News/Thoughts/Opinions

“Nuts & Bolts: Building Buzz with Social Media” 11/18 6pm-8:30pm

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Coming up at StageSource, we have a “Nuts & Bolts: Building Buzz with Social Media” 11/18 6pm – 8:30pm – at StageSource (15 Channel Center Street Suite 103, Boston, MA 02210).  Sign up on the StageSource website or call Emma (M-F 10am-5pm) at 617-350-7611 or email ops@stagesource.org.

MaryLiz Murray – Actor/Director/Teacher and  Owner of Streamix Consulting 

MaryLiz has over 5 years of professional Arts Marketing and Administration experience here in Boston. She has extensive social-media, blogging, and communications skills as well as experience with Kickstarter and donor relations. She has devoted the last two years  to building a small social media marketing and crowdfunding consulting firm, Streamix Consulting.  As the owner and principal of Streamix Consulting, MaryLiz works with local creative businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits to help them find their voice in the noisy world of likes, tweets, pins, and photos. Streamix specializes in building meaningful connections with a client’s audience and building on that audience to increase engagement. As a creative marketing consultant MaryLiz coaches her clients in strategy, content creation, and best practices across many channels including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress Blogs.

Streamix also helps artists and organizations leverage their online and personal networks for success in crowd-sourced funding using platforms like Kickstarter and Indie-Go-Go and has helped various projects raise over $175,000 through online, crowd-based funding so far.
Before founding Streamix, MaryLiz was one of three founding artistic directors of The CoLab Theatre Company and she is currently the Director of Outreach for Theatre on Fire, working to actively engage with Boston’s robust theater community online through Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms. She has helped to create the #FillASeat challenge for Theatre on Fire’s 10th season and plays an active role in marketing and development strategy across all mediums. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Connecticut and is a working theater artist in Boston having worked with Fort Point Theater Channel, Stoneham Theater, Wheelock Family Theater, and Emerson College, among other
Mary-Liz answered some questions from Emma, our Operations Coordinator, about the upcoming workshop and about herself!  Take a look: 
Emma: Can you tell our members a little bit about your background in the arts and in social media?
Mary-Liz: I started in theatre one summer in middle school because my mother thought I needed “something to do”. It was love at first rehearsal. I’ve been working as an actor ever since and now hold a BFA in Acting from UConn. Inspired by the large amount of growth and change I saw in the Boston theatre scene in the early 2000’s, I decided to move home to Boston after graduation . In 2009, after working professionally for a year, I teamed up with two friends and started a fringe company, the CoLab Theatre Company.Our mission was to expose our artistic process to our audience. Our first step was creating a blog, and that is where my experience and love for social media started. Using our blog and our Facebook and Twitter accounts, The CoLab built a following and successfully turned it into sold out audiences for the 5 fully staged events we produced. While running the CoLab I also worked as the Staff Assistant for the Tufts University Music Department where I helped to implement their Social Media Program. I left CoLab and Tufts in early 2012 and have been working for myself as an actor, teacher, and social media and crowdfunding consultant ever since. Through my business, Streamix Consulting, I have worked with numerous small businesses and non-profits to help expand their online presences. 
 
Emma: What will the workshop on 11/18 format be?  Is there anything that the attendees should bring with them?
Mary-Liz: The format will be lecture with a powerpoint presentation (attached for you to look at). Attendees can bring a pen & pencil if they want to take notes and a couple of burning questions. For those who aren’t note takers I’m happy to share my slides with anyone who attends. 
Emma: What are a few of the main tenets of social media for you?
Mary-Liz: I think my top three musts for using any professional social media presence are
1. Plan Ahead. 
2. Pay Attention. 
3. Have Fun.

Emma: What is one or two things that you wish that people knew about social media?

