NYFA Boot Camp Festival Dates Announced

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As some of you know, I participated in an amazing workshop this past summer, the New York Foundation for the Arts Artists as Entrepreneurs Boot Camp.  By the end of the five weeks, it was decided that there should be a special event in NYC that would allow the 50 entrepreneurial artists involved in this program to showcase their work.  Through the extensive efforts of NYFA and several of the participating artists, the first annual NYFA Boot Camp is happening from November 4 – 20, in a number of locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

NYFA has started a blog that gives a rundown of the schedule of the events for the festival:


I highly recommend checking out these events.  All of the artists are incredible at what they do.  Here are a couple of festival events that will involve yours truly too:

Artist Talk: Ambitious Art Projects and How to Make Them Happen: Four Artists Stories
November 10, 2010 at 7pm
20 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

For this program, four Boot Camp artists, each in a different discipline, will present a significant project that they have either realized or are in the process of realizing utilizing various funding and business approaches, including fiscal sponsorship, grants, alternative funding platforms like Kickstarter, collaborations, etc. In doing so, attendees will not only be provided with some important practical information, but they will also be inspired to dream big and realize their own large-scale projects.  Panelists include Michelle Jaffe, Isabel Sadurni, Rachel Somerstein, and Travis Sullivan.  Moderated by Rachel Selekman.  This event is open to the public.


The Bjorkestra
November 18, 2010 at 10:30pm
Iridium ( http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/ )
1650 Broadway
New York, NY 10019




New Bjorkestra show announced! November 18 @ The Iridium

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Save the date! Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra will be performing 2 sets at The Iridium in NYC on November 18th.  This performance will be featuring the 12 piece ensemble once again, and I’ve written a new arrangement for the band – “I Miss You” from Bjork’s amazing album, Post.  I’m still working out some of the details, but I’m very happy with the way this arrangement is turning out, and it’s going to be a lovely laptop/drum feature.

This performance is also going to be under the umbrella of the New York Foundation for the Arts Boot Camp Arts Festival, which evolved out of the NYFA Artists as Entrepreneurs Boot Camp seminar that I took this past summer.  I’ll be blogging more about this Festival in the weeks to come, which will begin in early November in venues all over the city, and will feature extraordinary artists from all types of media that will be showcasing their work.  I’ll keep you posted!

NYFA Boot Camp Redux

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This past weekend I completed the last session of the Artists as Entrepreneurs Boot Camp at the New York Foundation for the Arts.  I learned a lot and make a whole bunch of new friends.  It’s rare these days that I get to interact with artists seriously involved in other artistic disciplines, but this program allowed me to get to know several filmmakers, visual artists, actors, and even a puppeteer and a storyteller.  It was good to find out that there are others out there that have the same concerns as I do about having a career as an artist, and to learn that other people are sometimes just as confused and scared as I sometimes am about navigating finances, marketing, intellectual property issues, and just plain survival in NYC.

There is a lot to talk about here, and I’m sure the impact of what I’ve learned about goal setting and financial management will become evident over the course of the next several months.  I have a book to recommend though…especially if you’re a visual artist but it’s great for anyone who wants to make a living as artist…it’s called The Artist’s Career Guide by Jackie Battenfield.  She was the first speaker at the Boot Camp, and her awesome presentation about setting goals was both impressive and inspiring (and a little ass kicking – she started her talk by saying “This book is full of things that you don’t want to do!”).  We all got a copy of her book too, and I’ve gotten a lot out of it.

Two days to the Identity Crisis gig at the 55 Bar…rehearsing tomorrow and can’t wait!!!

Travis Sullivan is back on the blog!

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After a four month hiatus, I’m back to the blogosphere! I have been up to all sorts of fun things…too much to write about right now, but will be filling you in over the next several months. I promise to not abandon my faithful readers (all 3 of you) anymore. Actually, I noticed that more people have been going to my blog since I stopped writing. Hmm…I’m not that bad, am I?
I’m currently enrolled in a very engaging and informative course at the New York Foundation for the Arts – the “Artists as Entrepreneurs Boot Camp.” It’s running for 5 Saturdays from 10am-4pm, and I’m getting rigorous training in developing a business plan for my musical endeavors. I’m meeting all sorts of interesting people engaged in a whole variety of artistic disciplines, and the course is giving me some excellent tools to help build my future as an artist. The NY Times even wrote an article about it! http://tinyurl.com/3a9ntrn
This program was funded by the city of NY. Thanks Mr. Bloomberg! It’s heartening to know that our city supports it’s artists in achieving their dreams…

I’m going to put the fun in fundraising! Introducing The Pilgrimage Project

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I recently was accepted into the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) fiscal sponsorship program.  Fiscal sponsorship allows me to apply for grants from foundation that would normally only give to non-profits.  Since only a handful of grantors give to individuals this really widens the playing field  to receive grant money for project/artist support.  Now I just have to get off my butt and start writing grant applications! The fiscal sponsorshiop program is project-based, and the project that I’m getting underway is still in the embryonic stages of development, but it’s very encouraging to have been accepted by this reputable organization. 

The project in question is entitled “The Pilgrimage Project,” and it is a collaboration between myself and photodocumentarian Kevin Bubriski.  I’m composing a 60 minute piece for jazz octet to accompany Kevin’s photodocumentary “Pilgrimage: Looking at Ground Zero.” This collection consists of about 80 black and white photos of people looking at the World Trade Center disaster site in the months following the 9/11 attacks.  These photographs capture the feelings of grief if the face of tragedy in a very unique and personal way (you can see some of the photos on Kevin’s site).   I’m planning to create a musical context for audiences for audiences to experience a presentation of these photos, to be debuted somewhere in New York City in September 2011 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  I’ll keep you posted!