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Chicago Lake FX Summit and Expo for Artists

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Chicago Lake FX Summit and Expo for Artists

I’ll be attending the Lake FX Summit and Expo April 16-19, 2015. The expo has as its target audience artists and creative professionals working in film, music, fashion, culinary, the visual arts, and performing arts. The expo is managed by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and has Google as a presenting sponsor. The expo theme is "Improvisation and Innovation."

The Lake FX Summit and Expo is an integrated successor to three past separate expos: the Creative Chicago Expo, the Chicago Music Summit and the Chicago Film and Media Summit. This event is being billed as the midwest’s largest free conference for artists and other creative professionals. Program components are spread out between the Chicago Cultural Center, Virgin Hotels Chicago, the Gene Siskel Film Center, the Hard Rock Hotel, and the State Street Macy’s.

I have previously attended the Creative Chicago Expo and found it to be a worthwhile event. I’m not sure if trying to create a mega-event from three separate specialized expos is a smart thing to do from the perspective of the individual attendees. We’ll see.

Looking through the programming guide, as an artist I find the following presentations to be the most relevant to my interests:

Who’s Your Audience? NEA Recent Research in the Arts
Discussion of the National Endowment for the Arts research on "Public Participation in the Arts, 2002–2012" and other related topics.
How to Win at YouTube
Discussion on video creativity and review of what types of videos work on YouTube.
Self-Management Tool Kit for Artists
Discussion about the business of being an artist.
Portfolio Reviews: How to Share Your Work
A How-To on presenting your portfolio for review to curators, gallery directors, art critics, etc.
Protect Your Creative Content
Yep, all about copyright protection and trademark protection given by the group Lawyers for the Creative Arts.
Intro to Crowdfunding and Fiscal Sponsorship
A panel on using crowdfunding (think Kickstarter and Indiegogo) as a way to raise money.
Video 101 for Artists and Arts Organizations
A panel discussion for artists on the role of video as a marketing and fundraising tool.
Maker to Market
A panel on the maker scene done in collaboration with World Business Chicago.
Online Risks and Rewards: What Your Business Can and Can’t Do Online
Explores the legal aspects of doing business online.
Photoshop Basics for Artists
Okay, if I have nothing else to do I’ll attend this one just to see what aspects of Photoshop they’ll be covering.

Fortunately for me, all the programming for the Visual and Performing Arts Track and for the General Track is being held at the Chicago Cultural Center – meaning I don’t have to run back and forth between separate venues.

Note that people are encouraged to pre-register for the expo. Benefits of pre-registration include "Fast Pass" access to some of the programs being held at the Chicago Cultural Center Claudia Cassidy Theater and automatic entry into several drawings. Complete details on the expo and a link to the registration form is available from the expo’s main web page at
Lake FX Summit and Expo.

In closing, if you know an artist or a person in one of the other creative fields, please share this information with them.

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