Workshops & Panels

Our 2019 Workshops & Panels:

Friday Morning : 10:30am – 11:45am

Who Are You? Image and Branding

Panelists: Kari Estrin, Annie Capps

Friday: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Location: Mackinac

What does your promo picture say about you and what makes it get chosen to be printed? How does your album design reflect your musical message and help get it played? Find out how to translate your musical message into all of the above, your website and more. Feel free to bring your own materials to the workshop, including your CDs, as we will play a few random samples that you submit in an exercise in describing the music and how it relates to your graphic design. Leave the workshop with ideas for your next photo shoot, album design and more.

Deep Roots of Acoustic Blues

Presenters: Donna Herula, Andy Cohen

Friday: 10:30am – 11:45am
Location: Cheboygan

Hear the songs and stories of the great women blues singers, songwriters, and instrumentalists such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Geeshie Wiley, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Libby Cotton, Etta Baker, Sippie Wallace, Bessie Jones, Precious Bryant and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Women were a dominating force in blues music beginning in the 1920’s and continue to have an impact today. The workshop will demonstrate various types of blues music, such as classic blues, country and hill country blues, and gospel blues, and discuss the women that made these styles popular. Workshop presenters include Donna Herula, Chicago Blues Hall of Fame inductee, and Andy Cohen, virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and folk blues advocate.

Being Your Own Tour Manager

Panelists: Stephanie Cofell, David Tamulevich, Dave Cofell, Emily Burns, Heather Styka

Friday: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Location: Harbor Springs

Learn how to schedule shows for touring, negotiate contracts, work with promoters and develop your touring career. Includes an in-depth look at finding and maintaining contacts in building those important business relationships. General skills and tools needed to succeed include a willingness to learn in growing your business. Stephanie Cofell runs Ginger Roots Agencty and is a member of the FARM board. David is considered one of the preeminent agents in the field by artists, managers, and venues alike. Dave Cofell, Emily Burns, and Heather Styka all tour regularly.

How to Get the Most Out of Farm for First-Timers and Any-Timers

Presenters: Lee Herman, Charlie Mosbrook

Friday: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Location: Traverse CIty

Do you have questions about what to expect at FARM and what you will get out of the conference? Join other first-timer and experienced attendees to FARM for tips and tricks to get the most out of your conference experience from our panel of FARM and Folk Alliance veterans. We’ll talk about how to connect with people, what you can expect to take away from the conference, taking care of yourself, specific tips for during and after the conference and your questions in the session. Lee Herman is a house concert presenter with the Windy City House Concerts. Lee served as the FARM showcase coordinator for several years. Charlie Mosbrook is the Vice President of FARM, a performer and a concert presenter..

Friday Afternoon: 1:00pm – 2:15pm

The Significance of Traditional Music in the 21st Century

Presenters: Phil Cooper, Susan Urban, Andy Cohen

Friday: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: Mackinac

Why should anyone be interested in singing songs and playing tunes that are hundreds of years old? One answer is that human beings are still human. Many of the old ballads deal with issues that are still in the news headlines every day, but from a perspective that reminds us that they did not just appear in the last 20 years. As for the tunes, they were developed in times when there was little in the way of entertainment, and musicians had time to get really good a playing some very intricate melodies. And of course, new tunes sprang forth from the old ones, a process that continues to this day.” Phil Cooper and Susan Urban perform traditional music as February Sky. Andy Cohen hosts and moderates the trad. room at FAI. He is serves on the FARM trad. committee and is widely considered an expert on traditional music.

Placing and Licensing Your Music in TV, Film and Video Games

Presenters: Rod Abernethy, Eric Gnezda

Friday: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: Cheboygan

To enlighten and educate attendees on how the music licensing industry works for TV, film and video games and how to approach music publishing companies. Takeaway: Attendees will hear stories of Rod’s first hand experience in placing his original music scores in today’s music marketplace. Rod is a performer and writer. Eric Gedzna, host of PBS’s nationally syndicated show featuring songwriters, Songs at the Center. Rod Abernethy is a performing songwriter, guitarist, and composer. His music has been used as scores for EA, Midway, Vivendi, Universal, Sony and many others.

Sex, Gender, and Folk Music

Presenters: Briana Lane, Kari Estrin, Sarah Morris, Tret Fure

Friday: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: Harbor Springs

The music industry has been dominated by men for decades. The folk music scene is no different. What is being done to change the landscape of the folk music scene to be more inclusive and more respectful of all genders? What does “all genders” even mean? How do we, as a strong community of music industry professionals, raise up new voices and champion those who have had to fight to be heard? How do we create safe spaces, free from sexual harassment, within our community? This will be an open discussion with panelists Brianna Lane (venue operator, talent buyer, songwriter), Sarah Morris, performing songwriter and Kari Estrin with her over 40 years of demonstrated expertise in management, touring, concert/festival promotion/production, A & R and publicity/ promotion share thier experiences and observations as women in the folk scene. We look forward to hearing stories and ideas from attendees as well.

