Performing Arts Business Foundations 1

In eight weeks you will learn how to treat your career as an artist like a business, setting up systems for sales and marketing to be your own booking agent or become agent-ready on your own terms.

Next round starts June 2024!

Performing Arts Business Foundations 1

Vision, Sales, Marketing

In eight weeks, you will learn the business foundations for a career as a performing artist - understanding and setting up systems for sales and marketing to be your own booking agent or become agent-ready on your own terms.

You're a dancer, musician, or multidisciplinary artist who wants to perform (more), but it feels like something stands in your way.
Then this program is for you. I created it to share the tools and strategies I've used to help hundreds of artists see their works on stages they previously thought were out of reach.

Through this program, you will:

My approach is about leaving behind imposter syndrome and stepping away from scarcity,
while being grounded in reality, so you feel confident and create ways of working
that are sustainable and feel good for you. 

Heena Patel PC Ekta Kumbhani

I'm Heena Patel, and I help performing artists make their dreams come true.

I have spent my career supporting artists while navigating the dominant and diasporic performing arts world. When I started out, I was an environmental engineer booking shows and managing artists, while not really knowing what "booking agent" or "artist manager" meant, and went on to become an artistic director, producer, and curator.

From producing and touring my own multidisciplinary productions such as Bollywood Boulevard and Garba360 to communities across the country to booking tours for countless bands and dance companies through my company MELA Arts Connect, I've had the pleasure of putting hundreds of artists onto stages and into communities that we hadn’t even imagined. This happened through a mix of jugaad, learning through trial and error, and asking a LOT of questions. My desire is to share the learnings, the tips and tricks, so you can realize your dreams with greater ease and confidence.

In small and big moments with audiences of 20 to 50,000, we've shared our stories. I'm excited to help you share yours.

Heena understands that the journey for artists can be so different for each person based on their needs, interests, and even their politics. She asks the questions that have helped me better understand the context of my work in the industry and gave me the tools to better understand how to develop relationships with presenters and organizations that were mutually beneficial and mission aligned.

Join Performing Arts Business Foundations 1

When: Next round starts June 2024
Where: Live on Zoom

Join Performing Arts Business Foundations 1

When: Starts June 11, 2024 | Weekly* for 75min on Tuesdays at 1pm ET
Where: Live on Zoom
Who: Artists ready to put in work and see results
*no session on July 16

What’s Inside Business Foundations 1:

The program includes 7 live coaching calls (replays available for those that can't make it live),
an audit of your bio and project description, and individualized feedback on your pitch.

Over the course of 8 weeks, you'll be clearer and more confident in how to approach your career and getting more performances, all while being supported by me and being in community with other artists.

Here's what the journey entails:

Phase 1

Big Picture: Getting Clear on the Why

We begin our work together by dreaming big and getting clear on your Why to articulate your vision, purpose, and goals as an artist.

Phase 2

Marketing: How to Convey your Story

Once we know why your Why and where you want to go, it’s about conveying who you are and what your work is about through your marketing materials.

Phase 3

Sales: How to Make the Connections

With clear goals and marketing materials, it’s time to make connections to get gigs.

Throughout this program, I'll be leading you through somatic practices so you can work with your nervous system to understand where you are stuck and have the tools to move through those sticky places. I'll also share specific systems, processes, and strategies that have been most effective for myself and other artists, including the software I used as well as email and spreadsheet templates.

What’s NOT inside Business Foundations 1

A single solution that I guarantee will work.

Through this process, I am here to help you connect with what makes sense for YOU. Which means there is no one-size fits all model or a single timeline that you are expected to conform to.

The goal is to provide you with information and tools you need to tap into your own wisdom, understanding, and clarity to take the next steps on your journey.

Information about contracts, finances, and strategies to build a tour.

Foundations 1 is about vision, sales, and marketing – skills and clarity needed to build a tour with ease. All things related to producing and executing a tour, including contracts & tech riders, the finances, and strategies to build a viable tour are covered in Performing Arts Business Foundations 2, which starts on August 1.

It is not just theory, there will be opportunities for live coaching.

Throughout the process, there will be time and space for Q&A and live coaching. Be it looking at your pitch emails, addressing mental blocks, or leading you through somatic practices, come ready to get your questions answered.

Pradhanica Photo Credit Matt Marquez

Feedback from Past Program Participants

Interested in Performing Arts Business Foundations 1?

Join Performing Arts Business Foundations 1​

When: Starts June 11, 2024 | Weekly* for 75min on Tuesdays at 1pm ET
Where: Live on Zoom
Who: Artists ready to put in work and see results
*no session on July 16
Want to learn about the strategic, legal, and financial considerations around touring?
We cover that in Performing Arts Business Foundations 2, which begins August 1.
Discounted pricing available if you sign up for both!
I couldn't be more grateful for Heena's coaching! What she offers/does was exactly in line with the questions I was seeking to get answered. She was amazing in how much knowledge and experience she shares. As a new agency owner, I'm newly energizer, armed with more possibilities outlined by Heena.

