ArtBox Institute: Marketplace Skills for the Creative Industries
Are you an emerging or mid-career artist looking to map your career goals? Develop a brand? Discover news sales venues? Market your work more effectively? Build networks? Launch a social media campaign? Understand legal rights? Write compelling grant applications? Speak engagingly about your work?
ArtBox Institute is a proposed nine-month professional development certificate program that will launch in January 2014 and be open to emerging and mid-career artists from any medium and arts administrators who are seeking to sharpen skills necessary for success as entrepreneurs in the marketplace.
The ArtBox Institute (ABI) draws on the resources and expertise of the City of Flagstaff, Flagstaff Cultural Partners, NACET, Coconino County Board of Supervisors, Coconino County Community Services, the Small Business Development Center of Coconino Community College, Northern Arizona University and others.
Target participant market: Art school grads from NAU and CCC, arts administrators from nonprofit organizations, artists seeking to grow their audiences and take their sales to the next level, artists interested in working full-time making and marketing their work, those considering becoming artists and selling their artwork for the first time.
What ABI offers that differentiates it from existing programs/seminars/workshops:
- A curriculum created specifically to address marketplace skills needed by artists. A curriculum that is centered in experiential learning. Participants will practice what they will be taught and coached into mastering the skills.
- The creation of a cohort that functions as a source of networking, collaboration and peer review.
- Reduced-rate services offered by the professionals who will be instructing the participants (printing, graphic design, tax preparation).
- The possibility of mentoring by one of the core coaching team, a group of 4-5 professionals who teach over the entire length of the program, offering continuity and the possibility for relationship building with the participants.
Program details: ABI will begin with an overnight retreat in mid-January 2014. Participants will meet the core teaching team, the program director and be given an orientation. The primary coursework will be two-three regular meeting times per month for a total of 80-100 contact hours for the duration of the institute. Additional lectures/social gatherings will be added to the coursework calendar to take advantage of partner resources (artist lecture at NAU, visiting artist offering portfolio review, etc.) A website, scheduled to launch in July, will be the central information and application site.
Learning by doing is the core of ABI. While lecture and panel discussions will be a component, practicing the skills you will be taught is the fundamental means of learning. Our aim is real and practical preparation. We believe the best way to learn a skill is to be shown how to do it. Then try and receive feedback. Then try again. And try again. With an open mind, genuine effort and guidance, skills can be obtained.
Proposed topic for the curriculum:
- STRATEGIC PLANNING and BRANDING: creating a roadmap with goals and measures of success, key business and management skills
- VERBAL COMMUNICATION: public speaking, presentations, pitching
- FINANCIAL LITERACY: business plans, project budgeting, intro to QuickBooks, tax preparation for independent contractors, segregating personal and artistic finances, budgeting for your life and your artistic projects, how to track deductible expenses
- PROMOTING YOUR WORK: best practices for social networking and media sharing, e-commerce, building and maintaining a website, blogs, unconventional marketing and avenues for sales
- LEGAL ISSUES: copyright, usage, contracts
- WRITING SKILLS: fundamentals of clear and effective business writing and storytelling, writing for grants, writing for the web, blog writing
- PERFORMANCE DOCUMENTATION: videography, photography, work presentation skills
- FUNDING YOUR WORK: applying for grants and residencies, working with a fiscal sponsor, forming an advisory board, making the tools of organizational fundraising work for individual artists, partnerships with venues, donors and funders
How you can help and participate:
- Offer feedback. Post a comment here. Tell artists and get their suggestions. Send Laura Kelly an email at email@example.com.
- Talk up the idea among friends. Spread the word. Spread the love. Help us to help the arts community.