Arts Donations Sought for Local Female-Led Business
From the heart of Angie Mack Reilly, Ozaukee Talent founder 5/2/17
I officially opened up Ozaukee Talent in February of 2016. I had taken a two year hiatus from my long-time producing/directing/teaching/marketing position at the North Shore Academy of the Arts (NSAA) in Grafton due to some medical issues that have since been resolved.
Some soul searching showed me that I absolutely wanted to continue mentoring others in the arts as I have been for the past 18 years or so. I opened up Ozaukee Talent and started renting and creating my music studio on the 3rd floor of the NSAA building so that I could begin taking on private music students again. I immediately opened up a “hands-on Music Lab” to aid in multi-sensory learning and boost student curiosity about the science behind sound. I have also hosted and participated in quite a few music events and held workshops and classes.
Within my first year, I was able to rebuild my private lesson client list to around 30 students per week. People were excited to see that “I was back” after going through breast cancer and reconstruction surgeries. I was also able to continue working with NSAA as a contracted producer/director for their musicals. The next musicals that I will be producing for them are Disney’s Aristocats and then the big one…. Disney’s The Lion King at the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center.
Owning my own business has been an exciting adventure! Because of my past experience and networks, I have had a strong foundation to build upon. My heart is full of gratitude!
However, during the past year, I have been at the point where I am literally working 12-14+ hour days. Not only am I a music producer and teacher, but now I am the Founder, Web Designer, Social Media Marketing Director, Accounts Receivable, Administrative Assistant, PR Person, Sound Engineer, Box Office, Event Planner, Tech Support, Strategic Planner, Customer Service, Operations Manager etc…for my own business. Yes, it’s a lot. But “Angie Mack Reilly” has been known for having a strong work ethic!!!
I am at the point where business growth is inevitable and I am excited to begin the next phase. I am also excited to have been accepted as a fiscal receiver through the solid, reputable and well established arts organization, ARTS WISCONSIN. These means that I can immediately begin receiving much needed donations through them. I am so thankful that I found out about their fiscal receiver program! Thank you Arts Wisconsin!
I did not want to get into debt during my first year, so I paid for everything “out of pocket” or without loans and kept operations and expenditures at bare minimum. I bought things like classroom equipment and materials, paid for rent, paid for computer equipment and programs, paid for marketing, etc…. All of these expenses meant that my NET INCOME for 2016 was around 18k which is slightly above the poverty line.
It has been a tough year financially. But like any good entrepreneur, I have made sacrifices to make it work without days off. The issue is that I do not want to burden my clients by raising rates. And, as it is, I have had to turn low-income clients away so that I could meet my budget needs. This has been a tough decision because some of the best talent is known to be found in low-income areas and families. I want people of all income levels to have access to my services starting this summer.
I also have students that I would like to mentor and bring to the next level through creating opportunities for production and increased exposure in the arts. I want to train and connect my students with the business world, because the arts combined with business is a powerful combination as you well know.
I would like to utilize new and more music technology with my students. Already, I have a middle-school student that I have been training to compose digital music for video games. He wants to land a programming job with a large video game company. (I have a strong history of sending my private students off to college for arts-related and leadership careers.)
I would also like to host more events, bring in top notch industry leaders, produce podcasts, make recordings, create video tutorials and so much more. I want to give my students the most up-to-date tools and opportunities. I want to encourage their innovative ideas through providing them with resources for mass creative communication.
Finally, the work that I have done with Paramount Records music history is internationally documented and recognized. I am not your average local music teacher. Look around my website https://ozaukeetalent.com and you will see that I have solid credentials, experience, testimonials and connections spanning over the past few decades.
My Paramount Record efforts have brought thousands and thousands of dollars in tourism revenue to our county and even to southeastern Wisconsin. None of these efforts have gone into my pocket including my efforts to co-build paramountshome.org which won the Wisconsin Historical Society Website Award in 2006. I pitched the idea of having an annual blues festival. I wrote the show, “PBS History Detectives” asking them to film in southeastern Wisconsin. The Paramount Plaza in the heart of Grafton? Yours truly was a major part of that as well as the Chairperson for the large piano key Walk of Fame. I helped playwright Kevin Ramsey on his musical, “Grafton City Blues” which premiered at the Milwaukee Rep and is now premiering nationally under the name of “Chasin’ Dem Blues”. I was a contributor on Jack White’s Grammy Award-Winning Paramount box sets. Worked with the Grafton Preservation Commission on putting together a self-guided Paramount Walking Tour booklet. I could go on. The point is that I GIVE BACK to the community and make it a better place for families and businesses. My community service and volunteer work is massive. That tradition will continue.
Ozaukee Talent has the potential of reaching national and international arts and entertainment leaders. My students and I need your help to get to the next level.
(Arts Wisconsin will see that any donations will get to Ozaukee Talent as well as hold me accountable for any donations that I receive.)
Finally, I am well aware of the leadership and wage gap faced by women in the arts. I am also well versed in the social issues and challenges that women face in today’s society. Just recently, I was kicked off of my state health insurance because “I make too much”. For a breast cancer survivor, being without insurance at this present moment in time is a bit scary. Asking for donations for my business is scary.
However, I am hanging onto faith and hope that there are people, organizations and businesses who know or care about my situation enough to help out monetarily. I am looking for those willing to take a brave stance at aiding the arts, aiding women, aiding new businesses, aiding children, aiding creative youth with mental health issues and ultimately aiding our community and nation at a very pivotal time. I am looking for people with empathy to act as arts benefactors as in days of old. The terms “starving artist”, “wage disparity” and “glass ceiling” don’t have to be “a thing”.
So, I thank you for your donations, ideas, connections, advice, resources, encouragement and overall support. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org