Mary-Liz: Well the #1 thing I wish people knew…or rather understood better, is that it takes time to build a robust social media following. Sometimes you will start seeing results and ROI in a few months, but often it takes a solid year or more. It does not happen overnight, and there will be bumps along the way. But it is worth it – with social you are investing in loyal brand ambassadors who will help spread your message, not just “customers” or audience members. 
 Emma: Is there anything else you’d like our members to know about the workshop or about maintaining a social media presence?
Mary-Liz: The workshop will offer a basic overview of the current popular platforms as well as some basic starting strategy to help you manage and maintain your presence. It’s important to remember though, that this presentation is to help participants start prioritizing social media instead of trying to “squeeze it in”. To build your base of fans and followers it’s important to create  the proper time in your schedule for it. That doesn’t mean you need a full-time professional, but it does mean that whether you’re coming from a business or a company with multiple members or you’re an individual artist putting time for updating social, analyzing your progress, and planning your marketing calendar into to your workflow calendar is important. 
Building Buzz with Social Media is part of our Personal/Professional Development Workshop series: Nuts & Bolts made possible, in part, by the Cabot Family Charitable Trust.
Sign up at the StageSource website (www.stagesource.org/workshops-fall-2014) – or call (617-350-7611) or email Emma (ops@stagesource.org)
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“Mastering Your Time with Stever Robbins” 11/22 10am-12:30pm @ StageSource

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Stever RobbinsStever Robbins is one of the top business podcasters in the world, with Get-It-Done Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More. He is an entrepreneur, executive coach, and business consultant. … and a lyricist and musical theater performer, specializing in zombie musicals about personal productivity. Be afraid. Be very afraid. You can find him online at http://SteverRobbins.com and http://WorkLessAndDoMore.com.

Our Operations Coordinator, Emma Putnam, had a chance to sit down with Stever to discuss his history with Time Management, the arts, and more:
Emma: What is  your  background in the arts and in life?
Stever: I am a latecomer to the arts and only discovered theatre a few years ago, but in that time I have been in 5 shows and co-written a musical based on my book “Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More” [http://WorkLessAndDoMore.com – click the top link] and performed in it in previews.  
I am an active participant in the MIT Musical Theatre Guild and am currently in the adult ensemble of Bye Bye Birdie at Footlight Club which opens this Saturday. 
In life, my podcast, Get it Done Guys Quick & Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More itunes.com/getitdoneguy, is the World’s Top Podcast in Personal Productivity – and  besides that, I’m also a Full-time Executive Coach and Writer.
Emma: Can you give our members a brief overview of what the content of the workshop will be?
Stever: The workshop will be one part presentation and one part exercises.  We’ll go through a presentation on personal productivity and then actively apply the tips in the workshop itself.  The presentation will be based around my book, “Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More”  and having a laptop or the ability to check your email will be helpful as we’ll be applying the techniques to real life.  [This book is available for the first 5 members who sign up for the workshop at www.stagesource.org/workshops-fall-2014]
Emma: What are a couple of the tenets of time management that you can impart to our members?
Stever: 1)You can’t manage time you can only manage yourself. 2)Ultimately, there is no such thing as life-balance there is only life and the good news is that you get to choose what you get to do with your life in every moment -the bad news is that you get to choose what you get to do with your life in every moment! 
Emma: What is one thing you wish everyone would know about time management?
Stever: The most important thing is to know what you want. By far the most common problem is that people lose sight of what they want and they spend so much time on something that they don’t really want. Your desires and direction changes as time goes on so why would you stay on a course that isn’t right for you?

“Mastering Your Time” runs from 10am-12:30pm November 22, 2014 at StageSource and is part of the “Life GPS” workshop series – to sign up visit www.stagesource.org/workshops-fall-2014 and share the event on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/641098512676523/

 

 

**Don’t miss out: First 5 members to sign up will receive a copy of Stever‘s book “Get-It-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More” **

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Paying Yourself First: Retirement Planning for Artists – Saturday 11/8 10am-12:30pm

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Our speaker is a financial advisor for families and businesses – and also a professional actor! He will help you understand how to effectively budget and manage your personal finances, and to prepare smartlyfor the future.

 

 

Stuart Paap

Having studied Economics and Medical Anthropology at McGill University, Stuart discovered that he had a passion to understand the global economic and political landscape, and how we come to understand it. His personal financial journey began in elementary school. He had a savings account and learned about the value of compound interest. At eleven, he started mowing lawns, and worked during high school.

