Contemporary Expression

The Non Profit Facebook Panic of 2010
December 16, 2009, 11:22 am
Filed under: arts funding, change, community building, marketing, social media

Wow – you would think that Facebook had announced that all Fan Pages were being removed.  The  panic being  invoked by Non Profit Tech 2.0 and Wild Apricot and The Chronicle of Philanthrophy and others, is really premature.

Yes – there are changes coming, there will always be changes coming. The problem is, too many non-profits are still treating their social media tools like bull-horns.  The answer to all change will be strategy. Facebook and Twitter are viable tools for non-profits only if the  friends, volunteers, loyal volunteers and advocates  of that organization are telling their own social networks about the work and progress of the organization(s) they support.

Don’t forget that Facebook generates revenue from all that direct advertising and it may be time for non-profits to stop free-loading and  put a little investment dollars in providing the tools to your supporters to build that network.  Its time to stop using social media because it’s free. Use these wonderful tools because it is part of your strategy.

Are you ready for change?


Performing Rights Act – will it be law in 2010?


photo by Chad McClarnon from Project: One Song

music first banner

For nearly nine years (1998-2007) I worked at the worlds largest performing rights organization, Broadcast Music Inc (BMI). I enjoyed my time there working on behalf of  songwriters and publishers.

I will forever be thrilled to hear of fairness and equity in the appropriate compensation of those that make up our creative class.

I recently attended a seminar sponsored by The Arts & Business Council of Nashville‘s  program Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for The Arts. I did a live tweet as a way of taking notes for my musician friends.  Here is the run down – it’s in reverse order as it came from Twitter over the hour that I was there.


  1. “The direction of the music biz is moving toward capturing listeners and away selling hard product” -Sam Reed
  2. SoundExchange is created by statute & governed by the copyright gurus in Washington. I am thinking- if his happens then that company needs a
  3. Pro Public Relations Perf Rights Act
  4. The Local Radio Freedom Act is a non binding resolution that speaks for the supported of the NAB. It has not been voted on.
  5. Conyers Amend-supported by Cooper. Passed 21-9 Sen markup passed by voice vote & added songwriter language and established platform parity
  6. Songwriter reps are supportive of bill
  7. SoundExchange would collect the royalties. 45% will go directly to the featured artist. 5% goes to union for bkg musicians and 50% to labels
  8. S.379. & HR 848 … Look it up
  9. Davidson Co creators: If you sent in a copyright for registration. And it’s taking more than 9 mo to be processed call Rep Cooper’s office, ask for Sam, he can help.
  10. Sam Reed from Rep. Cooper’s office is leading the seminar on The Performing Rights Act for TN Vol Lawyers for Arts

So what are your thoughts?  Having managed a record producer I can tell you that producers will be playing instruments on more records so they can get in that pool.  However, I don’t think it will necessarily take away work from anyone.  More studio musicians will  be joining the union to get in the pool.

As it is written now, there would be no fees imposed for 3 years after it because law so that radio stations can start adjusting to the extra line item cost.   The parties are sitting down to talk more on November 17th, 2009.  It will be interesting to see this continue to unfold.  What do you think are the important things to look for?

Download the Presentation:  New Music Royalty Presentation

Funding Shortage Could Threaten Nashville Shakespeare Festival
June 5, 2009, 12:06 pm
Filed under: arts funding, branding, community building, flip camera

Funding Shortage Could Threaten The Nashville Shakespeare Festival
WSMV reports on how a reduction in funding due to the economy could potentially impact this free summer festival. The report features an interview with Executive Director of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nancy VanReece.

image: walking on a wire – by NancyVanReece’s watercolor postcard project 7/7/08. (c) 2008 Contemporary Expression, all right reserved, Used By permission.

