Re: [Frameworks] lecture fees?

From: Chuck Kleinhans (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Jan 28 2011 - 11:12:38 PST

On Jan 27, 2011, at 6:50 PM, ev petrol wrote:

> hey folks
> any tips on how much to charge for a visiting lecturer gig?
> i know the travel/accomodation/food goes in there, but wondering about the actual lecturer bit ...?
> you can email me off list
> thanks! moira

I think a lot of people on the list might wonder about this.

Some schools, programs, and departments have a regular fixed budget for visiting artists, and thus probably have fairly good idea of how much they will pay from everything from a superstar to an "emerging artist." You can probably ask around to friendly faculty there or to recent visiting artists what the going rate is.

Others may not have such budgets, and the individual person inviting you might have to cobble together money from different departments, programs, etc. In other words, this person has to pitch the visitor to a bunch of different people who may or may not have spent up their slush fund budget, who may kick in just the minimal amount to remain on friendly terms, or someone with a good budget might just have a "this is great, why didn't I think of it?" moment and push it forward On the other hand, some faculty may have personal budgets they can use for inviting people. It varies a lot. The potential visitor might make connections with different parts of the university/school: for a visitor whose work involves identity issues, it might be possible to get funds from interested student groups (such as LGBTQ groups) as well as academic units (Asian-American Studies). Some residence halls might have program budgets that would be possible sources, or even campus ministries.

For the visitor it is important to be very clear in advance about exactly what will be expected and scheduled. Are you just screening and do a Q&A or will they expect you to do some critiques of student work? view some faculty work in progress? Schmooze with an administrator? Sometimes hosts add things on which serve the primary event (e.g., a local radio or TV show to promote your screening; an interview with a reporter, etc.) and often in small college towns, meals with assorted people who helped pay for your presence and want to meet the outsider, since there are so few who pass through. Also, at the last minute some other people may wake up and want you to visit their class, teach it, show your work, etc.

It is also worthwhile to think about the whole trip in terms of travel time. It can easily take most of a day to travel from one coast to another through various hubs or to some small town campus. Will they pay for a car/taxi to get from your home to and from the airport? Meals while traveling? (these are sometimes governed by local policies so they have a $ limit on meals, or won't pay for alcohol, or whatever). And are you being paid enough for the loss of income in time spent traveling?

There's a reason why people who do a lot of traveling to speak or perform often have agents who handle this and detailed contracts (e.g., there must be a bowl of M&Ms in the green room, but no blue ones). I suppose there's no one on this list who falls in that rock star category, but who knows? When John Waters visited my school for a student film fest, there was a very detailed contract detailing down time before the big public presentation, etc. Seemed quite reasonable and based probably in a certain number of bad experiences in the past. Anyway, he was very generous with the students and wowed them.

Chuck Kleinhans

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