After working through college, he began to invest in stocks and mutual funds with guidance. Over the years, as he learned more about the financial world, he was determined to speak finance fluently.

Today, as a Financial Advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, his mission is to help people achieve their financial goals by keeping a balanced perspective as well as developing a better understanding of how they make their personal financial decisions.

He enjoys teaching the elements of financial independence and investing to everyone and keeping it both meaningful and fun. He’s been featured as the Funny Financial Advisor on the Mel Robbins Radio

Show and regularly gives talks to entrepreneurs, business groups, and trade associations. In the fall of 2012, he was a panelist at the Face of Finance Conference at Bentley University.

In addition, Stuart enjoys giving back. In his spare time, he mentors start-up companies, leads professional development workshops, and volunteers with the Northfield Mount Hermon Alumni and the McGill University Alumni Group. He also loves going to see theater, comedy, and music performances, as well as mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and doing anything in and on the water.

CAR 1014-03474

 


 

For more information and to register visit www.stagesource.org/workshops-fall-2014

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Workshop: Improv Master Class

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The Improv Master Class, part of our “Actors Toolbox” Workshop Series will be held on November 1, 2014 at 10 am- 12:30 pm at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA.

Register for this and other workshops: www.stagesource.org/workshops-fall-2014

 

Improv is a great tool for helping gain confidence and become more of who you are on stage. Even if you have never done improv before, this workshop is for you. Instructor David Marino will help you learn the art of improv.

 

David Marino has been performing comedy in the Boston area since 1997. In addition to performing with the ImprovBoston Mainstage for 8 years, he conceived and directed several shows for the theater including Archipelago, Comedy in the Round, UnNatural Selection, Groaners and Boners, Continuum, Code Duello, Red Alert!, and Agent Spy, which was showcased at the 2004 Chicago Improv Festival. In addition to teaching, coaching and directing sketch and improv comedy, David has written and directed several plays and musicals throughout the region including Burlesque Me If I Love You, and the critically acclaimed Pirate Lives: The Musical!  David is the founding director of Groaners for Donors, a performance-based fundraising production company “dedicated to providing a unique comedy experience.” David is an Executive Trainer at ImprovBoston, and has worked with dozens of local organizations to improve their productivity, supportive office-culture, and team collaboration.

 

 

Our Operations Coordinator, Emma Putnam, talked with David about the class and how Improv can improve not only your acting chops, but your sense of well-being…

 

Emma: Can you give our members a brief overview of what the content of the workshop will be?

David: Confidence, connection, and being yourself. Scripted theatre may seem like a world away from improvised theater, but the similarities are vital. In both cases, the success of the scene and your comfort level in it, depend on the connection you find with your scene partner. We’ll be exploring several improv exercises that make you comfortable relating to your scene partner, whether it’s during an audition, at the beginning of the rehearsal process, or in the middle of the run.

Emma: Why is Improv an important skill to have for an actor?

David: Improv is an exercise of discovery and finding creative inspiration in common places.  In scripted theatre, the director and script give us much of our inspiration. However, applying improv techniques allows you to live more fully in your scene and character, and quickly establish an element of emotional honesty which grounds you.

Emma: Why is improv an important skill for everyone to have?

David: The two main tenants of improv theater are agreement and unconditional acceptance of ideas. The more you say yes with your scene partner, the more you feed off of each other, and the more the scene progresses.  When applied to your friends, family, office colleague, and relationship partner, the human instinct of conflict goes away and you are suddenly sharing ideas instead of competing with them.  There is a strong intersection between improv and everyday life and it can change your human interactions outside of the class.

Emma: What would you say to an actor who is unfamiliar with the improv process or frightened by putting themselves in a potentially uncomfortable situation?

Improv will make you feel more comfortable standing on stage and holding a script in your hand. You’ll be able to make stronger emotional choices more quickly and confidently, and that will allow you to listen to your scene partner more effectively. The thing that people forget is that everyone improvises every day of their life, and this class will give you more control over the every day improvising that you do.

