Career Success for Performing Artists
For many Berklee students focused on performance, an entrepreneurial career means finding many ways to make money by making art such as music, dance, theater, or multimedia installations, to name just a few. The resources below may help you as you launch your performance-based career, and we invite you to meet with a Berklee Career Center advisor to discuss your specific plans in more detail.
- Find performance opportunities using the Berklee Career Manager, which features listings exclusively for the Berklee community, or view our list of additional music and entertainment job listings sites to find other opportunities.
- Explore industry directories to find contacts at organizations of interest, and make connections at industry conferences.
- Grantspace, a service of the Foundation Center, offers links to many grant funding opportunities for performing artists.
- Crowdfunding websites offer an opportunity to engage with your fans while seeking their financial support for your work. Among the many popular crowdfunding sites are PledgeMusic, Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo.
- Ongoing crowdfunding—otherwise known as patronage—is one of the earliest forms of support for the arts, and it continues today. Patreon is one online option for seeking recurring support.
- Consider taking courses at Berklee that will help you advance your career and build your brand, such as courses on marketing and digital branding strategies.
- A fiscal sponsor, such as Fractured Atlas, aims to help those who need to focus almost exclusively on their art by handling business needs such as funding, health insurance, finding physical space for rehearsal, etc. Some services are offered for free, while others are available via a monthly subscription fee.
- Harvard Law School’s Recording Artists Project (RAP) provides pro bono (free) legal assistance for music business matters and has a longstanding relationship with Berklee, providing valuable legal counsel in return for your insights on the music industry.
- The Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston offers volunteer lawyers for the arts, creative fellowships, fiscal sponsorship, and more; similar organizations exist in many major cities (for example, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York City or Lawyers for the Creative Arts in Chicago).
- The Stan Getz Library and Media Center at Berklee holds a broad array of books and scholarly articles related to the business aspects of a performance career (for example, Music Law: How to Run Your Band’s Business by Richard Stim). In addition to asking your professors, don’t hesitate to ask a college librarian if you need helping finding books on a topic such as how to build your performance career.
- Stay informed about revenue streams for artists through organizations such as the Future of Music Coalition, Dance/USA, and the Actors’ Equity Association.
- Consider joining a professional organization in your field, such as the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (view more professional associations), to network with potential collaborators or employers.