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Artist Inc

What is Artist Inc Des Moines?

Artist INC Des Moines is a professional development opportunity for artists working in all creative disciplines. The program provides cutting-edge training seminars that address the specific daily business needs and challenges artists of all disciplines face.


The Artist INC program emerged as the catalyst for delivering on the community's recognition of the vital role arts play as an economic engine and key driver to enrich the cultural vitality of the region. This recognition is grounded in the Central Iowa Regional Cultural Assessment that supports the Capital Crossroads vision plan. Identifying individual artists and creative entrepreneurs as one of the cornerstones of Des Moines' arts and cultural ecosystem, the assessment identified "Strengthening the Creative Economy by developing the talent and skillset of creative entrepreneurs and artists as one of the four cultural priorities." The program represents a formalized step toward advancing Des Moines Arts Festival’s top strategic priorities to serve as a cross-discipline artist service organization, acting as a nexus for capacity building within the creative community, coordinating relevant programming, administering communication, and ensuring equity and inclusion using arts as a catalyst.

The Details: Artists engage in an eight-week training seminar led by a team of five trained peer facilitators, and designed for up to 25 participants who are selected through a competitive panel process that looks at quality of work, readiness for the program, and diversity of the seminar cohort to ensure diversity and inclusion in all its definitions including demographics (gender, age, and ethnicity) and artistic discipline (including visual, performing, literary, and film). Artists learn and grow together through artist facilitator mentoring, small group application activities, large group discussions and multi-media lectures. Participating artists learn business skills relevant to their art practice and apply those skills cooperatively with the peers.

Building a strong, supportive community of artists is one of the goals of the program. One-on-One Coaching is embedded in the core Artist INC program. Utilizing the Artist INC staff and Artist INC Des Moines Peer Facilitator team, in-depth arts business counseling sessions are provided to all Artist INC Live Fellows first as a part of the seminar experiences and then by request post seminar.


Artist INC Des Moines sessions include the following content:

  • Your Map: Strategic Planning and Goal Setting
  • Your Story: Strategic Communications and Building a Personal Brand
  • Your Public: Writing About Your Work
  • Your Money: Budgets and Financial Planning
  • Your Value: How to Fund Your Practice
  • Your Plan: Artist as Solopreneur
  • Your Presence: Public Speaking and Online Presence
  • Your Work: Sharing your Work with the Public
Up to 25 participants are selected through an application process. Applications will be available on our website, November 16, 2020 - January 15, 2021.

Artist INC is a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), a nonprofit regional arts organization that strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout a six-state region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas) and beyond. Des Moines will be the first community delivering Artist INC outside M-AAA's region.

The emergence of Artist INC Des Moines and its initial launch in Des Moines is made possible because of the generous contributions from:

Nationwide

Bravo Greater Des Moines

Mid-American Energy

Principal

G David and Trudy Holman Hurd Fund

Iowa Arts Council

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs


How did we get here?

Since the 2017 release of the Americans for the Arts Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 and the Central Iowa Regional Cultural Assessment, both Bravo Greater Des Moines and the Des Moines Arts Festival® have been using the data to drive organizational plans. Believing strongly that the arts are good business and that our region could do more to support individual artists, the two organizations pooled resources to hire artist and arts business strategist Chris Dahlquist. Dahlquist was charged with conducting a feasibility study that would lead to an action plan for a professional development and capacity building program for regional artists of all disciplines.

The results are included in the Action Plan for Professional Development and Capacity Building Programming for Individual Artists in Greater Des Moines ( Action Plan) . The Action Plan presents key findings and recommends initial tactics to strengthen the support and economic prosperity of artists in our region. Included in the Action Plan is implementation of Artist INC.


about artist inc

Artist INC history:

Since 2009, Artist INC has filled a demand for professional development for artists. In 2012, at the invitation of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Artist INC became one of a select group of programs across the country as part of its "Marketplace Empowerment for Artists" program. While the community of practice for artist professional development has grown through Tremaine's initiative, Artist INC remains the only stand-alone program in the Midwest region dedicated exclusively to artist entrepreneur training. In 2013, Artist INC became a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, acquiring the program fully in 2017. For more information, go to artistinc.art.

This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, Inc., and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Acknowledgement also is extended to the UMKC Innovation Center, a Founding Member of Artist INC.

about mid-america arts alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout the region and beyond. For more information, go to maaa.org.

Artist INC Live is a training seminar designed to address the business needs and specific challenges of artists of all disciplines. Participating artists learn business skills relevant to their art practice and apply those skills cooperatively with their peers.


Artist INC is a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), a nonprofit regional arts organization that strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout a six-state region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas) and beyond.
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