• Artists:
    Working with the Artists
    on Your Roster

    Once you’ve completed the rigorous process of creating an artist roster, it's time to address the cultivation and management of this fine group of talented people. It is important to establish respectful relationships with artists, including opportunities to listen to each other, exchange ideas and feedback, and build programs collaboratively. It is also good to state guidelines and rules from the very beginning and contract each group for their work for the year, taking into consideration compensation, communication, professional development, and more.

  • Artist Handbook

    Setting forth your expectations in a handbook can be helpful. It is a good idea to create a written document that clearly states the agreed upon expectations and sets out any regulations artists need to follow. Keep the handbook layout friendly, easy to read, and organized. Consider the various ways people absorb information, and make the document available in a variety of forms, if possible—print, PDF, and so on.

    It is a good idea to create a written document that clearly states your expectations and sets out any regulations artists need to follow. Keep the handbook layout easy to read and organized. Consider the various ways people absorb information, and make the document available in a variety of forms, if possible—print, PDF, and so on.

    Your handbook should include the following content:

    • • A schedule of the year’s activities, including performances and professional development, as well as a plan for resolving inevitable scheduling conflicts
    • • Information about contracts, fees, and invoicing
    • • A strategy for scheduling peer-to-peer observations, planning conversations, and mid-year reviews
     


    Artists observe each other in Musical Connections.

    • • An explanation of the importance of attending professional development sessions and a description of learning objectives
    • • Examples of required make-ups for missed professional development sessions

    It’s also a good idea to ask artists to sign a statement saying they have read the handbook. We've provided an example below.

    Download PDF: Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections Handbook from 2010–2011

    Contracts

    Each artist will need a contract detailing terms of the agreement and their compensation for the work they will be doing. This is different than the handbook. The information in the contract should address employment vs. independent contractor status, payment process and payee information, permissions for audio and video recording, indemnification, cancellation, and other legal matters. This is a legally binding document and sets the tone for the serious commitment asked of artists and your organization’s commitment to them.

    Compensation

    Artists’ fees may vary depending on the type and amount of work required, but whatever the amount, compensation for each artist should be based on a standardized fee structure and should be commensurate with the professional stature of your artists. At Carnegie Hall, we base compensation on the industry standard for teaching artists in New York City. Having a pre-determined fee structure, based on an hourly rate, is especially useful when you undertake long-term projects that require different types of activities over an extended period. Here are some examples of these activities:

    • • Professional development, observation hours, planning time, reflection time, administrative hours
    • • Pre-concert visits that include creative work and/or rehearsals with participants
    • • Performances (approximately one hour each)
    • • Multiple performances in one host facility

    At Carnegie Hall, the hourly rate for each of these activities is different, but always based on usual and customary fees for teaching artists in the New York City area.

    Communication

    An open communication strategy is essential in any project involving multiple parties, particularly a program like this that is based on the active inclusion of all voices. Here are a few practical suggestions:

    • • Streamline the flow of information to artists by designating one or two point people on your staff to communicate with all artists. One staff member might be responsible for programming and scheduling, while another might be in charge of contracts and payment questions.
    • • Be clear about roles and who is responsible for what.
    • • Be clear about when feedback will be given and received. If you want consistent feedback loops with artists, be clear about what you want to know and when you want to know it. For example, we like artists to report back to us right after a performance so that impressions and memories are fresh. Mid-year reviews are a good time to talk about things that require bigger changes, or that need more attention.
    • • Consider developing a platform for artists to communicate with each other, such as an online community or message board where they can share experiences, ask questions, provide feedback, and have access to multiple resources. The more artists share with each other, the more dynamic the learning circle will be.
    • • Devote time in your professional development workshops to issues of communication, exploring what works, what doesn’t work, and how it can be improved.

    Professional Development

    All Musical Connections work has 360° impact, changing the lives of everyone involved, from venue staff to artists, workshop participants to audience members. To create this kind of impact, artists need opportunities to reflect on their own work by themselves, with other artists, and with experts in the field. We offer a variety of types of professional development: workshops that cover multiple topics, opportunities for artists to observe each other and share feedback, and mid-year meetings with the artists and Carnegie Hall staff.




    Professional development helps artists approach brand new situations differently. Here is one artist's impression of how appropriate preparation and support can change your attitude about a performance.

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