The Albany is holding a series of practical workshops on navigating the arts industry. Each session will cover a different sector – music, spoken word or theatre – and will include a Q&A about the industry, a practical creative session, and discussion about working as an arts facilitator/educator.

In the first session on this workshop, Lisa Busby and Ruth Woodward will give a practical introduction to DIY releasing and creative entrepreneurship.

Designed to introduce the skills and knowledge required to run an independent campaign for a single or EP release, this talk will cover intros to designing and scheduling campaigns, manufacture, distribution, PR & marketing, finance & budgeting, and creating alternative income streams. The session will discuss tried and tested practical approaches and steps, as well as encouraging you to look beyond conventional music industry practices and learn how to utilise your creativity to approach entrepreneurship in the way that works best for your music and your artist brand. The session will not assume budgets are available and will discuss what can be done with zero budget, micro budgets, modest budgets. The session will close by looking at the ways in which a self-led campaign can be used as a launch pad to approach industry gatekeepers, labels services, PR and more.

This talk is designed for emerging artists or ensembles/bands/collectives, aspiring artist managers, or for those thinking about setting up an independent label. Shaped by your questions, we’ll explore together the breadth of practicalities of making a living in the industry, and understanding the role of a creative freelancer.

Workshop leaders

Lisa Busby has 10 years experience working in Popular Music Education with young artists, teaching songwriting, production and performance but also leading professional industry practice modules and programmes. Her own practice as a musician and artist has seen her design and manufacture physical product, and run campaigns for various band and solo releases. She ran the DIY Music archive ‘Editions of You’, and is part of music collective ‘The Lumen Lake’ in South East London.

Ruth Woodward is currently working as the Frontline Creative Production Co-ordinator for Warner Music, and before this was General Manager for NX Records. She has had a varied freelance career in the industry at grass roots local level and beyond, in project management, running indie labels and events, designing innovative release formats, and more. She has also run and taught music industry courses, workshops and support sessions for young musicians and worked as a consultant for charities Sound Connections and The Voices Foundation.

In the second session of this workshop Mpho Mckenzie will be running a creative session and discussing facilitation/teaching skills.

Mpho Mckenziean is an artist/creative in music, singing, writing, producing, performing, and consulting on creative direction. She is also one third of the all female Music management and artist development company MUVVA, whose goal is to develop a model of artist management that considers Artist wellbeing as the foundation for a sustainable career.