Budgets, Negotiations and Contracts – Hatch Artists’ Blogs Part 1

Part of the ongoing Hatch blog series, today’s blogs are reflections by our Hatch artists on their experience from the previous weeks’ class by Jim Grace, Executive Director of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston. Staff recaps of the session is available on our blog.

For this class, we ask the artists to reflect on the following thoughts:

  • How has your previous experience in negotiation been similar to cultivating dating or cultivating romantic relationships? What personal style of negotiation do you lean towards based on your personality and past experience?
  • What are some of the barriers, perceived or real, that relate to your work in public art? Consider things like permitting, zoning, etc. What are some possible solutions?

We hope you enjoy their thoughtful responses!

The session with Jim was quite the opposite of what I expected (completely arduous). In fact, Jim made the legal strategy of arts & business quite accessible, understandable and intriguing. Jim broke down legal matters pertaining to the rights of creative work, negotiation and contracts which gave me a clear perception of where I (and my art) fit within the world of suits and paperwork.

An adorable community participant to one of WIlliam Massey's recent public art projects.
An adorable community participant to one of WIlliam Massey’s recent public art projects.

When it came to negotiation, I gained tremendous insight in how to understand the pros and cons of certain negotiation styles. I was certainly more drawn to the mutual respect of collaborative negotiation verses an overpowering or submissive tactic. Relationship is everything to me, and as Jim emphasized, when you understand the ‘why’ of who you are speaking to, you will best reach a respectful and relational agreement.

Within the topic of contracts, the work-shopping and processing-through examples offered huge insight in what wandering eyes might overlook in the fine-print. Such as how to identify language which either indicates or eradicates artists’ rights to the final product, reproductions, marketing, etc.. With my personal background of large-scale public artwork, it was thought-provoking to hear insight on insurance/liability, publicity, repairs and more. Basically I gained knowledge of how to vie for equal responsibility between myself and the other party. Also regarding budgets, Jim instilled a necessary and firm reminder to set parameters in place that many young artists may forget: taxes, insurance, contingency, documentation, legal fees, etc. I absolutely needed a kick in the butt that “artist fee” is way too broad and leaves the artists scraping personal funds to cover the inevitable additional costs.

Basically, this was an excellent workshop which addressed most things that artists tend to neglect. But even better, the topics were presented in a graspable way that made me feel capable in a realm that was once completely daunting.

By William Massey III

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *