The Importance of Entrepreneurial Training for Artists

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Photo: Sabrina Staires

The power and impact of the Artist INC program for the artists and communities in the Mid-America Arts Alliance region

Lisa Cordes, our director of artist services, wrote a strong case for the importance of training artists in entrepreneurial skills, using a peer-to-peer model. We publish it here as a whitepaper.

If you are looking for a passionate and well-formed argument, look no further!

Despite their diversity [individual artists], they all have the same thing in common. They need help. They work in isolation. They are largely unsupported by their local arts institutions. There is a dearth of grant opportunities for artist projects. They can’t get bank loans for their arts business. They compete in an all-or-nothing marketplace. And they carry a lot of student loan debt. They are entrepreneurial, but they operate as solopreneurs—wearing all the hats for their arts business—accountant, marketer, grant writer, technologist, fabricator, web designer, social media manager, administrative assistant. They juggle their art practices along with 9-5 jobs, academic positions, families, aging parents, and health issues. They are highly educated, many receiving art training at some of the best art schools and conservatories. But in those institutions, they were taught how to make their art work. They were not taught to make their careers work.

Read and download the full whitepaper