 Emma: What is one thing that people generally don’t know about Improv?

David: Anyone can do it!

 

David’s info: 

David L. Marino
Actor, Director, Producer and Coach

Like what you see? To register for this workshop, visit: www.stagesource.org/workshops-fall-2014

 

 

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Organizing Your Community Workshop is Tomorrow!

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Do you wish the creative community had more resources and support? That more people could talk about how the arts aren’t just nice, but necessary? Learn how to become an arts advocate and help to build an arts and culture movement. MASSCreative, the statewide arts advocacy organization, will run through the basics of what goes into running a campaign – from goals, to strategies and tactics, to victory. They will also cover strategies and tactics used in the world of politics that can also be implemented in building support for theater and arts activities
This workshop will be held on October 7, 2014 at StageSource and is part of the Nuts & Bolts workshop series.
For more information and to register visit www.stagesource.org/workshops-fall-2014

Tracie Konopinski from MASSCreative will be leading the workshop. Here’s more about Tracie:

Tracie Konopinski is the MASSCreative Senior Campaign Organizer. She works with MASSCreative’s Action Network to unify the creative sector and build a grassroots movement for arts, culture, and creativity in Massachusetts. With this network of 35+ arts leaders, Tracie advocates for increasing public investment in the creative sector, to insure all youth have access to quality arts education programs, and for policies that support the work of individual artists and creative entrepreneurs.Prior to joining the MASSCreative team, Tracie worked for six years on environmental, affordable education, and public transportation campaigns in western Massachusetts and Maine. As a community organizer, Tracie facilitated organizing skills and leadership development trainings with hundreds of activists.

Tracie graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2005, where she studied business, communication, and dance.

Here’s an article written by Matt Wilson (Executive Director of MASSCreative) about arts advocacy in Boston:

http://wgbhnews.org/post/art-isnt-nice-its-necessary

 

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Introducing: Fall Workshops 2014

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Autumn, traditionally, is harvest time. The time to cultivate the fruits of your labor…  In the theatre world, it’s the time to see new shows you’ve been getting mailers or emails about or finally start performances for the show you’ve been rehearsing for all $%!@ summer!  And at StageSource, much like for our youngest members, it’s time to go back to school.

The Professional Development Workshops we have this Fall are as varied as our members.  Our mission is to unite theater artists, theater companies, and related organizations in vision and goals that inspire and empower our community to realize its greatest artistic potential.  The way we can help you realize your greatest artistic potential is by giving you the tools you need to be a complete and fully realized human being.  And for that purpose we have created these three Fall MEMBERS ONLY series.

If you’re a current member you will have received an email about these workshops.  Stay tuned for more specific information about the programs and check out www.stagesource.org/workshops-fall-2014/ for more information!

 


 

NUTS & BOLTS

Learn how to use these important basic tools to manage, track, and communicate. You know that you need to know this stuff, but you just haven’t gotten around to it. Well, now’s the time.

Tuesday evenings, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

15 Channel Center Street, Boston

$20/session, or $49 for the Nuts & Bolts series of three

Organizing Your Community: 10.07

Matt Wilson & Tracie Konopinski of MASSCreative

Strategies and tactics that are successful in the world of politics can be equally useful in building support for theater and arts activities.  Register here!

Unlocking the Mysteries of Excel: 10.28

Julie Hennrikus, StageSource

Excel is a powerful tool that can be used for planning, budgeting, tracking — even keeping mailing lists — and it’s much easier to use than you might think.  Register here!

Building Buzz with Social Media: 11.18

Mary-Liz Murray, Streamix Consulting

Keeping up with social media can seem like a daunting task. Which platforms are most appropriate for you to use, and how can you get the most impact out of the time you’re spending? Register here!

 


 

LIFE GPS

Sometimes we’re so busy worrying about work that we neglect important issues in our personal lives. These workshops will help you restore that balance.

