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Artists Mean Business
Interviewing Chicago's Innovators with Jess Kaswiner
Category: Arts
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Emerging arts entrepreneurs are everywhere. I count myself among them. Too often we are left rudderless in a sea of opportuni...


by Jess Kaswiner
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November 14, 2015 03:42 PM PST

Advice to millennials, emerging artists, and so much more on Podcast #25 with the irreverent, and always gregarious Don Hall. 

The best and worst thing a parent can do is tell a child their "special".

Words to live by from director of live events at WBEZ, Don Hall. Saved by the universe at a young age - at least according to his mother - Don Hall has worn a variety of hats helping to sow together the quilted ecosystem that is Chicago's performance underbelly. 

A man who continues to play his part sculpting the city's storytelling scene, talks about how doing what no one else wants to do is where you can find your sweet spot! 

"Once in a while you get a "Blue Man Group", says Hall, "but most successful people in the arts are not doing anything innovative or new."

 Hear this, and more from the provocative Mr. Don Hall on Episode 25.  Quoting fellow producer and podcaster, Shannon Cason, Don Hall feels "I've hit a point where I no longer want to be successful, I just want to be significant. (Shannon Kasig)

 

 

Advice to millennials, emerging artists, and so much more on Podcast #25 with the irreverent, and always gregarious Don Hall. 

 

The best and worst thing a parent can do is tell a child their "special". Words to live by from director of live events at WBEZ, Don Hall. Saved by the universe at a young age - at least according to his mother - Don Hall has worn a variety of hats helping to sow together the quilted ecosystem that is Chicago's performance underbelly. 

 

A man who continues to play his part sculpting the city's storytelling scene, talks about how doing what no one else wants to do is where you can find your sweet spot!

 

"Once in a while you get a "Blue Man Group", says Hall, "but most successful people in the arts are not doing anything innovative or new." Hear this, and more from the provocative Mr. Don Hall on Episode 25.  

 

Quoting fellow producer and podcaster, Shannon Cason, Don Hall feels "I've hit a point where I no longer want to be successful, I just want to be signifigant. -Shannon Kasig

 

-- 

All the best,

Jess Kaswiner

@JessinAction

201.650.5851

 

Drawing Connections

June 03, 2015 09:35 AM PDT

In Episode 24 I sit down Faheem Majeed, educator, builder, and community engaged artist.  Majeed's work does more than explore the material world through the built environment; it challenges our relationships to it. Yet, were it not for his varied - and admittedly, circuitous career path - his work might lack the interdisciplinarity that critic Patrica Phillips suggests "is not simply an indiscriminate amalgamation of conventions from different fields, but a faceted way of looking at the formation of knowledge and the public realm".

In this deep-dive conversation, Faheem revisits some of his "sweetest mistakes" and how sometimes, letting the thing fall apart, just might be part of the process. Here, he offers his own take on failing-forward, "Read the biographies of those who have not simply been plucked".  In this statement, Majeed suggests that we not simply look at how far an artist has come, but rather, the many destinations he or she has been.

The interview ends on a rather prolific note, quoting fellow Chicagoan and artist-mentor, Kerry James Marshall, "Your actions need to speak to your goals".

Marinate on that!

3 chances to see Faheem Majeed's work
1) Visit the MCA Chicago to experience Faheem's  first solo museum exhibition, "Works" (through August 16, 2015).
2) MCA Studio: Thēarē Group (Fri, Jun 12, 2015, 10am–5 pm)
3) MCA Talk: LaShana Jackson and Faheem Majeed (Sun, Aug 16, 2015, 3–4pm)

March 31, 2015 09:00 AM PDT

The improv stylings of Jazz musician Andy Baker influenced our conversation in many ways and informed my understanding of how a veteran trombonist, composer and arranger was able to find success by "goin' with the flow". In this episode we take a trip down memory lane. We revisit life lessons learned - perhaps the hard way - but how, in effect, these lessons taught a once novice Professor Baker the importance of empathy in classroom.

January 05, 2015 03:52 PM PST

Have you ever asked yourself, "How am I ever going to make this work in today's economy?" Do you incessantly rant about how Pandora and Spotify are ruining the music industry? If the answer is yes, then you'll most definitely find this week's podcast inspiring. Listen to DJ, Music Producer and Musician Jesse Hoz as he reflects on his 20 year career and the numerous paths he has taken to become one of Chicago's most sought after DJ's, a prolific music producer, and the reason why my Wednesday night indoor cycling class is always full! Yes, DJ Jesse Hoz gives new meaning to the word "spinning".

