Real-Life Budgeting: Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist

Andrew Simonet in Headlong Dance Theater's performance work, "Hotel Pool"
Andrew Simonet in Headlong Dance Theater’s performance work, “Hotel Pool”
On Monday, September 15th at 7:00pm EST, Andrew Simonet presents the Creative Capital webinar “Real-Life Budgeting.”
Stereotypes about artists not knowing how to manage money are common. Some are even rooted in a grain of truth. But most of the time it’s not that artists are actually bad with their money, it’s that artists practice a profession in which making art and making a living are not emphasized as parallel endeavors. But they should be, and Simonet’s webinar is an introductory course that unites these two important pursuits for practicing artists.
From 1993 until 2012, Simonet was the co-founder and choreographer of the Philadelphia’s Headlong Dance Theater company (2002 Performing Arts grantees), which is known for producing works that comment on contemporary culture. During that span of time as co-founder and choreographer, Simonet had the distinct honor of making a living as an artist who created experimental dance theater.
“I think the reason we were able to make a full living off of it was not only because we were lucky—I think we were fortunate in a lot of ways—and it’s not because we made the best art in the whole universe,” said Simonet. “But I think a huge reason was because we had certain principles.”
These principles included paying artists well; creating something that was sustainable over time, which meant time off when staff or artists needed it; figuring real costs of creating work, especially for time spent; and lastly, charging a lot, negotiating, and perhaps most importantly, saying no. One of the central goals of the Headlong Dance Theater was demystifying the word “no” when it came to projects they felt were not right for them.
Simonet’s webinar covers a broad range of financial management topics, from the advantages of owning one’s own home to the steps necessary to create a project budget and how artists can calculate their hourly rate based on a projected annual income.
Whether you are in the process of getting an MFA or you’ve been a practicing artist for a decade—or three decades—Simonet’s webinar will guide you through the ins and outs of strong financial management for artists with humor, honesty and plenty of opportunity for questions.
Click here to register for the Real-Life Budgeting workshop on Monday, September 15th at 7:00pm EST.

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