Saturday mornings, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

15 Channel Center Street, Boston

$20/session, or $49 for the Life GPS series of three

Networking for Fun & Profit: 10.18

Graham Wright, Opus Affair, & Julie Hennrikus, StageSource

You know the old saying … it’s WHO you know. Building your network of friends and colleagues can pay off in both your professional and personal life. And it can be fun! Really!  Register here!!

Paying Yourself First: Financial Planning for Artists: 11.08

Our speaker is a financial advisor for families and businesses – and also a professional actor! He will help you understand how to effectively budget and manage your personal finances, and to prepare smartly for the future.  Register here!!

Mastering Your Time: 11.22

Stever Robbins, Executive Coach

How can you make sure that you are devoting your time and energy to what’s really important? Stever Robbins will help you restore your work/life balance  Regsiter here!!

 


 

THE ACTOR’S TOOLBOX

Acting is a skill that takes time, dedication, and the right tools. Our Actor’s Toolbox series includes some exciting new workshops that will help you expand your knowledge, experience, and yes, the tools in your personal toolbox.

Saturday mornings, 10:00 am –12:30 pm

Location Below

$30/session

Improv Master Class: 11.01

TBA, ImprovBoston

Location: ImprovBoston Main Stage 40 Prospect Street Cambridge

Improv is a great tool for helping gain confidence and become more of who you are on stage. Even if you have never done improv before, this workshop is for you.  Register here!!

Shakespeare Scene Study: 12.06

Jennie Israel, Actors’ Shakespeare Project

Location: TBA

Let’s face it, Shakespearean text can be daunting. Whether you want a refresher, are preparing for an audition, or you are just curious about what the heck “wherefore” actually means, this workshop is a great way to explore and refine your knowledge of Shakespeare’s words. Register here!!

 


 

COMING WINTER/SPRING 2015:

The Actor’s Toolbox

continues with Headshot Day, GO!Audition prep workshop, and more. Stay tuned for details!

Basic Training: Strengthening Your Administrative Core

This popular series returns with five workshops for those who want to understand more about the business side of presenting theater, including marketing, fundraising, finance, legal issues, and more.

Playwriting Workshops

Playwrights and actors learn about creating and producing new work.

The StageSource Conference: June 6

 

Programming at StageSource is supported in part by the Cabot Family Foundation

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A word from #SpaceFinderBoston

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By the SpaceFinder team at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston

The Boston arts community is bustling with new productions, exhibits, and performances every day, and artists are always looking for a place to create and present their work. But if you’re an artist looking for a place to establish yourself, a theatre company in the market for a new home, or a musician hoping to book another venue, where do you start the search?

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston is excited to announce the launch of SpaceFinder Boston, an online service enabling artists and creative spaces to connect with one another. Sponsored by the A&BC, StageSource, Boston Dance Alliance, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, SpaceFinder Boston is the latest platform created by Fractured Atlas, which has already established similar services in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and elsewhere in the United States with great success. Bringing this service to Boston, the A&BC hopes to make communication between artists and rental spaces easier and more efficient with one directory available to all artists and venues, totally free of charge.

SpaceFinder Boston presents an easy, organized way to search for rental space based on your specifications. Interested renters can search through SpaceFinder’s directory based on space usage, availability, discipline, rates, location, size, and more. These filters are designed to help you find a space that best suits your particular needs. Popular venues are included, but lesser-known spaces are not forgotten, and SpaceFinder’s search system gives all listings equal opportunity for visibility. Therefore, SpaceFinder is not only a service for artists but also arts organizations and venues who can use this platform to promote their rental spaces. Furthermore, all types of space listings can find their niche in SpaceFinder – currently there are listings for studio space, performance venues and theaters, event halls, live/work artist housing, and more!

For artistic spaces and organizations, creating a listing on SpaceFinder is simple. Visit www.spacefinderboston.org and click “List Your Space” – this link enables you to create your organization profile and space listings. Once these listings are approved, they are taken public and enter the website’s searchable database, where artists and potential renters can find you.

