Recognizing individual artists as essential to the creative vibrancy of communities in the region, Artist INC provides artists of all disciplines professional development opportunities and resources to strengthen their art practices and help them build sustainable careers. Developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center, Artist INC was delivered in partnership with M-AAA starting in 2013. In FY18, responding to the ever-growing demand for support services for artists, M-AAA acquired Artist INC, ensuring a continued expansion of services and making it the arts entrepreneurship training program with the largest geographical reach in the country.
Working collaboratively with a variety of community partners including local arts councils, city governments, artist services organizations, and artist-run spaces, the signature Artist INC Live eight-week seminar is facilitated by local artists and administrators trained by M-AAA’s artist services team. In addition to training peer facilitators, Artist INC provides community partners with customized seminar materials, site visits, technical support, and longitudinal assessment. By tracking artists’ progress for up to five years after completion of the program, the Artist INC Live seminar is able to measure tangible impact on artists’ business practices and a community’s artist network.
In order to accommodate communities of all sizes and capacities, Artist INC also offers What Works, a two-hour workshop that introduces artists to the tools and methods for creating a sustainable career and the condensed Artist INC Express, a two-day workshop developed for smaller cities, universities, and discrete artist communities (i.e., residency programs, artists with disabilities).