Friday, 7 February 2014

On Art, the Artist, and Making Art Work

Artists change the world, by changing the perceptions and experience of the people in the audience. A really good artist finds creates ways for audiences to experience empathy, beauty, heroism, suffering, injustice- all of the large, universal, significant aspects of what it means to be the human animal in a human world.
This is an important, necessary function of society. It is not extraneous, unproductive, merely entertaining, or an aspect of "leisure". An artist is keeping our culture afloat, and contributing directly to the collective betterment of the planet, one audience at a time.
This process only works if there is an audience, of course. So what I do is find the right audiences for good artists. In that way, I am contributing to the finest thing we can all do- change for the better.
You, the creative worker, are the expert on your own work. You need creative and intellectual control of that work. I am to assist you in creating the financial, physical and mental conditions you need to do your real work. You make your job unique- no-one else can do it, by definition.
On Being Paid
I work for artists, not the other way around. My policy is to ensure the artist I work for gets paid properly for their work. I will, however, also assist the audience involved, the organisers of the gig, and/or organisations that wish to hire an artist for an event, to find that money if necessary. I will provide publicity and promotional advice and assistance. An artist needs both a living, and an audience. And an audience needs artists in ways that go way beyond simple financial considerations. I act, always, on the principles of enlightened self-interest and mutual benefit, interpreted in the broadest possible way. The relationship between the artist, the industry and the audience can be based on co-operation rather than exploitation. Let's ensure that it is.
If you're coming to see me, it is partly because you need to make more money. That's understood. I take this into account in two ways. Firstly, I will only take a commission for my work if the gig comes off, and it makes you the money you need. Also I will do a producer's traditional job, and find the money to fund creative projects, either through investment or grants. Again, my fee is performance based. I get paid if I get you the funding. Since it is in my interests to do my very best to get you the work you want, you can be sure I will work hard on your behalf.
This is also why I am very selective about the artists I will work with. If you are my client, it is because I believe firmly and passionately that your work will change the world if it can be experienced by the right audience.
Changing the concept of success.
Creative work needs to be judged, not by how much money it is worth, but by the contribution it makes. A business needs to make a profit, sure, but if that is your only criteria for success, you sacrifice everything else in order to feed the idol and make it grow. That phenomenon has gotten the human race into a horrendous amount of trouble.
The true measure of progress is improvement in the community standard of living, culturally as well as materially. The development of our ethics, our knowledge, our empathy skills, our philosophy are central to human progress.
Everybody is self-employed, and self-educated.
It doesn’t matter if you work for a wage, on commission or contract – the work you do is self-chosen, as are the things you learn. I recognize this principle, and try to assist the work you choose to do in a personalized way. If you want waged work, or an agent, or a distribution deal, I will help you find the right one. If you want to put on a production or event, I will help you find people you can work with. If you need a grant, a publicity campaign, a business plan, a training session or an apprenticeship, then that is what I will help you get. I want all my clients to become self-sustaining as soon as possible.

Organising Support and Resources- David Rovics

If you have come to this page through David Rovics' website, this is probably because you have agreed to organise a gig for him, and you may be feeling like your enthusiasm has outrun your experience. Feel free to contact me if this is the case. I am an independent historian and art producer, currently in Australia, with experience in networking and event co-ordination and, naturally, a David Rovics fan, like you. I will provide extra support and services upon request, help you turn a good gig into a great one, and listen to you if you need to vent. I also collect stories about David and his career. Contact me via my email, or the contact form below.
Below is a list of the some of the resources I can provide. It's far from exhaustive. If there is something you need that is not listed, I encourage you to ask me about it via return email.

 List of Services

On request I will:
- put you in touch with David Rovics fans in your local area
- provide advice as to publicity and promotion strategies
- create Facebook events and promote them to DR's direct audience (FB friends and fans, mailing list, Twitter, etc)
- write press releases and reviews that include a mention of your cause if you are organising a benefit
- suggest, and send you links to, songs that David has written on the topics that relate to your cause, and other related material that could be useful in publicity
- respond sympathetically to rants about any of the hazards inherent to the organiser's job. It will help, even if I just say, “oooh, I know...”
Note: For this type of work, I will probably charge a small fee, but only if the gig meets its other costs first

- help with researching and reaching venues, businesses, audiences, equipment, community groups who support your cause etc
Note: keep in mind I can only provide internet-based help unless you're Australian (possibly even then). If you want me to actually come and organise the gig, we will have to talk about me, or at least my expenses, being paid... But feel free to bring it up. 

Useful Links:

Upcoming Gigs:
David Rovics
Topical Playlists: 
David Rovics: Songs By Topic