Saturday, February 12, 2011

A "No Strings Attached" grant for $1000? How cool is that?

The Awesomeness Foundation, which began in Boston and now has several other locations, is an organization that gives grants each month to help people get a project off the ground.  It can be art installations, science projects, new ventures, etc.  There are locations in Providence, NYC, San Francisco, Melbourne and more!
Got a great project that you need a little seed money to help get off the ground?  Check out The Awesomeness Foundation.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Today

Well today marks the last day of Capescapes Jewelry, LLC.  The costs of renewing an LLC in MA is over $500 a year - more than it costs an incorporated business to renew - and it has been a major struggle to do that.  Last year, I would have turned a small profit for my business if not for the LLC renewal.

How LLC's are handled in MA speaks volumes about how little this state seems to care about small businesses.  The point behind an LLC was to offer a legal business registration that would be available for single owner businesses that was not suppose to be as cost prohibitive as incorporating.  It is suppose to protect a small business owner and their personal assets if something goes wrong with the business - like a law suite by a customer.  I understand now why so many artists in this state have never gone this route and have instead remain DBAs (Doing Business As) and risk the IRS auditing them because what they do is a "hobby".

My accountant was one of the few Republicans voted into office here in MA this last election as our local representative to the state legislature.  I hope he remembers his promise to me to address this issue.  We need to do everything possible to help small businesses right now and how LLC renewals are handled - including a $20 fee for submitting your renewal paperless!  I just learned that in VT, to renew your LLC it costs a total of $20!  Something is not right with this picture my friends of the Commonwealth!
I will continue to use this blog to inform and comment on working artists and on subjects like metal clay, and jewelry making as I will still continue my art work - but now it will only be for myself, friends and family as gifts.  Maybe some day I will return to being a working artist because I would love to make at least part of my living by doing something I love.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tuesday Talk with The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities

On October 20, in honor of Arts and Humanities month, the White House's "Tuesday Talk" featured a live discussion with members of The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.  The members involved were Tuesday Talk with The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities visual artist Chuck Close, ballet dancer Damian Woetzel, and co-chairs Margo Lion and George Stevens, Jr..  I tuned in for the last half hour and knew I had to go back and watch the video of the discussion.  The White House and Americans for the Arts spent several days soliciting questions as well as taking questions live from FB which the members spent almost an hour answering with some great ideas and examples of several programs currently in place that they believe should be modeled across the country.

One of the common themes were programs that use working artists, who do not necessarily have teaching degrees, to bring arts back into the schools.  In addition,they talked several times about how artists are great for the economy.  Chuck stated that artists are "shovel ready" and if given a small amount of stimulus money can make huge impacts in the economy and education.  Also, they pointed out how by moving artists into economically challenges areas, these areas typically become socially and economically revitalized.  Margo, tying these two concepts together - arts in the school and economic growth -  discussed how with students exposed to the arts you get better prepared workers who think out side of the box, know how to think critically and how to pose questions.

I LOVED one of the question posed that the issue was not "getting students to think outside of the box, but rather outside of the oval" (the concept of breaking the tie of teaching to the testing).  Chuck said the arts is the antidote to this idea that has taken over education.  Kids are learning to think more critically and teachers are revitalized in their teaching.

The discussion was so informative and thought provoking.  I encourage you to watch the video (tried to embed the video but could not so just click here to go to the web site).  The web site does allow you to jump to different questions to see just that part of the video; however, if you can take the 45 mins to watch, please do.