Author Archives: Allison Carroll

Paul Nelson Tribute

I’ve been looking for find a way to post the small tribute we created for Paul Nelson at the close of our 90th anniverary season last April, so here it finally is.

Praise from Paul’s fellow concert presenters, artist agents and our artists themselves, and photo highlights of the 90th season.

90thSeason-NelsonTribute

Photos by Aaron Kimball.

The 7 P’s of Presenting

I am proud to say I work in the field of “Arts Presenting.”  At its simplest, it means any person or organization presenting performances.  Overall, it means the design, contracting, marketing, production, and presentation of arts events.

I’ve had the opportunity on occasion to speak to one of our college classes on what arts presenting is, or as they often think of it, what happens “behind the curtain.” The lecture I’ve given is called the “The 7 P’s of Presenting: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Presenting Poor Performances.”

While this might be a skewed towards the work I do with the Middlebury’s Performing Arts Series, I’ve attached the checklist and resources I developed for this lecture, and encourage you to look it over if you’ve ever wondered what happens to make that concert/dance/theatre performance you are attending a success.

The 7 P’s of Presenting: Prior proper planning prevents presenting poor performances!

Curation & Contracts

  • Develop artistic vision for your season or series
  • Research artists and discuss possibilities with artist management agencies
  • Book artists: includes negotiation on fee, date, repertoire and other contractual terms (lodgings, travel, broadcast permissions, technical requests, commissions, etc.)
  • Review contract, make changes & addendums
  • Secure Tech rider & Tech director’s OK
  • Secure fully-executed contract
  • Distribute contact details to staff
  • Ensure visas and tax paperwork in order
  • Develop and manage artists’ local itinerary, including performances and outreach events
Technical

  • Consult with Tech Director on artist’s Technical Rider for feasibility and implied costs
  • Collect vendor estimates if needed
  • Cost/arrange for technical rentals
  • Convey Venue specifics to artists
  • Load-in/Load-out scheduling and concerns
  • Schedule necessary staffing or IATSE Union workers
  • Develop rehearsals schedules
  • Arrange any transport related to technical needs (freight trucks, etc.)
  • Arrange for piano tuners and page-turners
Venue

  • Consider, reserve & confirm appropriate venue for the performance
  • Consider technical/staging needs
  • Ensure venue properties acceptable to artist (i.e. a balcony-in-the-round, thrust stage, etc.) Confirm audience capacity.
  • Reserve/confirm green/dressing room(s)
  • Determine seating plan – Reserved works best for sell-out or piano shows, General Admission usually fine otherwise
  • Arrange/confirm custodial, security or catering needs
  • Ensure venue carries appropriate licenses (ASCAP/BMI)
  • Ensure venue and event meet ADA compliance standards
Budgeting

  • Develop event budget
  • Research/apply for additional funding sources (grants, foundations, etc.)
  • Ensure all potential costs and funding sources are identified:
  1. artistic fee
  2. technical needs
  3. staffing implications
  4. venue costs (rental fee, plus any required custodial or security services)
  5. artist lodgings (depends on contract terms)
  6. artist transportation (depends on contract terms)
  7. visa petitions (for foreign national artists)
  8. hospitality (green room and/or restaurant meals – might be specified needs in technical rider)
  9. piano tunings
  10. page turners
  11. programs (regular and large print)
  12. advertising
  13. posters and other promotional materials
  14. outreach costs / fees for lecturers / etc.
  15. receptions, ticketing fees (if any)
Front-of-House

  • Arrange for box office services, if ticketing needed
  • Schedule legally-required crowd managers
  • Schedule additional usher staff, if needed
  • Coordinate concession or merchandise sales
  • Have a cancellation plan at the ready
Marketing

  • Obtain artist bios, press kits, photos
  • Compose promotional texts
  • Ensure all contractually required text, logos and sponsorships listed in publicity
  • Develop marketing plan based on event. May include posters, radio, TV, press release, mailings, website(s), social media, etc.
  • Contact audiences/organizations that might have a specific interest in a performance
  • Work with community organizations on any cross-promotions or outreach needs
Program Books

  • Obtain program content, order, artist bios, etc.
  • Design program. Develop program notes, if needed.
  • Ensure inclusion of contractually required credits or logos
  • Design large print program
  • Submit & proof program with printers
Event Follow-up

  • Solicit feedback from partners, artists, audience, reviews
  • Archive attendance & revenue stats; archive publicity
  • Compile all receipts for payment, and complete grant report if any.

 

For more information on presenting performances, I recommend the following resources:

Presenting Performances: A Basic Handbook for the Twenty-first Century
by Thomas Wolf, Published by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, 2000
ISBN 0-926517-10-4 273 pages, paperbound

Managing a Nonprofit Organization in the Twenty-First Century
by Thomas Wolf, Published by Simon & Schuster, 1999
ISBN 0-684-84990-9 368 pages, paperbound

Fundamentals of Arts Management FIFTH EDITION
Written and Compiled by Arts Extension Service, UMass Amherst, softcover, 400 pages
available at: http://www.artsextensionservice.org/

Arts Management: A Practical Guide
by Jennifer Radbourne, Publisher: Allen & Unwin; (March 1997)
ISBN: 1864480483, Paperback: 285 pages

Selected Arts Presenting Links:

National Endowment for the Arts http://arts.endow.gov/
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies http://www.nasaa-arts.org
Association of Performing Arts Presenters http://www.artspresenters.org/
International Society for the Performing Arts http://www.ispa.org/
Americans for the Arts http://www.artsusa.org/
ARTSEDGE http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/
Center for Arts Management and Technology http://camt.artsnet.org/
Chamber Music America http://www.chamber-music.org/
UMass Arts Extension Svc. http://www.artsextensionservice.org/

Tweeting 88 Keys

Ross Common Heads Pavlos Sfyroeras and Maria Hatjigeorgiou, Professor Bettina Matthias and MCFA Events/Administrative Coordinator Shannon Bohler-Small organized a small post-concert reception following the Paul Lewis piano recital. This reception was exclusively for the students in Matthias’ first year seminar class “The Cultural History of the Piano.”

We tweeted a small amount of the conversation (below) that transpired between pianist Lewis and the students. What would YOU have liked to ask Paul Lewis?

Paul Lewis and Live Program Notes

Our colleagues at MusicaViva (Australia) presented Paul Lewis this summer, and produced a series of “live program notes” to accompany his recital. They offer great insight into the works he will be performing tonight.

Introducing Paul Lewis and his program

Mozart: Adagio in B minor K. 540

Schumann: Fantasie in C major op 17

Liszt: Vallée d\’Obermann

Piano Sonata no 21 in C major: op 53 \’Waldstein\’

And don’t forget to visit our event page for Paul’s bio and other concert information. See you tonight at 7:30!

About

The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series presents a diverse spectrum of performances and residencies by highly acclaimed artists, as well as the brightest emerging and alumni artists in chamber music, dance, and theatre.

As we enter our 91st season, the college’s support of the Performing Arts Series (PAS) allows us to enhance Middlebury’s curriculum and ignite cultural and creative exploration by facilitating intimate connections, with visiting artists and scholars, for both the campus and community.

-Paul Nelson, Performing Arts Series Director
-Allison Coyne Carroll, Events & Residency Manager

Address:
Middlebury College Performing Arts Series
Mahaney Center for the Arts
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT  05753

Phone: 802.443.3168
Fax: 802.443.2834
Box Office: 802.443.6433

Webpage: http://go.middlebury.edu/performing