The Latest:

Basic Checklist for Disaster-Prepping Your Studio/Workspace


Fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, snow, ice—every area has its
vulnerabilities. Knowing which hazards could affect your community
enables you to prepare in specific ways to lessen and manage the risks
to yourself and your family, your assistants or co-workers, your art and
your workplace. Here's a preparedness checklist.

L3C: An Alternative to Non-Profit Incorporation?

By Emily Chan, Nonprofit Law Blog

There has been a recent flurry of tweets and blog posts about L3Cs—Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies—as alternatives to incorporating as traditional 501(c) nonprofits. For those who are just joining the conversation now, it may be useful to go over some of the basics of the L3C form. Emily Chan of the NEO Law Group explains:
The low-profit, limited liability company, or L3C, is a hybrid of a nonprofit and for-profit organization.

Five Simple Methods To Market Your Music Offline

By Mike Venti (

While a lot of your promotional efforts can be concentrated online these days, it’s a good idea to take a look at offline methods and see which ones are still effective for marketing your music. Here are a few simple ideas to help market your music offline. But don’t rely on only these, be sure to have regular brainstorming sessions and see what other ideas you can come up with.

SBIF Funding Can Help Upgrade your Work Space

Chicago's Small Business Improvement Fund

An important tool for revitalizing Chicago's neighborhood businesses -- including arts and creative businesses -- is the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) program.  SBIF uses local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues to help
owners or tenants of commercial and industrial properties within
specific TIF districts to repair or remodel their facilities.   

Artist Live/Work Space License and Zoning Information

From the Chicago Dept of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

Artists interested in
operating a home-based Artist Live/Work Space
should consider the following licensing information from the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer

"Showing your art or another person's art to friends or for a private
party, in your home, not open to the public or advertised to the
public, and even selling art in your home does not require a business
can make art in any residence in
without a license. 

Arts Engagement Exchange

An Online Resource to Help Build Arts Audiences

The Arts Engagement
(AEE) is a learning network for
Chicago arts and cultural groups on topics related
to audience engagement. Created through a partnership between the Chicago
Community Trust and the Department of Cultural Affairs, with support from the
Wallace Foundation, the AEE works to build
Chicago’s arts audiences by offering free events and
audience development grants to local arts organizations. The AEE website expands the opportunities for dialogue with other organizations that wish to
increase participation in the arts, reach diverse audiences, and deepen
existing audiences’ participation.

What is Fiscal Sponsorship? NYFA's ArtSpire

And how does it relate to you?

Fiscal Sponsorship is a critical way for individual artists, artists' collaborative projects, and emerging arts organizations in all disciplines to apply for funding usually available only to organizations with 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. The right fiscal sponsor will not only allow you to manage your project efficiently, but can actually help you to raise more money and realize your artistic vision.

Musicians at Work Forums

Audio Archive

Musicians at Work Forums strengthen Chicago's music industry by presenting experts in candid discussions about the music business.  Launched in 2003, MAWF have covered topics ranging from how to get a gig, build your audience, license your music, songwriting, touring and more.  Notable presenters include:  Jim DeRogatis, Greg Kot, Martin Atkins, Shala Akintunde, Bettina Richards, Steve Albini, and many more.  

Now available, courtesy of the Chicago Music Commission, is a free audio archive of past forums:

Artists United for Health Care

Participate in the Health Care Debate

The Actors Fund’s Health Insurance Resource Center (HIRC), in partnership with The Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) and Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), has launched a national artists’ health care reform website, Artists United for Health Care.

As attention to health care reform takes center stage nationally, the Artists United for Health Care site brings attention to the critical place of artists in the reform debate.

Free Business Education Workshops and Certification

Sponsored by the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Licensing

Tough economic times may be the best time for entrepreneurs to get a leg up.  Just ask the 200 or more Chicago entrepreneurs that have enrolled into the City of Chicago's Business Start-Up Certificate program. Take it from entrepreneur David Clayton, "This program is outstanding, it provided me with the absolute fundamental knowledge to start a business."

Arts at the Core

A Curriculum Guidebook by the Illinois Arts Alliance

Arts at the Core: A Guidebook and Planning Tool is a helpful resource for arts educators across the disciplines created by the Illinois Arts Alliance. The guidebook addresses major questions posed by teachers and administrators, such as what constitutes a quality curriculum, how to integrate the arts into other subjects, and how to deal with a lack of resources.

Health Insurance Information

From the Actors Fund Health Insurance Resource Center

The Actors Fund Health Insurance Resource Center (AHIRC) has been connecting artists, craftspeople and entertainment industry workers around the country to health insurance and affordable health care since 1998.

Getting Started as a Teaching Artist

excerpted from Teaching Artists Journal

You want to teach!  Now what do you do?  Thisshort document lists some resources, strategies, andinformational sources you will want to think about andinvestigate.

City of Chicago Promoters Ordinance (4-157)

Facts to know about planning events

What is an Event Promoter?

An Event Promoter is a person inside or outside the City of Chicago who engages in the business of promoting amusements or events within the City of Chicago and is directly or indirectly compensated for providing that service. The ordinance requires Event Promoters to obtain a license and provides guidelines to operate responsibly in the City to ensure the health, safety and welfare of people attending these events.

License Application Requirements:

Protect Your Gear With Insurance

What's the best way to insure
your music and sound gear? If you consider your gear personal property,
your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy should protect it. Ask
your insurance carrier to be sure. However, if you use your
equipment for business (and hopefully exploit the tax advantages of
this strategy), you must check with your insurance carrier.

City of Chicago's Entertainment, Performing Arts and Theater Licensing

Ensure your venue has proper licenses and permits

If you offer entertainment as part of your business or are planning a large event in the City of Chicago, you may require a special license. These licenses range from PPA - Public Place of Amusement to PAV - Performing Arts Venue to Indoor Special Event Licenses.

Beyond Richard Florida

A Cultural Sector of Our Own

Now that Richard Florida has moved on from the “rise” of the creative class to the “flight” of the creative class, the cultural sector is left with the question: are we better off today than before he re-classified us?

Richard Florida's High-class Glasses

Article by Ann Daly, Arts Consultant

When Richard Florida took the mainstage at last year's Americans for the Arts conference in Portland, Oregon, the woman next to me—we had never met—leaned in with an immediate response. "Hubba-hubba," she murmured in my direction. The Carnegie-Mellon University professor of economic development had come a long way since the publication of The Rise of the Creative Class in June 2002.