School Gig Opportunity: Do You Know About CILC?

Today’s article is especially for those who perform for school groups, though this will benefit people who work with senior populations too.

With schools now back “in person” this fall but still COVID-cautious, there is a great need for online content from people like you and me.

Marketing help for artistsIf you’re:

a) looking to expand your gig opportunities right now, and
b) open to the idea of performing online (for up to $750 a day)

…then I’d suggest you take a good look at CILC.

What is CILC?

CILC is an acronym for Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration.

(See why they need an acronym?)

I think of them as a clearinghouse of musicians (very few right now!), lecturers, presenters, museums, and other “content providers” who are available to do Zoom-like presentations.

For who?

Well, for schools (90% of all CILC bookings), libraries (5%), and retirement communities, museums, and others (a combined 5%).

YOU: “Yeah, but I don’t know much about performing online.”

ME: “No problem – this article on live streaming your performances has you covered.”

Some Current CILC Stats

  • 55,000 members(!) who use their service
  • Those members put in over 7,500 booking requests last year
  • There are less than 200 Content Providers (people like you and me) currently offering programs there!!

How CILC Works

Signing up to become a “content provider” with CILC is an easy process, and they’re great at walking you through from the beginning.

Be warned that there is a fee to become a content provider (anywhere from $250-$950 depending on the package you choose), but…

You keep 100% of all booking revenue.

(BTW, I have no stake in this whatsoever, and will not profit in any way if you decide to sign up.)

Once you’ve become a content provider, you create a listing for each of your shows or offerings.

From there, CILC makes your listings available to their 55,000 members, and with any luck, you get a few requests.

Or more.

The Center for Puppetry Arts had one of their shows booked 83 times in a recent twelve month period.

Tech Stuff

Download a list of everything I use!

You really don’t need to sweat much about equipment for this – if you have a webcam on your computer and can spend $75 on a USB microphone, you’ve got everything you need for starters.

(BONUSDownload my exact equipment recommendations here)

And now that CILC offers “One Click Connect,” you don’t even need live streaming software or a webinar platform.

What To Charge for a Videoconference

The amount you charge on CILC is totally up to you.

Because most of the content providers are museums and non-profits, they tend to have very low rates, and there are even free programs on there.

$147 is the average dollar amount per booking, according to CILC.

BUT!

When I was listing my programs with CILC, I decided I could live with $250 per booking – it’s not as much as I’d charge for an in-person school show, but considerably more than others seemed to be charging.

(And I could stay in my pajama bottoms while I worked.)

At $250, I was able generate a decent number of bookings – I want to say 15 or so over a period of about 18 months.

The beauty is that you can stack them up, doing two or three in a day while you’ve got your makeshift “studio” set up.

My best advice – The less you charge, the more requests you will get. If you can live with $150 for a 45-minute concert, that’s what you should ask.

Contact CILC For More

Live streaming and videoconferencing are here to stay. Schools love the convenience and flexibility (and affordability) in this age of COVID, slashed field trip budgets, and declining arts funding.

And students love connecting with presenters from all over the world.

But I certainly am no spokesperson for CILC, so you should contact them to learn more.

You can reach Tami Moehring, Content Provider Liaison and all around helpful person, at 507-215-3705 or by emailing tmoehring at cilc dot org.

Get My Equipment List

Download my exact equipment recommendations here

Have you done any live streaming for schools? Have questions? Let me know in the “Comments” section below. 


About The Blog

The Largest Online Gathering of K-5 Classrooms for Connected Educator MonthSince leaving a white-collar marketing job in 1992, Dave Ruch has been educating and entertaining full-time in schools, historical societies and museums, folk music and concert venues, libraries, and online via distance learning programs.

Along the way, he’s learned a great deal about supporting a family of four as a musician.

The Educate and Entertain blog provides articles, tips, encouragements, and how-to’s for regional performers (in any region) interested in making a great full-time living in the arts.

 

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19 Responses to School Gig Opportunity: Do You Know About CILC?

  1. LJ Mounteney

    Hi Dave, great info as usual. I’m assuming this is all US tho? If you know of something similar in CAN would love to know about it.
    cheers LJ

  2. Stu Fuchs

    Hey Dave!

    This is wonderful information for us all — thanks so much for sharing!

    What membership tier at CILC do you use & recommend? I look forward to expanding what audiences I can reach with this service.

    BTW, I’ve been doing a ton of presentations online since the pandemic started and it’s allowed me to stay at home with my son instead of getting on a plane 30x a year…..(born a month before the lockdown — kid’s got timing! 😉 )

    Wishing you & your whole family well,
    Stu

    • Dave Ruch

      Awesome Stu, glad to hear you are getting lots of online work and time with your son! I phased out of CILC quite a while ago myself once I developed my own booking system for online work, but I find they are a resource that almost none of my colleagues know about and well worth a look. They are good people too.

  3. Tj Wheeler

    Dave….this post is a God send. Especially as a person with lack of tech skills when it comes to even basic online performances, let alone what I envision for my particular transformation of Integrated Arts, Blues & Jazz Anti Racism/ Black History programs to successful online concert/workshops – to full school residencies, this sounds absolutely perfect. This is so generous of you to extend this info to all of us Performing teachers. Here is a return tip, creating & marketing your programs for Homeschoolers! I haven’t cracked open that demographic group yet, as I was waiting till I acclimated myself to the technology needed, so I wouldn’t be promising anything I didn’t know how to deliver.
    But with this platform it shouldn’t be long before I do. Good luck & thanks again. I’m based in the NH Seacoast. Next time your in the area give me a call and if things open up in a safe way, you could get come over for some creole cookin, and maybe we could play a few tunes together.Thanks again!

  4. Karen McCann

    Thanks, Dave. Helpful information.
    Just shared your article with the wonderful folks at Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance.

    Best,
    Karen McCann

  5. Darrin Crow

    Thanks for sending out this article. It’s only taken me a year of “getting around to it”, but I have registered and am getting started creating content. Thanks very much for the help navigating all this.

  6. Eric John Kaiser

    Great tip. Thanks Dave 🙏 I hope all is well for you. Take care.

  7. Darrin Crow

    Thanks for a great article! This has given me a whole new avenue to think about. The weather here in Iowa has been atrocious this winter, forcing me to reschedule school gigs all over the place. Thanks for the great info.

  8. Eric John Kaiser

    Great post. Thanks for the info Dave! Much appreciated.

  9. Doug Philbrook

    Dave, this sounds intriguing. So tell me if you would what is involved from a performance standpoint? Is it the same show I would offer at a library gig, a little music, discussion about the music and originators, times they lived etc? Or is it something else?

    Thanks
    Doug

    • Dave Ruch

      Hi Doug – the type of program you offer is up to you, but you’ll want to think about the market. It’s primarily K-12 schools that book programs on CILC, with a smattering of libraries and senior centers mixed in. Do you offer school presentations now?

  10. Karen Cuthrell

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing Dave.

  11. Nathan Sieg

    I have been going back and forth on delving into this form of performing….this may give me a little boost!!

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