Tune in to hear how Jesse Hoz has overcome the odds in a truly artistic, adaptable and entrepreneurial spirit.

September 03, 2014 02:41 PM PDT

Sitting down with Chicago-based sculptor and art educator Sabina Ott, I learned the do's, dont's and everything in between. Sitting together in her home/studio/art space (a.k.a Terrain) Sabina offers earnest advice to emerging artists. Reflecting on 20+ years of working and making, Sabina admits that it is the relationships she's built and her unwavering commitment to saying "YES!" that has made it possible for her current success.

See her solo exhibition, "here and there pink melon joy" at the Chicago Cultural Center, on view 8/30/2014-1/4/2014.

Reception: Friday, September 12 @ 5:30pm

Gallery Talk: Thursday, October 9 @ 12:15pm

November 24, 2013 07:21 AM PST

WE'VE MADE IT! The long-awaited 20th episode of Artists Mean Business is here. In advance of Thanksgiving, I've take time this month to feature New York based photographer, Ben Ritter - an artist who shares his gratitude for an early internship opportunity that opened the floodgates to a prolific career as an arts entrepreneur and freelance photographer.

His work is featured in such nationally recognized publications as GQ, Rolling Stone, SPIN and MAXIM. From an interview with VICE Magazine, Ben "lives in the moment and he lets his images stand as iconic memories of some wild experiences instead of trying to reshape the past. He's got a keen eye for telling a story in a single image, skilled enough to capture and present any image he can imagine and savvy enough to have made it his job"

This behind-the-lens look at what it takes to be successful in today's competitive freelance photo field will no doubt put burgeoning arts entrepreneurs ahead of the curb...

For more information on Ben Ritter visit www.benritter.com

April 17, 2013 02:34 PM PDT

Welcome to Episode 19 of Artists Mean Business. This month we recognize an award winning artist, educator, and activist, Sophia Nahli Allison. Her upcoming installation and photo essay will be featured in Fall, 2013 at Columbia College Chicago (details at www.chicagograduation.tumblr.com).

Her work explores the lives of Chicago's youth and how they have been affected by the violence epidemic here in the city. Photographing every school attended by a victim of violence beginning in 2006 with the death of 14-year-old honor roll student Starkeisa Reed, these images will be presented in a grid of more than 100 schools creating an overwhelming and haunting realization that hundreds of youth have lost their lives to violence. Accompanying the piece will be audio and text commentary from youth creating a platform for their stories, opinions and voices to be heard.

With a background in teaching artistry, youth mentorship, and photo journalism, my interview with Sophia highlights some of the hot-button issues affecting the "slashers": creatives who live on both sides of the artist/educator line.

February 28, 2013 10:04 AM PST

Welcome to Episode 18 of Artists Mean Business. This February we celebrate a heroine of the Chicago visual arts scene: Stephanie Dawn Burke. As an artist, her photography shows audiences unseen, although sometimes disturbing, moments in time. However, in this episode I talk with Stephanie about what it takes to be both artist and arts blogger. For those involved in Chicago's "art scene", Stephanie's blog "The Gallery Crawl and so much more..." has become a staple in our cultural diet.

If you have yet to experience The Gallery Crawl, I suggest you get familiar... www.chicagonow.com/art-talk-chicago

December 08, 2012 12:59 PM PST

This month I sat down with world renown photographer, educator, and multimedia artist Matt Siber. Getting his start as a commercial artist, Siber has explored a variety of media and worn more hats than he can count.

What does Matt say is the one thing every artist entrepreneur needs to sustain their professional practice? Listen in and find out. There are no mistakes, asserts Siber, only serendipitous discoveries!

To learn more or contact Matt Siber visit

www.siberart.com

August 19, 2012 09:04 AM PDT

Welcome to Episode 16 of Artists Mean Business. This week I met with artist, entrepreneur, and designer extraordinaire Mattie Vandersteen, founder of MattieMade. Mattie has been hitting the Chicago craft fair scene hard, making a splash with her ecofelt onsies. She shares her experiences as a craft artist and what she wishes she had done differently. Listen in to hear best practices and how Mattie is stepping up her game after learning lessons learned the hard way.

To see Mattie's designs for yourself visit,

www.mattiemade.com

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