Episode 120 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / A Major Celebrity Connection

A Major Celebrity Connection

That was all a digression to illustrate how getting someone well- known to host your party may not be as hard as it sounds, or for that matter, to meet someone well-connected or famous.

Here is another example I saw when I was a teenager. My mother worked for a thrift store that existed to fund a local youth program. It was a small used-clothing store no one knew anything about except neighbors. The woman who was running the store wrote a handwritten letter to Yoko Ono one day, saying that she was a big fan of John Lennon and that she was sorry he was gone and a little about her thrift shop and the organization it supports. More than anything, the letter was an honest and heartfelt statement. It was not formal in any way and did not even directly ask for money, but it was effective. She got a call from Yoko Ono’s office saying they were sending a check for $2,000. The woman who wrote the letter didn’t even believe the call was real at first. She thought it was a friend joking with her. In fact, Yoko Ono did send a check for $2,000 to her and asked specifically that it not be announced in the press. Amazing, isn’t it?

Ask Directly

In chapter 2, when I talked about sending out letters to fund my own art, this was one of the stories I was thinking of. I had written to Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Jenny Holzer, and other well- known artists asking for a direct donation. In those cases, they gave it to me in amounts between $200 and $500. The point I am continually trying to reinforce here is that you can directly ask people for what you want, and the higher you aim, the easier it is to hit your target because there is less competition there. Most artists are applying for all the traditional grants and services that are out there. I am not saying that you shouldn’t apply for them too, but when you think outside of the traditional box and write to people directly, the odds of success increase dramatically because there is no one you are competing against! So keep this in mind as you plan your studio party. From your guest list to inviting a famous host for your party, there are ways to make it a very special event that will attract the people you want!

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Share

Episode 116 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Getting a Celebrity Host for a Bigger Party

Getting a Celebrity Host for a Bigger Party

Once you have pulled off a small party of an hour or two in your studio or home, you can move on to a larger affair. The same rules apply: bring in almost all new people and make it a very polished and polite affair. That doesn’t mean it all has to be so special; it just means that you consider everything. That you consider the food, the drink, the conversation, the entertainment, the music, etc. Just as in professional fund-raising and museum-level parties, as your own parties increase in size, you can move to a different level of showmanship, or miracles. One, level it to have a party at your house or someone else’s house and have it hosted or cohosted by someone who is a celebrity of some kind, or a local personality. That may seem like a stretch, but often it is not as far as you think. Do you know anyone that is a celebrity or do you have a friend of a friend that is? If so, you can ask the person to cohost a party if they like you and your work, and that doesn’t mean they will be there; it just means their name is on the invitation.

If I wish it

I had a friend who got Leonardo DiCaprio to say yes through his agent that his name could be used as a host for his fund- raising party. It is not an uncommon practice. The tricky thing is to make their agents trust you, especially if they don’t know you. That is why it is better to have a friend, but if you don’t, you must earn some trust. It is OK to start at this cold; most people do. Even seasoned fund-raisers and directors of development can’t hook a celebrity with ease or without being intimidated! It is a considered and planned request. One that may or may not work, but if you don’t try at all, there is no possibility, so you might as well.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Share