ACHF Arts Access
Minnesota artists are able to expand or further develop their artistic abilities through varied learning opportunities. Minnesota artists are able to develop business skills needed to support their professional art work. More Minnesotans are able to engage in or with the work of Minnesota artists.
Though I didn't mark this as an expected project outcome in my grant, it became an outcome for all the artists who played on my album and at the CD release: Each of the 7 players, who are at the top of their fields, told me this was some of the most challenging music they've had to learn and play. Without intending it, I had exposed them to an unfamiliar idiom (Czech, Slovak, and Rusyn folk music) that became a learning experience for each of them on their instruments, with the added challenge of successfully melding that folk music with the American folk styles they are more familiar with. I also learned a great deal about American bluegrass, country, and Americana with the added challenge of arranging Eastern European songs in an American folk idiom. The evaluation is in the musicians' comments to me and in what I hear on the recording—a seamless confluence of styles. 2: For the first time, I self-produced both a solo album and an accompanying CD release party, both of which required tremendous planning, promotion, networking, researching, budgeting, and negotiating. Without working diligently on each of those skills, I could neither have completed the album, nor could the performance have been scheduled in time (the album was released 2 weeks before the grant period ended, with the show shortly thereafter on April 20). The most obvious achievement was in the promotion of both: I had interviews on KFAI's Womenfolk and Fubar Omniverse and on Minnesota Public Radio's Radio Heartland; I had radio play beyond those programs; I included Quick Response codes on my posters to track traffic to my site; at least 2 venues (Cesko-Slovanský Podporující Spolek Hall and Black Dog Café) promoted my work on my behalf; and I used Facebook and social media nearly every day to gain exposure. Attendance at the CD release, my website traffic, and Facebook statistics all prove my achievement.
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