FAQs

All the calls will be recorded and sent out to the group. If you have a question and can’t attend a call, you will be able to send your questions in advance so they can be answered.

If you’re still working on creating your work, that’s not a problem. This series will set you up for success as you develop. I believe it is smart for artists to be thinking about how they are going to share their work as they are creating it. 

Yes! I believe that the earlier artists learn the business skills, the better. 

Trust your instinct. Only sign up if it feels like a heaven yes. That being said, if you come to the first session and don’t feel like it’s the right fit, we’ll refund your money (minus credit card processing fees), no questions asked.

No. Your results are 100% up to whether or not you show up fully committed and ready to take action.


I guide from lived experience as someone who has done it for herself and for others. It is a no-BS approach. I’m here to demystify, challenge, and support you in making the career you want if you’re ready to do the work and take action.

Pricing for the program is based on a tiered model. For those for whom the rate represents a financial hardship, I offer a limited number of scholarships. If this program is a financial hardship, please email info@melaartsconnect.com. Before you do so, I ask you to consider “sacrifice vs hardship”.

If paying for a class, product, or service would be difficult, but not detrimental, it qualifies as a sacrifice. You might have to cut back on other spending, but this will not have a long term harmful impact, it is a sacred sacrifice. If, however, paying for a class, product, or service would lead to a harmful impact, then you are dealing with hardship.*

* Taken from: https://www.ridefreefearlessmoney.com/blog/2016/05/sliding-scale-1/ and https://www.wortsandcunning.com/blog/sliding-scale

CALIFORNIA ARTISTS: Center for Cultural Innovation offers a monthly grant in the amount of $500 that can be applied towards training and learning. Please consider applying for the grant in order to help defray the costs of this program.

If, after the first session, you decide this program is not for you, you can reach out for a refund before the day of the second session and receive a refund (minus credit card processing fees), no questions asked.

Yes. The skills that this program focuses on are applicable to all artists. The lens and experience I bring is from working with diasporic arts, which has its own challenges and benefits that are not as addressed widely.

No. Business Foundations 1 is focused on sales and marketing – how to get performances. How much you should charge for a performance – be it for a single performance or shows in a tour, along with contracts and strategic tour planning are covered in Performing Arts Business Foundations 2, which starts on August 1, 2024. 

Yes! Bundle pricing is available for those interested in taking Performing Arts Business Foundations 2 in addition to Foundations 1. Email info@melaartsconnect.com to get the discount code.

The career you want is ready for you to create it. ​

Over the course of my career I have worn many hats - tabla player, dancer, teaching artist, artistic director, producer, booking agent, artist manager, tour manager, graphic designer, website builder, and more. I gained my skills by doing and found success for my artists and myself through a lot of trial and error.

I wanted to create something that would have helped me when I was starting over 15 years ago. At that time, there weren’t brown girls doing this, and being a full-time artist wasn’t an option.

Now, I see more people of the global majority ready to take the leap and I want to help you succeed by making this info more readily available. This work is not going to be easy, but if we were afraid of working hard, we wouldn’t be in the arts. I will challenge you AND also be your cheerleader.

I hope you'll let me be a part of your journey.

- Heena

Working with Heena is such wonderful wisdom centered experience. She not only understands the field, and takes time to understand the person and their work, but also who the person is as a whole, energetically and in their personality to then help chart what could be the right path and decisions for them.

Join Business Fundamentals for Artists

When: Next round starts June 2024
Where: Live on Zoom

Pricing

I offer tiered pricing for Performing Arts Business Foundations.

It is inspired by the Green Bottle Model by Alexis J. Cunningfolk, a tool which considers more than just financial resources as determining factor in whether or not someone can access services. The intention is to support a more intentional and value-aligned culture of payment.

People come into the performing arts sector with varying levels of resources, I ask that you consider the following criteria to determine which price is right for you. All rates can be paid in full or 2 x monthly payments*.

Redistribution

$ 666
  • This helps make the program accessible to those with modest means. With this choice, you are "paying it forward".
  • If you have access to financial security, own property, or have personal savings
  • If you are able to pay for "wants" and spend little time worrying about securing necessities in your life.

Full Cost

$ 555
  • You are working to build savings, but also have access to steady income or financial resources.
  • You do NOT spend most of your time thinking about meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, child care, etc.
  • You might have to cut back on some discretionary spending in your life in the short term to invest.
Sustain
$ 444
  • This rate applies if you’re relatively less economically advantaged or full cost is simply out of reach for you financially.
  • You may be paying off debt or working to build savings, but also have access to income or financial resources.
  • You have access to basic needs such as food, housing, health insurance, and childcare.

If these rates represent a financial hardship or you live in the Global South where the currency exchange makes the rate prohibitive, I offer a limited number of scholarships.
Email info@melaartsconnect.com to apply.
*If you need a longer payment plan, email info@melaartsconnect.com

Heena invited me deep diving into even an unconscious level which is connected with the fundamental well of being, and possibly connected with one shared with others, to inquire what I am hoping to accomplish through dance. Her coaching & support brought me the courage to move forward and clarity to express in language.