Business

Photo by Kat Gebauer

"Creating employment for musicians is one of my passions. It's crucial we develop new, exciting and sustainable platforms on which to perform and thrive."

There's a common theory that artists cannot be both creative and entrepreneurial at the same time. In today's reality all musicians must have an understanding of business in order to maintain a steady career. It's crucial that younger musicians are taught to use their creative prowess in order to to pave a path for themselves in the music industry. With the right tools they can successfully do so and enjoy the process along the way.

After moving from New York to Montana Erica saw an opportunity to further enhance the incredible arts scene in the Flathead Valley. With the goal of creating a "biodome" of employment for musicians and educators, Erica launched two sister companies in 2014. The Montana Artist Collective (formerly the Northwest Artist Syndicate) and Groovetrail employ performers for every type of gig, from weddings and private events to therapeutic performances at nursing homes and educational opportunities at schools. These two initiatives not only provide a service to the community and bring music to those in need, they also create "round the clock' work for local musicians.

Since their inception, these companies have created almost $250,000 in revenue for musicians in northwest Montana, booked hundreds of shows, and are constantly developing new programs and projects.

Montana Artist Collective

The Montana Artist Collective is a booking agency specializing in weddings and private events in Montana. Based in Whitefish, the company launched in 2013 as the Northwest Artist Syndicate. Within a year the company had become a go-to source for live music for events, helped local music venues streamline their booking process, and produced several promotional videos and recordings for local artists looking to further their careers. Currently the Montana Artist Collective features a new ten-piece band, the MAC Band, specializing in classic tunes and Top 40 hits. Visit www.macbandmontana.com

Groovetrail

Groovetrail is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides live music for nursing homes, care facilities and rehab centers through its "Gift of Music" program. Groovetrail also hosts a jazz day camp every summer for middle and high school students. This year Groovetrail is launching the Flathead Ellington Project, an all-star high school jazz ensemble focused on studying the music of the great Duke Ellington.

In 2017 Groovetrail provided over 1500 seniors with more than 70 outreach performances and enriched 250 students through its jazz education initiatives. For more information or to donate, visit www.groovetrail.org

Learn more about these projects in the video "The Importance of Artist Entrepreneurship"