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13th Annual SEA Conference Session Videos -  MORE COMING SOON!

February 22nd and 23rd, 2013

Keynote:  Tom Sharpe

Tom Sharpe's World Music that Rocks!


Tom Sharpe speaks and performs at this highly motivational program at the 13th Annual Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference. His music is a percussive symphony - a sonic and visual feast for the senses - wildly emotional and technically precise, with a gutsy edge of percussive frenzy and tribal ritual. Tom's high energy, passion, emotion and superb musicality leave audiences nationwide amazed and inspired! SEA is a program geared towards emerging visual, performing, literary, and media artists who want to learn more about turning their artistic passions into a living.


Tom Sharpe is the drummer for the Grammy Award-winning group Mannheim Steamroller and for Dennis DeYoung of Styx. Along with his heavy tour schedule, Tom is a critically acclaimed composer. His own compositions have won many awards, including the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. He is an alumni of the Interlochen Arts Academy and holds the degree master of music from DePaul University. For more information about Tom please visit

My Life in Music with - 

Matthew Hennessy - VSOP Productions


Matthew Hennessy discusses his life in music.  What does a typical day, week, month, and year look like and how has this changed over the course of his career?  


Matt Hennessy is a Chicago based producer, mix engineer and studio owner with strong roots in the Chicago urban music scene.  He received formal training at Berklee College of Music, studying both jazz performance and production,  In 2000, after returning to his native Chicago, Matt joined the staff of Chicago Trax/The Chocolate Factory to engineer projects for R. Kelly, Jay-Z, Twista, Kanye West, DMX and many others.  The coming years would find Matt behind the boards for a diverse group of artists from Disturbed to Mariah Carey.  Teaming up with Grammy Award winner/producer Maurice Joshua, Matt has worked on many production and remix projects for Beyonce (Destiny's Child), Omarion, John Legen, Shakira and the late Curtis Mayfield.  In 2009 Matt opened VSOP Studios in Chicago.  In 2010 he was elected to the board of governors of the Chicago national Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and was made chair of the Midwest Producers and Engineers Wing.




Opening Keynote:  Mike Veny

Drummer, entrepreneur, speaker & consultant


Mike Veny has been able to parlay his love of muisc, and of drumming in particular, into multiple succesful career paths and charitable endeavors.


Mike is the founder and owner of,,



His entrepreneurial skills, leadership skills and people skills have made him an in-demand speaker and a soconsultant to some of the top businesses in the world.  


As for charitable endavors, Mike is on the board of directors for Fender Music Foundation and a member of the NAMM Foundation's SupportMusic Coalition, which seeks to strengthen community commitment and support for quality music eduction in schools.


His powerful presentation discusses understanding your roles, relationship building, and the key to selling yourself and your work.




Panel Discussion

How to Present and Sell Your Work Online


This session looks at how to find a good web designer, what you need to start a website and successful sales strategies on the internet. Panelists also discuss different online art retailers that may or may not be a good fit for your work.Panelists include Kara Kurcz, Mike Veny, and Sally Field Mullan