SpaceFinder Boston is the latest service created by the Arts & Business Council to support the creative and logistical needs of local artists and performers. In addition to this new program, the A&BC offers professional development programs such as Essential Training for the Arts (ETA), Artist’s Professional Toolbox (APT), and Musician’s Professional Toolbox (MPT). These programs include workshops, webinars, and courses that provide training for the business challenges of being an artist. Additionally, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides roughly $1.5 million dollars in pro bono legal services for artists every year, and our Fiscal Sponsorship program provides legal and tax-exempt status for artists and organizations engaged in activities related to our mission. For more information on our programs, please visit our website at www.artsandbusinesscouncil.org.

 

 

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#SmallStagesSOS

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Three years ago I brought some friends with me to see the T Plays. We had dinner and then walked over to The Factory Theatre. As we walked through the parking lot, and down the stairs, I asked if anyone had been there before. None of them had, but at the end of the evening all of them promised they would be back. That is often how it works in the small and fringe theater world. Once you discover an entry point, you will return. But often discovery is difficult, since the companies themselves have very, very small budgets, and marketing budgets are even smaller. It is a word-of-mouth world made easier when there is a specific location known to support the work.  The Factory Theatre is one of those entry points in Boston theater, home to several small and fringe theater companies.

Last week the managers of The Factory Theatre were informed by the owners of the Piano Factory that their lease would not be renewed, and that the theater would be closed as of October 31, 2014. Ed Siegel reported on the closing that day (on WBUR’s ARTery), there was an article in the Boston Globe, and Joyce Kulhawik wrote a letter to the owners which I shared as a blog post. Behind the scenes and on social media there have been rallies of support, emergency meetings, and lots of discussions about what to do immediately to help the companies orphaned by this decision. And orphaned it is. The Factory Theatre has been a theater for years, and its existence is one of the reasons that the small and fringe theater scene has flourished. Small, affordable, and T accessible. Perfect, no, but it was/is still a space where theater is made. And that work, on whatever scale, is vital to the health of the entire theater community, as well as the Boston arts sector.

The current resident companies include Fresh Ink Theatre, Happy Medium Theatre Company, Science Fiction Theatre Company, Heart & Dagger Productions, Vagabond Theatre Group, Sleeping Weazel, Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company, Porpentine Players, and Wax Wings Productions. As there was no suggestion that the theater would cease operation from the owners, most if not all of these theaters have at least one show, if not more, booked into The Factory Theatre this season, through July 2015.

In the short term, these companies need to know where they are performing this coming year. Unlike the world of real estate, which can turn around in 4 months, the world of theater is scheduled a season at a time. While the preference would be for The Factory Theatre to remain a theater, at the minimum, I hope that the owners of the Piano Craft Guild let the theater stay in business through this season. Give these companies time to plan for a move.

Other options are being explored. Brainstorming is happening on many levels, from the mayor’s office to organizations including the Boston Center for the Arts, ArtsEmerson, and the Charlestown Working Theatre, as well as the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston. There are spaces outside of Boston offering assistance, and creative thinking about non-traditional spaces. This scramble is difficult, and time consuming, and stressful, especially for the companies involved.

In the long term, the space conversation is happening on a number of levels. And they need to happen on a number of levels. Because this is more than about finding a replacement space for a 49 seat theater in the city. This conversation goes to the heart of who counts when it comes to conversations about the arts, and access, in our city, our state, our region. These arts organizations have limited budgets and small audiences, since they usually perform in small venues. If we only measure value by economic impact, these companies have little statistical impact. (Though I suspect the businesses around The Factory Theatre will feel the loss of that venue keenly.)

But for the theater sector, and the art? The loss of The Factory Theatre is important. These small and fringe companies serve a number of roles. They operate on another level, and can take risks in their programming. They support new work, and playwrights. They provide access to artists at the beginning of their careers who are learning their crafts. They provide opportunities for mid-career actors interested in exploring directing or playwrighting. They provide theater artists with “day jobs” an opportunity to work avocationally in theater. They provide a home for a specific breed of theater artist. Not every theater artist dreams of “growing” beyond the small or fringe community. In fact, many of these artists thrive in this community. In the past ten years or so, the Boston theater community has come into its own, due in no small part to this part of our ecosystem.

