Q:What is Songwriters in Seattle?
A: In a nutshell, SiS is a 501(c)3 non-profit org that supports our Pacific NW creative community through educational, creative, and performance based events.
*We are all volunteer run – all donated money goes to organizational/admin expenses and the costs of running future events/projects.
*We are not a service but an infrastructure which, through the efforts of our volunteer event hosts, allows our vibrant creative community to build and progress in a variety of ways.
*We are all about the art and artist development.
Q: What kinds of events and projects does SiS run?
A: Events generally fall under three larger categories: 1. Educational, 2. Creative, and 3. Performance.
*From networking and collaboration events to seminars and workshops, critiques and music business round tables to performance showcases, song circles and open mics…there are typically 10 or more events every month!
*It is very organic based on what our volunteer hosts are willing and available to do. Projects have included contests, a compilation CD, flyers, business cards, and the creation of SiS branded merchandise…all of which help raise money and/or awareness for the organization.
Q: I’m not seeing what interests me on the event calendar…can I host an event on my topic of choice?
A: Yes, please! This is how all our events originate – someone sees a need and desires to fill it. See our event hosting guide for suggestions and details. We are an organic organization that meets the needs of those who want to be involved. It is often said that you get out of SiS what you put into it. Become involved and find yourself motivated, inspired, and progressing toward your goals faster than you imagined.
Q: Will you post (or tell your members about) my (or my favorite) open mic, gig, opportunity, or product?
A: Sorry, but no. If we did this our members would be inundated. What you are essentially asking for is advertising, even if you think what you are offering would be beneficial to the group. There are so many of all these things in the Seattle area or otherwise available through the internet it is mind boggling, and it is not Songwriters in Seattle’s purpose to “get the word out” about them all. If there is a very specific and justifiable community building reason for your item to be considered, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will consider it. Also, feel free to post to our discussion board. Otherwise, head to our sponsorship page and let’s talk about advertising.
Q: How do I sign up and get involved?
A: First, join us on Meetup (it’s free!) – That’s how our members communicate and where we manage our calendar of events.
*Then it is recommended that you attend a few events – introduce yourself to other members and see how the organization operates. The leadership team is listed on the left column of the Meetup page…(feel free to e-mail one of them or say hi at an event – they are often hosts.)
*Discuss with the leadership team what you might like to volunteer for – we have a number of opportunities if you don’t have anything in particular in mind. Or maybe help introduce us to the person who books your favorite venue to set up a possible showcase, or maybe you have access to a space that would work for a different kind of event, or you know someone who might be willing to give a seminar…we would be happy to discuss the options.
Q: Whenever a showcase reminder comes from Meetup, the roster is full. How do I get on a showcase roster?
A: 90% of the time, if you wait for the reminder, it will be too late.
That being said, it’s actually quite simple to sign up for a spot on a showcase:
1. Go to our calendar linked in the left column of the Meetup site.
2. Find a showcase event date and venue that you like – most venues are booked out a couple months, so starting there might save you a bit of time.
3. If the event has “[ROSTER FULL]” in the title or a note “Update – the roster for this showcase is full…” in the description, click your back button and find the next date/venue that you might like.
4. When you find one that is not full, simply go to http://www.songwritersinseattle/showcases then fill out and submit the form.
5. Someone will confirm you for an open slot or suggest an alternate if there’s any kind of scheduling issue to work out.
Q: What is/was Northwest Music Experience (NWME)?
A: NWME at first was an attempt at creating a local music industry conference in the vein of SXSW – we even held an IndieGoGo campaign to fund it! We were not able to raise the necessary funds, so we used what money we did raise to scale back and start what was envisioned as an annual awards event. The first one was held in 2013 and it was great! We honored 40 finalists along with 8 genre category winners, and during our 6 hour event had 14 groups perform. However, even that was too big an endeavor for our small organization with a small budget and little volunteer time to make such a thing work consistently right now. The name lives on with a 501(c)3 organization in Portland, but Songwriters in Seattle is no longer associated with it. We hope to someday start a new awards event of our own.
Q: Meetup is unwieldy and difficult to use, especially with as many events as you have – how do you function with it?
A: It is true, Meetup can be difficult and time consuming to navigate. It also has its advantages, and for an organization with as little budget as we have, it has proven to serve the need pretty well. Here are some tips:
– Use the calendar view, not upcoming meetups or past meetups…you’ll waste lots of time scrolling through piles of events. (The calendar is by far the fastest way to navigate the most important information on the site.)
– Use the discussion board. Read, post, check back frequently – communicate with your fellow members.
– Answer the group questions in your profile and fill out your profile as much as you can. Using the ‘Members’ tab is the best way to find others with similar or complementary interests (eg. music writer for your words, lyric writer for your music). If you don’t fill out any info, people won’t be able to connect with you very easily.
– Make a filter in your e-mail for Meetup messages to sort to a specific folder. There can be a lot, but if you turn off the reminders and messages altogether from your Meetup profile preferences, it will be much harder to know what’s going on and how to make the most of being a member. Better e-mail management at the receiving end is a better choice.
– Read the entire description associated with an event. Save yourself some time and frustration – there is usually important info there. The e-mail reminders only show the barest minimum first sentence or so.
– Please RSVP for events that you will attend, and leave a rating/comment afterward. This helps us plan for the future by knowing what’s working and what isn’t, whether we need larger venues, etc.
– Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and explore our website. All of these places contain additional information to help keep you updated and informed about what’s going on within the organization.
– Generally speaking, the other buttons/tabs/UI not mentioned above have little use. Just avoid them.
Welcome to Songwriters in Seattle – we hope to see you at an upcoming event!