There are some inaccuracies in the story:
To clarify. Our annual budget in recent years, including in-kind donations, is nearly twice the fee mentioned. Our education work is year round and includes our Winter Shakespeare production in The Troutt. To be more accurate, the budget for Shakespeare in the Park in recent years has been 250,000 including in-kind donations. Also, we produce for 4-5 weekends but it is usually only one play. This year’s schedule is on our website, where you may also make a donation:
Nancy VanReece

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May Day
May 1, 2009, 12:11 pm
Filed under: arts funding
“Work” by Nancy VanReece 30 x 30 Acyrlic on canvas (c) 2007 Contemporary Expression,
a div. of Carpe Diem Copyright Management.
All Rights Reserved
There is a lot of work to do and I can’t do it by myself. Who would want to? The joy of collaboration between creative individuals working toward a common goal is the best part of life. I am happy to be working in an environment that encourages collaboration on each project. We also encourage individual achievement and take responsibility individually for tasks to be accomplished but in the end, we all know that none of it will work as well as when we do it together.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.- Margaret Mead
The culture of Nashville is collaboration. I think that speaks so highly of our character and we should embrace it! When we see a problem, we work it. We work it together. There is fantastic leadership at the helm and when that leadership fails, we work as a team to learn and move forward.
Mayor Dean will present his budget today. I know he understands the importance of the arts in every city but particularly for this city. I anticipate as much funding as possible, no more, no less. I believe under Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors’ leadership a full and concise debate over the budget will take place at the council.
But what are average citizens to do? Yes, make sure your council person is aware of your concerns and hold them accountable to collaborate! But what else? We need to, as a city of individuals, step up once again and participate in the success of our own culture.
You wanted the Predators to stay, so you bought tickets. You wanted a symphony hall, you pledged support to build it. You wanted a skyline, you got it. Sidewalks, check. (well most places anyway)
What other cultural icons do you care about, how are they doing? Check in with them and help. Do you love your metro park? Let them know and ask how you can help. Do you use our awesome library? Tell them how important they are to you and collaborate on a project as a volunteer.

Do you love being in a city that offers free, professional Shakespeare in the Park for anyone and everyone to see each year? Even if you aren’t one of the over 10,000 people that go each year, I bet you value what it says about our city that it exists. If so, give, volunteer, help.

Nashville, now is the time to collaborate. Let’s work.

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Nashville Shakespeare Festival Needs Your Spring Donation
April 9, 2009, 12:16 pm
Filed under: arts funding

Please Donate Today

Artwork for Non-Profit Silent Auctions

Have you ever purchased artwork at a silent auction? Have you ever donated artwork? What about the experience worked well? What didn’t work well at all? Leave your comments.

Fantasy Landscape 60″ x 36″ by Nancy VanReece

(c) 2007 Contemporary Expression, a div of Carpe Diem Copyright Management All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.
purchased by The Allens at The Nashville Shakespeare Festival Winter Patron Silent Auction to be donated for display at
Hope Exchange Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
When: Friday, April 17th, 2009 6-9pm Where: St. Ann’s Episcopal Church
more information

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The Exec in the Box Office Friday 9:30pm
January 17, 2009, 3:15 am
Filed under: arts funding, branding

photo of Brenda Sparks as Queen Margaret
“Who of you looks upon me and trembles not?”

We’ve had about 200 folks see Richard the Third in the first 3 performances (42 students booked at the first matinee) and things are running well.
I love how volunteers step up to help with ushering and box office and will call. We honestly would be lost without the help. If you see one when you come – thank them for helping out! We uses over a hundred volunteers during the year.

Queen Margaret just visited ..I think she was lost… we sent her back to the 2nd act. Her curse does not apply to the staff.

I am overwhelmed with the masterful way everyone is doing their jobs. Funding is a bitch (pardon my AGAINST amendment one and two, BTW) and we need every dollar. We have both the Tennessee Arts Commission General Operating Grant and the NEA’s Shakespeare for American Communities Grant to get out the door next week on top of the matinees the evening shows. Robert and I will have our hands full so if you see either one of us, please volunteer a smile in our direction.

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