Make Your Greatest Living Yet: How to Eradicate Starving Artist Mindset

Presenter: Emily Ann Peterson

Friday: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: Traverse City

In this workshop, attendees will discover how to bravely move through their Starving Artist Mindset to craft a living made with confidence and generosity. Using Emily Ann’s own bestselling book Bare Naked Bravery: How to Be Creatively Courageous, Jeff Goins’ Real Artists Don’t Starve and Emilie Wapnick’s How to Be Everything, attendees will learn:

  • The spectrum of business models for musicians & multipotentialites
  • How to choose your worth & price yourself without cringing
  • How to expand your vision of possibility & spot unique, profitable opportunities
  • How to reframe and lean on ALL your skills, especially your songwriter skills, to create a lucrative & meaningful living

Saturday Morning : 10:30am – 11:45am

Navigating accessibility and mental health issues for venues and artists

Panelists: Jan Krist, Charlie Mosbrook, Gaby Castro

Saturday: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Location: Mackinac

Inclusivity should be a major goal for any venue. Our audiences often look to the folk music community for events that are family friendly and willing to make accommodations for everyone. This panel will explore the ways mental and physical health impact performers. We will also discuss accessibility challenges for venues and the obstacles that may prevent people with challenges from enjoying our events and ways that we as presenters can provide a more welcoming environment for audiences and performers of all abilities. Jan Krist currently teaches music and art to people with Developmental Disabilities. For 11 years she was an activity professional working with Seniors, independent, assisted, and memory impaired. Charlie Mosbrook serves the Cleveland Heights Transportation Advisory Committee representing senior and disabled peoples concerns in the community. A performer and venue host, Charlie lives with a spinal cord injury. Gaby Castro is an advocate for mental illness awareness weaving her own struggles into her music.

Making music and Putting Food on the Table

Presenters: Kitty Donohoe, Mary Gaines and Chris Wagoner

Saturday: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Location: Cheboygan

Facilitated by Kitty Donohoe, Mary Gaines and Chris Wagoner, this panel discussion will explore diverse approaches to enhance your current stage show, tap into new audiences and monetize your musical talents off-stage. Following brief presentations by the facilitators, participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences in an open-discussion format. Topics will include, but are not limited to: —Finding and Cultivating Unique Performance Opportunities —Utilizing Multi-Media Elements in Performance —Studio Session Work: Fact & Fiction —Private Music Instruction

Co-writing Songs With Mr. (or Ms.) Public Domain

Presenter: Joel Mabus

Saturday: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Location: Harbor Springs

It is an old folk tradition – taking elements from an old song or poem and working it into something new and different. Woody did it, Pete did it, Bobby Dylan did it too. If the old song is truly in the Public Domain (PD) you should have no worries. You might do it whole-cloth and write new words to an old tune, or write a new tune to old words for something semi-original. Or maybe just dip into the old well of Trad, and sprinkle some living water on your own garden of ideas. And have you kept up with the US laws about what is PD or not? How would you know? Lots to consider.

Songwriting in Action - A discussion on connecting your writing practice to community activisM

Presenter: Audra Kubat and others

Saturday: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: Cheboygan

Music is a powerful community-building tool. This panel will inspire a rich discussion on building connections between community, songwriting, and activism through the lens of music educators. With an emphasis on using cultural sensitivity and activating language, this discussion will work to imbue your songwriting practice with ways to highlight community struggles, inspire mobilization, and develop alliances with others working on social and environmental justice. This panel will arm songwriters with ways to use their talents and visibility to ignite change.

Saturday Afternoon: 1:00pm – 2:15pm

Time Management, Productivity & Automation for Artists

Presenters: Emily Ann Peterson & Anne Boccato

Saturday: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: Mackinac

Frustrated? Overwhelmed? Frazzled? Or maybe you’re driving 90 mph on the Highway to Burn-Out? Anne Boccato, FARM showcasing artist and founder of internationally touring Asaran Earth Trio shares her time management advice and encouragement for fellow artists. Joining her is Emily Ann Peterson, songwriter, speaker, and bestselling author of “Bare Naked Bravery: How to Be Creatively Courageous.” Together, these women are an example of how it *is* possible for you to thrive and not just survive as an artist. Attendees will learn how to: build a compass to guide you to what really matters; set actionable goals & create manageable to-do lists infuse 9 powerful productivity principles into your career automate the full spectrum of your creative career how to pick the right technology tool for you

Standing Together as Independent Musicians

Panelists: Eve Goldberg, Tret Fure, Aaron Fowler

Saturday: 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Location: Cheboygan

The music industry is changing rapidly and touring folk and acoustic musicians are seeing those changes first hand. What role can the musician’s union and Local 1000 play in helping working musicians succeed in today’s landscape? An open-ended discussion about the issues facing independent working musicians.

