On Sunday, June 2, 2013, Heather Bishop, renowned singer, songwriter, and painter, hosted her annual barbeque for the grads of “The Art of Managing Your Career.” The barbeque was a celebratory gathering of individuals who had taken the AMYC course, taught by Heather Bishop and offered in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The premise of AMYC is that artists are often brilliantly trained and self-taught in their disciplines but have little or no training in the critical business aspect of their careers. AMYC addresses this gap, focussing on the need for business training for self-employed artists in all disciplines. The course runs once a week in three hour sessions for thirteen weeks; the workshop style format offers artists the chance to explore a great variety of topics: developing career goals, vision statements, promotion and publicity; social networking; researching; action planning; marketing; financial planning and management; bookkeeping, negotiating; learning about legalities; and completing a business plan. As a self-employed writer, educator, and artist, I found the course inspiring and full of valuable information.
Heading off to the AMYC barbeque, I drove with my daughter, Margaret Eve, (a grad also) down rural roads, past small towns and isolated farm buildings bordered by expansive fields, to Woodmore, our destination.
As the event unfolded, we and other artists were treated to an enchanting time on Heather’s beautiful country property where trees blossomed pink and white and all the forest was greening. We visited and conferred with artists of all disciplines. A bottomless pot of chili bubbled away alongside a table laden with fruits, vegetables, salads, and rolls, for all to share. We had no sooner settled onto lawn chairs than the music fest began. Love songs, comical songs, songs of sorrow floated out to enrapt listeners as ashes flew up from blazing orange flames in the fire pit. Each gifted musician–guitarists, singers, an accordion player, drummers, percussionists, and more–wove their very fine talents into the musical tapestry.
Heather and her partner Judith opened their home to all. Multi-talented, Heather built the house herself, a true artist’s abode, practical and inspired, with a creative, welcoming ambiance in every nook and cranny. The walls are wood and dark blue and white; an altar with a carved Merlin, an invocation to the Eagle, and other numinous objects holds space beside a long inviting dining table. Heather’s fine art portraits of wide-open loving people of all ages grace the walls. Heather’s and Judith’s home is a testament to the artist’s way, to living the conscious life.
Finally, the sun began to set and as evening came on, we made our way back down country roads, with music, laughter, the company of creative people warming our hearts.