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The Art of the Plan in Interesting Times

"May you live in interesting times." This infamous curse is one many world musicians feel acutely. Times are indeed interesting for the music business: The old ways have collapsed. The new ways are opaque, untested, and fragmented. As an artist, they feel both demanding and distracting. It's hard to know where to focus your energy and attention. It's hard to figure out how to run what is essentially a small business, when what you really want to do is make music.

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Though money has always been a factor for international artists, most didn't get into this business as entrepreneurs. But some amount of business planning is necessary. And you don't have to violate your personal integrity or sacrifice artistic vision to attract an audience. You don't have to do everything--post on every platform, respond to every message or tweet--to do enough things well.

You do, however, need a plan. That plan can be an extension of your art. It can be a part of your work, not merely an extra load of to-dos to slog through.

As publicists, we've seen these interesting times hit our community hard. We've seen label and other budgets shrink. We've watch artists shoulder the burden of promotion and marketing themselves, all while physical sales stagnate or contract. We've longed help artists plan, with more intention and with longer-term goals in mind. We've struggled to find good ways to connect artists with a wave of new opportunities out there, things unimaginable fifteen years ago when rps opened its doors. Because interesting is good, as well as challenging.

Which is why rock paper scissors has teamed up with industry veteran and online career advocate Dave Kusek and his resource-rich platform, New Artist Model, to offer a series of master classes designed to guide world music artists toward greater career clarity and more successful ventures. We'll cover every aspect of your business--touring, merch, licensing, publishing, you name it--with a special emphasis on the cross-cultural issues and opportunities world musicians have. Tristra Newyear Yeager will even hold a press release workshop, where you can bring your working drafts and discuss the nitty-gritty of compelling storytelling.

To learn more about registration, sign up here. Spots are limited, classes start in April.

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