Since 2009, Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Artist INC program has filled a demand for professional development for artists in the Midwestern region. 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.
“This program is immensely valuable to any kind of artist at almost any stage in their career. Even if you know, or think you know about something, different perspectives bring clarity. The network is amazing!”
Since its integration into Mid-America Arts Alliance, Artist INC has grown to encompass an entire array of synergistic programming focused on developing the entrepreneurship abilities of fine artists through the core activities of knowledge growth, resource access, peer network development, and mentoring. Artist INC programming provides artists with tailored small business development training, tools, resources, and information about opportunities for professional development and new business for their work.
Artist INC programs are ideally situated to identify and fill holes in a community’s artist support environment and position artists as integral components of an economic development agenda and creative placemaking strategy. To date, Artist INC has trained more than 1,500 artists in Kansas City and in M-AAA’s six-state service region with the core Artist INC Live seminar. Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Artist INC program continues to innovate in the area of artist entrepreneurial development and incubating programs regionally and beyond that will result over time in an expanding network of individual artist entrepreneurs.
“It’s the kind of accountability and perspective that I believe almost every kind of artist needs. So few of us had a business aspect to our education, it’s the perfect opportunity to gain that knowledge.”
Using a continuous improvement methodology, Artist INC’s programs are developed and implemented with clearly defined outcomes and systematically studied longitudinally to ensure outcome attainment, inform changes in current programming, and establish the need for additional offerings.