ride an elevator to convince someone of your idea… now GO!  

Practice pitching your idea in your head and to friends, always making it clear what you are doing and why it will achieve what you want it to. Make a game out of it! Try explaining your project in one sentence and in 10 sentences, in the time it takes to brew a coffee and in the time it takes to make your bed. Practice it until you find the right words. And then write those words down!

Know who you are, not just who you are not.

Resist the urge to compare yourself to others, in your own head and in your grants. Avoid saying things like: “Well, our organization isn’t like so and so, and we don’t do this…” In the end, the jury doesn’t want to know what you are not, they want to get to know you.  

Remember that you are an artist, not the idea of an artist. Be the thing you are, own that, and then find a way to explain that clearly to the jury. 

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Can’t I just wing it? Why business plans matter for your success.

Can't I just wing it? Why business plans matter for your success.

#businessplanningbasics #thesamblog

DSCF0230 (2)

So you want to start an arts organization. Whether you have dreams of on a stage or around a campfire, bringing together Nova Scotia’s best step dancers, or teaching students how to make sense of a trombone – once you decide to turn this dream into a reality, you need a plan. Or do you? 

I sat down with SAM staff and consultants to find out whether you actually need to make a business plan before getting started, and why it may be the step that separates your organization from the rest of the startups

You can totally start an organization without a business plan, but don’t expect things to progress quickly.

Let’s face it – getting a group of extremely busy arts practitioners together and committed to starting an arts organization is hard enough. Picking a NAME is hard enough. Once you get through that tricky bit, it can be tempting to just run out of the gate and start creating, start teaching. And that can definitely work for many organizations, especially if the stakes are low at the beginning. To just see if something can work, it can be incredibly helpful to just jump in, get things going, and see where they go. But the more money and time you put into something, the more you and your fellow practitioners will want a beneficial return. And that’s where a business plan comes in. 

Investing some time planning up front saves you time in the long run.

It’s a huge slog to write a business plan – crunching numbers, figuring out the realistic sources of revenue.. It’s time-consuming and a little disheartening to face the financial realities of starting an arts organization. But the time upfront is well worth it if you want to reach your goals more quickly. In the early stages, it can be easy to get side tracked. Figuring out where you are, where you want to go, and how you can get there – that’s how you build a map that leads you where you want to go.  

You can avoid getting sucked into grant writing rabbit holes that don’t serve your needs.

Making sure your organization is on track in the early stages is hugely important. It can tell you where to put your efforts, and how much something really matters to your goals. It comes down to figuring out what you need and distinguishing that from what it would be great to have. If you prioritize your organization’s needs first, you won’t get stuck investing your limited time and resources into yet another grant program that doesn’t serve your needs. Because it’s not about doing everything and seeing what sticks – it’s about not wasting your time and ensuring that you get the best return for every minute you spend investing in your dream. 

That way, you can get back to focusing on your passion, on developing new work, running an accordion band, or step dancing to the Rolling Stones. Or all three at once, if that’s your style.

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