Also, this change in mission for the Piano Craft Guild is troubling. It was created as artist housing, back when that neighborhood was less desirable. Artists coming into a community, being part of the turn-around, and then being priced out of the neighborhood, happens too frequently. This isn’t just a conversation for Boston. It is a conversation for Cambridge, and Somerville, and Arlington and Medford. It is a conversation for Portland, Portsmouth, Bennington, and Providence. It is a conversation for the Gateway cities, and small towns, and colleges and community theaters throughout New England. Arts Matter. All Arts Matter. Even those with small budgets.

The importance of the arts was a conversation during the mayoral campaign in Boston last fall. And electing an arts champion, which I believe Mayor Walsh to be, will help create change in Boston. But this is a complicated issue, and one person, or one administration, can’t do the work alone. Advocacy is the role of the entire community, but it needs to be on behalf of the entire community, not just those with agency. On Tuesday, I will be at the Gubernatorial Arts Forum at the Hanover Theatre, and I look forward to hearing what 6 of the 7 candidates have to say about the role of the arts in their platform, and in their vision of Massachusetts. As a citizen, my voice, and my vote matters. It is time to use them both. Follow the #ArtsMatter hashtag to follow the conversation on Tuesday.

Other conversations/dates/initiatives that I know of as of this writing. I will update this post as more information comes in.

  • On Thursday, July 16, we will have a meeting about Organizing and Advocacy at the StageSource offices. The meeting will start at 6pm. Our office is at 15 Channel Center Street, Suite 103, Boston. We are located in the Midway Studios Building.
  • The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston is bringing SpaceFinder to Massachusetts over the next four months. SpaceFinder is the Uber or Open Table for performance and creative spaces and was created by Fractured Atlas in NYC. The Mass site will be the 9th location to have this service. StageSource will be helping to ensure the theater community is fully represented on the site so we need your help to make that happen! The goal is to get as many spaces as possible on the site by the end of August with a soft launch for the fall. The site will only work if there is a robust platform of diverse spaces. If you have a space you would like to list please sign up your space by going to the link and by hitting the bottom “List Your Space”. This is for the region, so don’t hesitate. If you have questions about signing up please contact Scott at the Arts & Business Council at coop@artsandbusinesscouncil.org.
  • The Small Theatre Alliance of Boston is hosting a conversation on July 26 at 2pm at Hibernian Hall. Details at the link.
  • StageSource will also be having a Space Summit soon, and will post details when they are finalized.
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A letter to the Owners of The Factory Theatre from Joyce Kulhawik @SmallStagesSOS

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Dear Manager of Piano Craft Guild,

By now you have no doubt been bombarded with negative response to your recent decision not to renew the lease for the Factory Theatre. See my colleague Ed Siegel’s recent article.

I am writing not just to join the chorus, but to suggest working with you to find a way to solve the problem with the theater artists who work there and who help enhance the desirability of the area and the building as a location in Boston. In fact, this issue is among the key issues we will be discussing at a statewide gubernatorial forum on ARTS & CULTURE this Tuesday (7/15) which I will be moderating. The Boston Theater Critics Association of which I am president has also honored the Factory Theatre with a special citation and monetary award to support their efforts as a breeding ground for new artists and new work. I have been to the Factory Theater and been impressed by what I have seen, some of the work originating there having gone on to larger venues and longer runs in the city.

Why not give these theater companies a chance to survive– and dare I say it–THRIVE– by working out a mutually beneficial solution to the problem?! How great is it that edgy, award-winning theater companies are located in your building? In fact, “THEATER” is touted on your own website as one of the building’s selling points. At the very least, how about giving these tenants at least a year to work this out so they have a reasonable chance to relocate? The suddenness of the decision is particularly detrimental and strikes me as unusually “tone deaf” for the Piano Craft Guild.

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In 2009, Joyce Kulhawik was named the StageSource Theatre Hero. In addition to her reviews (featured on “Joyce’s Choices”), she is an arts advocate. @JoyceKulhawik

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