How to Self-Produce with Limited Resources: The Story of Kristin Wagner’s Lady BOS Productions
How do you help artists fundraise and put on their show?
When helping others fundraise, I challenge the client to focus on what it is that makes them “them.” In marketing, we describe this as the “brand” of the artist, but as humans we just refer to it as identity. For Tony Guglietti’s Experience in Motion, we capitalized on his innate goofiness. Rewards for donations ranged from personalized jokes, to silly Boomerangs on Instagram, to homemade spaghetti sauce. We made Tony the heart of the fundraiser, and people wanted to support the project because they saw Tony as a person worth supporting.
Producing dance events is the perfect blend of my interests: event planning, accounting, and dance. I first discovered self-producing after I launched a fundraiser for an all-femme dance concert. The fundraiser and the show were rather successful, and I was motivated to continue to produce. An unexpected bonus is that I now have reason and opportunity to create my own work more regularly.
The biggest challenge is managing the most limited resources: time and money. Balancing my time to ensure I give enough to my paid jobs, enough to my productions, and enough to my self-care has definitely been a challenge. In order to make my freelance artist lifestyle work while managing student loans, Boston rent, and all the other lovely advantages of adulthood, I work a lot. As I transition from self-producing as a passion to producing as a paid job, I am fortunate to have the support of many mentors who are unveiling the mystique of applying for grants and running a business. I have found a number of grants that support such small organizations, and I’m happy to say that my business is now officially titled Lady BOS Productions, and Fractured Atlas is a fiscal sponsor.
As for advice for those interested in self-producing: you’ll need to ask for money…and probably a lot of it, so jump that hurdle in your mind soon! People want to support projects that have meaning, so be sure to demonstrate how much the project means to you.
words by Kristin Wagner | image by Christopher Huang, courtesy of Lady BOS Productions