New workshop seeks to empower artists in business

Does one need to be a starving artist to lead creative lives? From ska to dancehall, Jamaica creativity has long been solely a labor of love, with many artists never being properly compensated for their work, or washed along the wayside without industry support. It doesn’t have to be this way. The Broward Cultural Division certainly think so, hoping to help South Florida artists find balance between creative needs and financial demands with the ever popular Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI). Back by great demand, the program returns to South Florida, set for every Saturday in June at ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale. AEI seeks to empower artists, from musicians to graphic designers, on how to support their craft with smart business tactics.

Artists of all disciplines are encouraged to attend, including musicians, dancers, media/filmmakers, photographers, designers, illustrators, metalworkers, writers, jewelers and all interdisciplinary artists. Artists residing in any county are invited and welcome to attend. The program has already helped many local Caribbean artists, such as Jamaican-born photographer David Muri and Jamaican painter Peter Marshall.

Designed to help artists operate in the marketplace more successfully, the AEI course curriculum covers all aspects of developing an artistic business. It helps participants outline a personal brand, develop strategies for communicating with target markets, raise capital and identify a variety of tools for protecting one’s work legally. To date, more than 500 South Florida artists have graduated from the Institute, and many with exceptional success stories. The program includes a curriculum of 20 difference sessions over the four Saturdays, as well as the ever innovative business plan clinic and workshop, set for June 25th, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The business clinic seeks to guide participants through preparation of a simple business plan, an essential tool for any artist. In addition, participants will learn how to work effectively with lenders to obtain financial support.

To spread the word about the program, an information about AEI and its various services will be held on Monday, April4, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Studio 19 in the Pines, Pembroke Pines. To RSVP to attend the event, as well as learn more about the program, go to broward.org and view the Artist as an Entrepreneur webpage for more information about the course and its history.

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