Is music a Charity or a Business?
These days to break into the music industry you need to be a start-up entrepreneur as well as an artist. In order to get noticed you need pro quality branding, organisation and marketing strategies.
All of these ultimately fall at the feet of the love of music, but are important nonetheless, to give your music the 'setting' it deserves. But lets talk about charity....
I've received a lot of funding from people. Actually my entire musical career has been community funded. Some people make a lot of money this way. Last I checked Amanda Palmer is voluntarily GIVEN $32,727 every time she does something because people have signed up to do so. And people have criticized her for it. Yet people don't criticize large salaries of business execs (well...). Is it offensive if an artist makes a huge profit? Why? Surely they are providing 'value' to many people, and people enjoy giving back.
Hold on, people ENJOY spending money? Giving it away even when they don't need to? Yep. That's right. And that's why music is a charity and a cause no matter how much the artist is making. The artist does not have to create art. Someone with Amanda Palmers business mind could surely make a fortune in a more traditional career. But I respect her, and all artists, for sticking to what they love. And no, the audience does not have to pay for music. Not with youtube, spotify, internet downloads and the fact that many artists are now giving away their recordings (download mine here!), but they want to. It feels 'right', like insisting on buying a friend a cup of coffee (yes please!).
I need a community of people to play to as much as communities of people need musical experiences, artistic creations in their streets, clean air and good food. Arts contribute to our lives beyond monetary value, and arts reflect our community culture. They are community endeavors for love of the art form itself which is why I believe musicianship is a charitable enterprise, and deserves all the support it can get! Go Artists! Keep On Creating!