Staying Alive: How Trad Music Continues to Flourish In & Nourish Modern Folk Music

Panelists: Hall & Morgan, Ruth & Max Bloomquist, Escaping Pavement

Saturday: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: Harbor Springs

Join three duos – Ruth & Max Bloomquist, Escaping Pavement’s Emily Burns & Aaron Markovitz, and Jim Hall & Cindy Morgan – for a discussion and demonstration of how traditional music still weaves its way through the music we write and perform today. Trad music includes a lot of territory, such as folk, roots, blues, bluegrass, Americana, gospel and old timey, and these 6 musicians, between them, cover a lot of trad ground. If you’re interested in understanding how Trad music influences and informs the music we create today and in the future, then join us as we explore the living body of traditional music, ’cause it’s not dead yet!

Songs of Social Conscience: A Time to Build Up or a Time to Break Down?

Panelists: Sue Jeffers, Spook Handy, Jeremy Carter-Gordon

Saturday: 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Location: Traverse City

In today’s social and political climate, it seems as important as ever to let our voices be heard about the important issues of the day. But, when we do, are we adding to the division in this country or building upon common ground? Are we preaching to choir and firing up the base or are we sharing alternative perspectives that invite people to re-examine their positions? When is it appropriate to reach across the aisle? When is it appropriate to stand against something and protest? Join us in a lively discussion that addresses these questions.

Sunday Morning: 11:00am – 12:15am

Gone Digital: Distribution, Spotify, Social Media and More...

Presenter: Brianna Lane

Sunday: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Location: Mackinac

The music industry has gone digital weather we like it or not. We’ll go over practical survival tactics for digital success, demystify Spotify and other streaming services, and discuss the importance of having a wide online presence.We’ll also talk about easing resistance to social media and finding balance and calm even in this digital world. Everyone who attends this workshop will get a comprehensive resource list along with tips and tricks for social media management. It’s my hope that folks will leave this workshop inspired to up their online game!

Navigating the Music Industry as a Young Artist

Presenter: Gaby Castro 

Sunday: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Location: Cheboygan

Guidance for young (under 30) musicians on navigating the music industry. Advice on booking gigs, building a following, networking, etc. Gaby Castro is an Americana singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet, model, actress, and activist.

Crafting Personal Stories for the Stage

Presenter: Allison Downey

Sunday: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Location: Traverse City

Are you a fan of The Moth Radio Hour or podcast? Are you curious about how to mine personal experiences to craft and perform your own stories? This workshop will take you through a story crafting process for developing your own personal narrative stories for the stage. Allison Downey, has culled these techniques from personal experience performing on The Moth Mainstage, teaching for The Moth, and interviewing NYC’s top storytellers.

Allison Downey is a professional storyteller, singer-songwriter, and educator who believes in the power of story to inspire, foster connections, and teach us about ourselves. In addition to being an associate professor of creative arts education and MBA instructor, Allison offers keynotes, courses and coaching in personal narrative, creativity and business storytelling.

Every year we work hard behind the scenes to bring you a diverse line-up of workshops and panels, with a host of experts from our own community who can address current technology, the changing face of the independent music business, as well as performance and instrument techniques.

At FARM we think the workshops are a key part of an educational, fun, and worthwhile conference and we are always on the lookout for new and exciting ideas. 

Workshops take place on Friday and Saturday afternoons. 

Our workshop coordinator this year is once again, Charlie Mosbrook. 

Do you have a suggestion for a Workshop you’d like to see us include and/or Present? Please use the submission form below.

Every year we work hard behind the scenes to bring you a diverse line-up of workshops and panels, with a host of experts from our own community who can address current technology, the changing face of the independent music business, as well as performance and instrument techniques.

At FARM we think the workshops are a key part of an educational, fun, and worthwhile conference and we are always on the lookout for new and exciting ideas.

Workshops take place on Friday and Saturday afternoons and Sunday morning.

Our workshop coordinator this year is once again, Charlie Mosbrook.

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