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PerformSites at Creative Chicago Expo 2012

Mar 22, 2012

Self Promotion for Performing Artists, a free presentation by arts consultants Peter McDowell of PerformSites and Mia Park, will take place on Saturday, March 24 from 3-4pm at the Chicago Cultural Center’s 5th Floor Garland Room, 78 E. Washington, Chicago, as part of the Creative Chicago Expo. Now in its 9th year, the Creative Chicago Expo is a chance for arts organizations and artists of all disciplines to connect, exchange information, and share best practices. In the past, more than 5,000 creative practitioners and 140 local and national vendors participated in dozens of consulting sessions and free workshops, and networked across Chicago’s diverse arts communities. For more information, see


Self-Promotion for Performing Artists is a presentation designed to give composers and performing artists (musicians, actors, dancers) simple but powerful tools and strategies for marketing and publicising their careers, creations and performances.

Areas covered include:
• overview of web site options
• web site content basics
• creating promotional PDFs such as one-sheets
• writing a bio and a press release
• promoting live performances to critics, reviewers, bloggers, and fans
• getting events listed
• promoting a recording/CD on the web, to radio stations, and to critics/reviewers
• social media strategies

There will be time for networking and for a question and answer session. Participants are asked to bring any self-promotional materials that they have created.

Performing Arts Consultant Peter McDowell (, a former Program Director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, has lived in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago over the past 20 years and brings his wealth of knowledge of the performing arts scene in each of these cities to the workshop. He has built a solid career on high-level, strategic, creative, efficient and effective service to performing arts organizations and performing artists. He is also Co-Founder of — a company that creates WordPress web sites for artists and arts organizations.

Mia Park ( communicates the highest good as an actress, producer, musician and yoga instructor. Mia has seventeen years of experience performing and marketing in Chicago’s rock music scene and has produced dozens of music and theatrical shows. She’s led a successful acting career for twelve years and a yoga career for seven. With strong communication skills and sincere networking, Mia teaches that honesty, excitement and intuition are powerful marketing tools.

Peter McDowell and Mia Park will also share a booth in the vendor area at the Creative Chicago Expo for both Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24 from 10am – 4pm.


Chicago Workshop

Mar 11, 2011

Chicago Workshop

Free Chicago Workshop: WordPress for Artists


Peter McDowell and Ari Salomon will offer the free workshop “WordPress Web sites for Performing and Visual Artists” at the 2011 Creative Chicago Expo on March 12, 2011. The Expo is held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington and offers free admission.

Using dynamic discussion and visual examples, this workshop will go through the basics of establishing a strong online presence for performing and visual artists with a focus on:

  • Branding
    • Simple logo vs Complete visual identity
    • Logotype, logomark, business cards and other matching print collateral
  • Content Management System (CMS): How the WordPress CMS can empower the delivery of constantly changing information to key audiences
  • The differences between (requiring a web developer) and (free do-it-yourself) services
  • Building a strong platform for online marketing
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    • SEM (search Engine Marketing)
    • Social networking strategies to drive traffic
  • How a web site fits into a larger marketing effort
  • Costs and timelines: getting your content together before you approach a designer
  • Time management: “Don’t be a programmer, be the best artist you can be.”

Peter McDowell and Ari Salomon believe in the necessity of access to effective, attractive, functional web sites for performing and visual artists. McDowell (a veteran of 20 years experience in arts management) and Salomon (a web designer and developer for 15 years) have teamed up since 2009 seeking to provide a low-cost, high quality option in web marketing for artists by creating over a dozen web sites for artists and by training them how to update and maintain their new sites. Their upcoming venture, PerformSites, will launch in Spring 2011.

  • Download a pdf of the slides from the presentation