In October 2011, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation awarded a planning grant to three Local Arts Agencies – the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and Greater Hartford Arts Council – to develop a business skills program for visual artists.  The three agencies conducted extensive research regarding the needs and preferences of visual artists in Connecticut, as well as best practices of similar programs across the United States.

Research included:

  • Surveys from 418 visual artists in Connecticut
  • Six focus groups (2 in each arts agency region)
  • Site visits to the following programs funded under the Tremaine Foundation’s Marketplace Empowerment for Artists (MEA) programs:
    – Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston
    – Creative Capital in New York City
    – New York Foundation for the Arts
    – Springboard for the Arts in St. Paul, MN
  • A review of five additional MEA-funded programs in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Seattle
  • A review of feedback from the 2010 “Taking Care of Business” seminar series in Connecticut, also funded by the Tremaine Foundation.

The research and planning, and with continued support of the Tremaine Foundation, resulted in Make.Art.Work., a career-development program for visual artists based on curricula developed by Springboard for the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts (Boston, MA). Based on feedback from research, eight specific topics of interest were identified and  offered as independent workshops in our First Season. In our Second Season (Oct 2013-June 2014), these workshops will again be offerred in three regions of the state (Fairfield County, New Haven, and Greater Hartford), outside of business hours to accommodate artists that hold jobs outside of their artmaking. Workshops are designed for mid-career artists that are actively selling or exhibiting work.

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