SALT Power Lunch: Legal Basics for Artists with Benjamin Kerr, Esq., Founding Partner, Kerr Law Firm

Friday, April 21, 2017, 12 – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch and Learn
Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Please RSVP here by Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Join the Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT) at our next Power Lunch. This lunch hour will explore the most common law questions artists should know with Benjamin Kerr of Kerr Law Firm. Kerr will discuss the basic principles of what artists should be aware of and provide, and an overview of contract law, negotiations, fundamental terms, and enforcement with an emphasis on practical applications for artists in the real world.

SALT Power Lunches are designed to give artists and arts administrators professional development over their lunch hour.

Benjamin David Kerr, founder of Kerr Law Firm, has extensive experience advising clients in a wide variety of practice areas including contract drafting, negotiation and review; entertainment law; business formation; intellectual property; real estate; landlord/tenant law; corporations and partnerships; and wills and estates. He has represented individuals, small businesses, and corporate entities in state and federal courts and arbitrations on a wide variety of commercial and civil litigation matters.

About Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT)

The Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT) is a flexible and creative professional development program for artists and arts administrators. SALT combines the need for on-going professional development with the creativity of the sector by bringing interesting, challenging and thought provoking workshops, networking and training to the Seattle’s arts ecology.

SALT: Shaking Up the Arts Community

On Monday, July 27, 80 artists, arts administrators, and arts admirers found refuge from the heat in the Frye Art Museum for the kick-off mixer of a new group – the Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT). I walked into the Frye café and joined the group of people circling around guest speakers Nancy Chang, director of Reel Grrls, and Lara Davis, Arts Education Manager at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

The program featured a series of stories from local arts leaders. Elisheba Johnson took us back to a time when she owned a small art gallery, years before she had considered herself an arts administrator. She spoke to the importance and power that lies in the hands of artists, and our opportunity to become change agents in our community – specifically in regards to social justice. Nancy’s words were a sigh of relief – quirky and full of female empowerment; they were a reminder to young artists that we are powerful, we are strange, and that we deserve to be heard. Lara’s audio piece featured several young children, one of whom really stuck with me – a young boy, maybe five years old, who talked about his experiences flying in his dreams. As his voice spilled through the room, I could feel that lightness in my stomach, and suddenly I wasn’t an arts administrator. I was a five year old girl wearing my favorite black wig and black tights – a silly feeling of childhood déjà vu that reminded me of my creative freedom. The nods that trickled around the circle, and the brightness and attention of the group, vividly captured the community and the resource that SALT can become.

After the program, folks divided up into three groups based on years of experience: 0-5, 5-10, and 10+. I joined the newbies, where about 30 of us began introductions by stating our names, organizations, and the flavor of ice cream that best describes us as people (the biggest challenge of my week). Green tea, salted caramel and cookies and cream began to tell stories about the personality of each arts leader in the room. For me, the “name game” usually triggers immediate and uncontrollable memory loss, but I wanted to listen to these people, and I wanted to know them. Writers, painters, musicians, art students; people working at small nonprofits, small arts orgs, large arts orgs– there was such an interesting pool of people I wanted to engage. Honestly, I felt intimidated, but as soon as the group dispersed, three people immediately rushed over to me to ask more about my position, and how they could collaborate with me in my work.

In the café, large sheets of paper were spread on the tables, and folks were encouraged to write their current art projects in need of support or volunteers. Projects like Girl Gods, Seattle Turkish Short Film Festival, Voices of the Aquarium, and Espacio de Arte were spread all over, and each had a spattering of blue and pink sticky notes of support. By the end of the mixer, every project had at least one volunteer (and some had 10+). I left the event feeling empowered and excited to join such a talented network of people within the Seattle arts community.

The mixer was the first of many SALT events this year. All emerging arts leaders are encouraged to join us Monday, September 28 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Frye Art Museum for the first program in the SALT speaker series. The book club will meet on October 12 from 6-7:30 p.m. We will be discussing “What We Made” by Tom Finkelpearl. RSVP for the book club here. For more information, visit the SALT website: SaltSeattle.org.

 

E-mail payton.bordley@seattle.gov if you would like to be added to the SALT mailing list.

Photos by Sunita Martini

Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT): Encouraging a community of collaboration

What is arts administration? I mean, I know what it is, but it’s more exciting than it sounds. Leaving art school I wanted to figure out how to make my art and make a living at the same time. Along the way I found that supporting artists and their work was just as fulfilling as it was to be a practicing artist.

To be an arts administrator you have to understand artists and be their advocate. You have to see the value of their practice reaching a broad audience and you have to be open to being moved by the creative and responsive things artists are doing. You are a bridge, a conduit, and a hustler.

Oh, by the way, did I say I am an artist? I say this because so many arts administrators are gallery owners who are artists, musicians who are promoters, dancers who have ballet schools and actors who run performance halls. Artists balance the creative aspect of their artistic practice while balancing a check book and writing grants. I want us to start talking about arts administration in a different way. To quote my friend Lara Davis, “It is really art facilitation.” Arts facilitators, whether new to the field, mid-career, or established could benefit from an incubator of sorts to learn how to better and grow the field. We also need to collectively decide what the Seattle “arts facilitation” field looks like. I joined the Americans for the Arts’ Emerging Leaders Council because I was craving professional development that is engaging, responsive and collaborative. It is an incredible program that connects emerging and established leaders in the arts field all across the country so we can learn from each other, create connections and advance the arts in all of our communities.

It works on a national level and Seattle has one of the largest arts communities in this country. But we don’t have a place, program or organization that nurtures our arts advocates, which includes for-profit, non-profit, artists, administrators, leaders, you name it. There is a thirst for this kind of opportunity, which is why a small group of dedicated arts lovers are coming together to create SALT, Seattle Arts Leadership Team. We are just getting started, but we know we will grow. Everyone who is interested is welcome. SALT will be an amazing resource for Seattle art facilitators and it will also connect us more strongly to the regional and national emerging leaders communities in Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

At the first meeting Lara Davis, from the Office of Arts & Culture and Nancy Chang from Reel Grrls will invite us to answer the question “Why we do the work” on Monday, July 27, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Frye Art Museum, RSVP here. Come and enjoy some interesting conversation and help us create SALT from the ground up. The possibilities are endless.