Assets for Artists is thrilled to introduce our 10 new Rhode Island artists! Thanks to generous funding from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Assets for Independence Program of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, A4A has rolled out a second round of programming in Rhode Island, this time with a focus on artists in rural Rhode Island communities.
We’re excited to be back in Rhode Island program and working with these dynamic artists. This group of creatives makes ceramics, illustration, visual art, restored furniture, jewelry, photography, and sculpture!
This spring, our new entrepreneurs jumped right into the program with an intensive series of A4A’s professional development workshops, customized especially for rural Rhode Island artists. They began in April with our all-day financial bootcamp led by Arthome’s Esther Robinson. Over the span of 8 hours, the workshop covered a staggering range of topics – attitudes toward money; strategies for saving, budgeting, and growing income; credit; work-life balance – and left artists reeling with big thoughts.
A few weeks later, our new A4A artists completed their business planning session with business counselor Sarah Guerette of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. Sarah spent seven hours with our participants to aid them in developing and implementing a strategic business plan. This interactive workshop for artists in all media covered the fundamentals of arts marketing, equipping participants with the skills needed to develop a personalized marketing plan. Sarah has worked with A4A extensively to develop a custom program focused on serving the needs of our self-employed artist-entrepreneurs. Participants leave the class with tangible business model canvases that they can keep and continue to work on as their business grows.
Also on the docket: Arts Marketing 101 with by Deborah Obalil, director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design. This two-part workshop helped participants better understand their arts business, increase their base of support, and learn how to achieve their overall career goals. Discussions included branding, target audience, communications and promotions strategy, action planning, tracking & evaluation!
The final workshop in the series was Jim Grace’s Legal Training for Artists. Jim is director of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. The workshop focused on the art of negotiation, licensing, copyright and contracts — providing our artists with a new understanding of their legal rights and obligations as creative entrepreneurs.
In the upcoming months, A4A will work with our new entrepreneurs on accessing working capital (through matched savings accounts) to invest in their growing businesses. We’ll also keep in touch to help our artists continue to refine their business plans. Stay tuned…. exciting developments are underway!
Meet them here, click their picture to visit their website, and keep an eye on the blog for daily spotlights about each artist and their work: