Blog

8.31.15

How to Use CreativeGround as a Performing Artist

Daniela Jacobson
Program Manager, Presenting & Touring/Accessibility Coordinator
NEFA

In the latest CreativeGround webinar, Dee Schneidman, Research Manager, and I demonstrated how to use CreativeGround as a performing artist.

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You can view this webinar video recording on the CreativeGround Resources Page. This blog post includes important tips from the webinar for performing artists to help them be found on CreativeGround and to find presenters and potential partners.

1. Get listed in the directory
To update or create a profile, you must have a CreativeGround user account. Follow these steps to get started: http://www.creativeground.org/updating-or-creating-profile

2. Once your profile is set-up, complete it with visuals, keywords, and up-to-date accurate information
A performing artist profile that stands out in Search Results has visual appeal and relevant information. Be sure to:

• Use an eye-catching photo of a performance for your profile image. Profile images appear next to your name in Search Results, so it’s important to give people an immediate glimpse of who you are and what you do when they review those results.
• Provide up to 10 examples of your work in the “Image and Video Gallery”
• Include important keywords that describe what you do in your “Description of Work and Background”. For example, if you are a bluegrass musician, state the instruments in your band like the “banjo” or “fiddle”.  The more often important keywords that describe you appear in your profile, the more likely your profile will show up at the top of search results when users search by that keyword.
• Select Individual Artist or Performing Group as your “Institution/Business Type”
• The “Legal Status” Commercial Business – Sole Proprietorship is applicable to performers in most cases. However, if you are part of a performance group or company, one of the other Nonprofit or Commercial options could apply to you. To learn more about which legal status best applies to you, visit the FAQ on the "Legal Status" topic.
• List up to 25 different organizations and individuals that hired you for a performance in the “I Have Worked With” section. It’s really helpful for presenters to see your tour history, the dates, and description of the project in this section.
• Indicate if you are on your State Arts Agency artist roster or are a NEFA Grant Recipient in the “Affiliations or Accomplishments” section of the profile.

3. Request to become a NEST-eligible performing artist
NEFA’s New England States Touring (NEST) program provides grant support to New England-based nonprofit organizations (known as presenters) for performances and community activities by New England performing artists from outside of a presenter’s state.

CreativeGround houses the directory of all artists who may be chosen by NEST applicants for funding (called NEST-eligible artists). Anyone can look specifically for NEST-eligible artists in the directory. Therefore, all artists who wish to qualify for NEST funding must maintain an artist profile on CreativeGround. 

To create your NEST-eligible CreativeGround profile, follow these step-by-step NEST Artist Instructions or watch this NEST Artist Requirements video tutorial.

4. Search for New England presenters
One of the most common questions we receive from artists is how to find presenters. Presenters can take the form of nonprofit organizations of all shapes and sizes, from large institutions like museums or universities to smaller organizations like local public schools or community arts centers. Presenters each have unique arts programs and work with different kinds of performing artists, so you may need to search creatively since there are many approaches you can use in your search.

The most effective way to look for presenters is by using Advanced Search filters in the Search page. Below are a few ways to search for presenters:

Option 1
• On the CreativeGround homepage, click the Search link at the top of the page

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• On the Search page, click “Advanced Search” and select each of the following search criteria:
     o Institution/Business Type: Arts Centers, Cultural Series Organizations, Fairs/Festivals, Performance Facilities, and Presenting Series Organization
     o Activities and Services: Concert/Performance/Reading/Assembly
• Click the Search button 
• You will see a big list of these search results showing all profiles that match this search criteria. To narrow down these results, try filtering by state or by Additional Disciplines to suit your needs.

Option 2
Another approach is to look for NEFA grant recipients that are cultural nonprofits:
• Go to the Search page
• On the Search page, select Cultural Nonprofit from the “Profile Type” options
• Click “Advanced Search” and select the following search criteria:
     o "Profile is…NEFA Grant Recipient"
• Click the Search button
• Try narrowing down these search results and filter by “State” or by “Additional Disciplines” to tailor your search

Option 3
New England Presenters and Arts Presenters of Northern New England are professional membership consortia for nonprofit presenters that present performing arts events in New England. You can find consortia members in the directory if they indicated their membership status in their profiles. Follow the steps below to search for consortia members:
• Go to the Search page
• On the Search page, click “Advanced Search” and select the following search criteria:
     o “Profile is…Member of APNNE or NEP presenter consortium”
• Click the Search button to view these search results and filter further as needed

5. Search for venues with spaces for rent

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Do you need to find venues to rent for rehearsals, performances, or meetings? To find rental space, follow these steps:  

• Go to the Search page on CreativeGround
• Click “Advanced Search” and select “Profile has…Venue Available for Rent/Use”
• Click the Search button
• Filter these search results by selecting more search criteria like “Venue Features” and “Venue: Stage Details”

As a reminder, all fields in your profile are searchable. What this means is that the more comprehensively you fill out your profile, the more likely you are to appear in specified search results.

Lastly, CreativeGround profiles are versatile marketing tools for artists. Some artists use their profiles as their website and others link to their profile on their booking materials. These CreativeGround tips and tricks for performing artists are handy as you get started and continue to update your profile. We are always looking for great profiles to feature on our Homepage and About Page, so contact creativeground@nefa.org if you would like to be featured for free.

If you need any technical assistance, you can also reach the CreativeGround Team at creativeground@nefa.org. Our goal is to help you get listed and connected with the New England creative community.