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Artist-in-Business Trainings

Contact AES at aes@acad.umass.edu or (413) 545-2360 to set up a training in your area!

  • Breaking into Business – a 2-day intensive that focuses on fundamental skills artists MUST know to be successful.
    • Arts Marketing – a full day on marketing for the artist;
    • Business for the Arts – a full day on business skills, break-out sessions and working on segments of your business plan;
    • Advanced Topics – Refreshers or new topics for those who have completed the 2-day training.
  • Program topics include time management, sales, pricing, arts funding, fellowships, legal issues, and more.

For nearly fifty years, arts groups, state, local and regional arts agencies, higher education institutions, and others have chosen the Arts Extension Service to offer customized training programs for their artist-constituents. Select from an array of half- or full-day workshops, uniquely tailored to the needs of artists in your region. Our interactive training programs are continually revised and updated to help artists understand and stay ahead of the latest trends and resources in marketing, grants, sales opportunities, creating and maintaining an effective online presence, and much more.

Our Artist-in-Business trainings are taught by individuals who have first-hand experience working as visual artists and arts educators, gallery owners, and arts programmers who have hired visual, teaching artists, and performers. Our trainers understand your needs, as well as the needs of museums, galleries, and performing arts centers.

Select from our groundbreaking offerings, available in 1/2 day or Full day presentations and interactive, participatory exercises.  We highly recommend a 2-day combination of Artists Marketing, which includes a half-day on Online Marketing, and Business Planning for Artists.

Choose from:

Artists Marketing

Marketing is the most important tool to build awareness of your work as an artist and can help you to reach new audiences and cultivate loyalty in those you already serve. This workshop will introduce you to the fundamentals of arts marketing.  You will begin by learning basic marketing concepts, such as the “4 Ps” of marketing (product, place, promotion, and price), how to better understand audiences and build participation in your programs and services. Includes an in-depth examination of new trends and best uses of social media.  Discussion will also include how to measure the success of your efforts using analytics tools.

Online Marketing

This highly-interactive session is designed for artists who are in the beginning stages of using the internet to conduct market research and promote themselves as artists. After an introduction to basic marketing concepts, you will learn what online marketing options are available, and then examine inexpensive ways to implement online marketing and social media strategies. Sessions will include opportunities for individual artists to work on their own online marketing challenges, strategize and network with other artists.

Business Planning for Artists

Making a business plan is an essential first step to running an artist business. This workshop will introduce you to the concepts that will enable you to run a successful business.  We start with a step-by-step process for developing a business plan by providing a clear and easy-to-use template that enables you to begin - and complete - the business-planning process.  Following the workshop, we will provide additional resources to help you at every step along the way.

Funding, Financing, Fellowships

Are you an artist who is searching for a way to support your creative work, but don’t know where to begin? This intensive workshop will introduce you to the multitude of funding opportunities for individual artists, with an emphasis on grants from foundations, local, state and federal agencies, artist residencies, and other opportunities. Learn about grant terminology, how grants are structured and the specific steps you can take to research and apply for support.

Artists in the Creative Landscape

What is the creative economy/creative placemaking and how can you participate? This workshop offers a step-by-step framework for developing and implementing a successful creative economy program in your community. Based on extensive research conducted by AES, this workshop offers participants an overview of likely challenges as well as best practices in the field that other artists have used successfully.

Legal Issues for Artists

Many artists are surprised to learn how much they are affected by legal matters on a regular basis: from gallery and artist contracts to publishing agreements and copyright law. Take this opportunity develop an awareness of the legal issues that affect your artistic creations.

Artist Finance Basics

Artists often struggle with maintaining their financial systems and handle basic bookkeeping tasks. This workshop will provide an overview of financial systems and software options, inventory tracking, and discuss how to set up a basic bookkeeping system. We will also cover pricing your work and how to determine a breakeven point for your artist business.