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CLASS DESCRIPTION

The business side of being an artist can be intimidating, discouraging, and sometimes elusive. This 3-part class will focus on key elements of the career and life of being an artist, focusing primarily on theater and playwriting. 

Artists and Taxes
Artists will learn basic business setup, income and expense tracking, time management, and organizational practices for freelance work.

Artists and The Submission Process
Artists will gain a deeper understanding of the submission process and application cycle, primarily focusing on writing the artistic statement and project descriptions for grants and other creative writing opportunities. 

Artists and The Law
Artists will learn about copyright law, how to read and advocate for themselves in contracts and agreements, and how to identify legal issues during the production process. 

This class is for you if you:

  • Need to create better bookkeeping practices.
  • Work from home or work freelance.
  • Want to update your current submission materials.
  • Feel lost in the submission process. 
  • Have questions around protecting your work or legally using the intellectual property of other artists. 
  • Want to advocate for yourself and your work when collaborating with theaters and other organizations using your work. 
  • Are interested in learning more about Amy Atzel, May Lee Yang, and Jon Garon’s work and experience in the business of the theater arts.

What to expect:

  • Materials to help track income and expenses.
  • Gain skills to enhance your basic business practices.
  • Examples of successful submission materials.
  • Information and resources to better advocate for yourself and protect your work.
  • Create, share, and give feedback on drafts of your submission materials with your peers.
  • Connecting and engaging with students and the instructor online via Zoom and Google Classroom.
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Class Modality: Hybrid Asynchronous – Alternates between online meetings and online lessons/assignments on your own via Google Classroom.


Class Dates:
Tuesdays, Tuesdays, February 13 through April 2

  • 6 total “in-person” sessions: February 13th, February 20th, March 12th, March 19th, March 26th, and April 2nd
From Amy

It’s important to be PRO-active with respect to finances rather than RE-active. A good strategy cannot be achieved at the last minute. Best to have a plan and execute it!

From May

This topic is helpful in demystifying the submission process and how your submission materials should be in conversation with each other to tell a larger story about who you are as an artist.

From Jon

Playwrights and other creative artists are motivated by their desire to create new works and explore the ideas and emotions at the heart of their artforms. Success, however, takes both artistic skill and a hard head for business. Understanding the legal topics is essential for authors and creators to control their work, to ensure they are compensated for their effort, and to protect the attribution and integrity of their name and the work they produce. Through an understanding of the legal and business practices involved in the process of theatrical production, authors and creators can help protect their work and create new opportunities for financially as well as artistically rewarding successes.

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Amy Atzel
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Jon Garon
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May Lee-Yang

Amy Atzel

The playwright
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Jon Garon

The playwright
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May Lee-Yang

The playwright
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based inSaint Paul, MN
May Lee-Yang is a writer, performance artist, and teaching artist. Her work has been / will be presented at Mu Performing Arts, Park Square Theater, Steppingstone Theater, Intermedia Arts, Illusion Theater, The Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), Out North Theater, and the National Asian American Theater Festival.  She has received grants from Bush Leadership Fellowship, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Performance Network, the Midwestern Voices and Visions Residency Award, the Playwright Center, Intermedia Arts’ Beyond the Pure Writing Fellowship, and the Jerome Travel Grant. In 2016, she received an Ordway Sally Award for Arts Access.