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Looking back to plan ahead with Artistic Programming

Written by our Product Specialist, Joe Trigg

With many of our staff members having had experience in an Arts background, we know first hand how Artistic Programming can truly help you and your business, particularly if you’re staging a wide range of Art Forms. When was the last time we staged that particular piece of work? How much money was that particular Artist previously paid when working with us? How long is that particular piece of work when you include intervals and various delays? All of these questions and so many more can be answered efficiently with Artistic Programming. It really is a beneficial Artifax module, and in this blog post, I’d like to tell you exactly why.

I’d like to start by discussing Programmes. These essentially keep all of your Artistic Programming information together in one place, and can be stored against an Arrangement, and linked to whichever Events you’d like to link them to within the Arrangement. We can then attach a range of information to the Programme, and I’ll explain these throughout this post. It’s important to note too that we can create Seasons which you can link your Programmes to. For example, it may be that a Programme is a particular part of the ‘Summer 2023’ season. You can also have Series’ as well, which are linked to Seasons, so it could be that you have the ‘Italian Classics’ series, which falls under ‘Summer 2023’, that you link to your Programme.

Next up, we’re looking at Artists. Within Artifax, you can of course store People in the system as Entities. With Artistic Programming however, you can take People and place them against the Programme as Artists. You can also allocate what we call a Credit Type against Artists, such as ‘Actor’ or ‘Director’, or if you were dealing with a music based event, could even have the different instruments each Artist plays as their Credit Type. These can be configured by your organisation so that they’re completely unique to you, and are extremely useful when putting together brochures, websites, and when creating contracts for Artists, which we’ll come onto later on. You can also link Artists to Works, which we’ll cover in more detail later, but this allows you to see an individual Artist’s history and look back at what they’ve performed. You can also store unique information against an Artist, relating to the Programme they’ve been linked to, using Custom Forms. Examples of these include fees, costume information, dressing room riders, and more. It’s totally customisable, so you can record and report on whatever you need to.

We now take a look at Artist Contracts, which essentially take the information above, but puts it into a unique and personalised document which you can send out to the Artist, or their representative. With Artistic Programming, there’s no longer any need to spend a large amount of time typing up and editing contracts for Artists, because as long as the information is in Artifax against the Artist, it’s all done for you at the click of a button. Our dedicated team of Product Specialists can work with you and your organisation on how you’d like the contract to look, and exactly what you’d like it to pull through. We can also set up a dedicated collection of clauses, covering anything from transport to accommodation for the Artist, so that you just need to choose the one that applies, rather than typing it up each time.

The final area I’d like to cover regarding Artists, is Artist Schedules. Within Artifax, you can of course link a wide range of Events, should you wish, against an Arrangement. This could be anything from soundchecks, to rehearsals, to the actual performance itself. These events pull through to and are linked against a Programme, but what happens when an Artist linked to the Programme isn’t required to attend all the Events? This is when Artist Schedules come into their own, and efficiently and effectively allow you to tick which Events the Artist is needed for. This can then pull through to contracts, as well as itineraries for the Artist. It’s extremely useful, and avoids any complication or confusion on the day.

We now move on to discussing Works. Works are incredibly useful, and can be as detailed or straight forward as you need them to be. They are Art Forms, which you can link to the Programme, and therefore carry across essential information for brochures or the website, such as durations, key people involved in creating the work, copy against the work, and so much more. The durations are particularly useful, as Artifax will prompt you if you have a piece of Work against an Event, which is longer than the Event itself.

As well as adding a piece of Work against a Programme, you can also add intervals, as well as buffers, which are any additional time that needs to be considered, such as the presentation of flowers, or a conductor walking onto a stage. You can place Notes against these, as well as durations, which eventually allow you to get an entire duration against your Programme. Another extremely useful feature is being able to attach Artists to various Works. It may be that your Programme contains 10 Works, but that one of the Artists is only required against 2 out of the 10, so this really helps you when forming a final itinerary of who is needed, against a specific Work.

The most useful thing, in my opinion, about Works, is that you can store unique and valuable information against a specific Art Form. For example, Dance allows you to track the name of a choreographer, whilst storing Literature allows you to store the name of the Author against the book, which is very useful for Book Festivals. Film allows you to record information such as the director, release date, and certificate, which is particularly useful for cinemas or film festivals using Artifax, Opera allows you to record the name of a composer, and Theatre is great for storing information such as who wrote the piece of theatre, as well as the key credit types involved, such as director, lighting designer and more. Finally, Visual allows you to store key information against a piece of visual art, such as the Artist’s name, or year the art was created, which is very useful for galleries. Music allows you to store information such as what key a piece is in, the name of the composer, the name of the arranger, but also allows you to state which movement that particular piece of music is, if it’s part of something bigger.

In summary, Artistic Programming is just as useful for looking back at what’s been previously hosted, as it is for looking ahead. The mixture of storing Artists and their roles against Programmes, as well as generating contracts for them, and using it to track durations and key information against pieces of Work, makes it a truly valuable module, and one that majorly benefits a wide range of organisations. 

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