Artist Inc FAQ

What is Artist INC?

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. 

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

How long is the seminar?

Artists convene for three hours, once a week for eight weeks.

How many artists can participate?

An Artist INC seminar is limited to 25 participants.

How are artists selected?

Artist INC participants are selected through a competitive application process. The seminar is open to artists (not enrolled in a degree-seeking program) of any discipline at any point in their careers. A panel of community professionals and peers convenes to select the cohort.

How can I apply to be a selection panelist?

Apply here to be a selection panelist for a program of Artist Services at Mid-America Arts Alliance, a division of Professional Development.

Do artists pay anything?

A nominal fee from each artist is recommended for participation to ensure a high level of commitment and engagement. We recommend $150 per participant. (The Program Partner collects and retains these fees to offset local program expenses.)

What do artists gain from the seminar?

  • Tools and skills in business planning, communications, finance, law, and technology.
  • An increased knowledge of and ability to access local and national art business resources.
  • A strategic artist’s plan for pursuing, marketing, and sustaining one’s art.
  • A long-term network of cross-discipline, diverse artists to provide peer learning and support into the future.

Who teaches the seminar?

Facilitated learning is the Artist INC methodology. Six local artists are selected to serve as Artist Peer Facilitators for the seminar. Program Partner staff serve as administrative coordinators.

The three-hour weekly fast-paced class is structured to provide multiple means of engagement to tap into artists’ interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn. Using a flipped classroom model, artists participate in hands-on activities, large group discussions, multimedia presentations, games, small group conversations and weekly challenges focused on direct application of class concepts.

Who makes a good Artist Peer Facilitator?

  • Facilitators should represent a variety of disciplines. You may have two or three visual artists, but they should be in different fields of visual art. (Communities have different discipline distributions and facilitator selection should reflect that distribution as much as possible.)
  • Your Facilitator group should be diverse across a variety of dimensions including race/ethnicity, gender, age, and arts business model.
  • Selected facilitators must be able to meet the requirements outlined in the Facilitator Responsibilities document. Of particular importance is Facilitator’s ability to commit to attendance at the training weekend and all eight sessions of the seminar.
  • Artist INC is based on peer modeling—facilitators should be artists whose own practice and career serve as a model to participants. Desired qualities of facilitators:
    • Humility: they need to be willing and able to share their personal struggles with their art practice.
    • Understand the importance of the business end of their practice: they do not have to have all of the business pieces for their personal art practice complete (i.e. website, artist statement, etc.), but they have to acknowledge the importance and be willing to work towards completion as a part of this process.
    • Mid-career: they need to practicing artists that have worked in their disciplines for at least seven years. They do not have to be generating all of their income directly from their art practice.

What services does the program provide and what is the cost?

Mid-America recommends delivering three Artist INC seminars over a three-year period to maximize the impact on the local artist community.  The cost of Year 1 is $30,000 and you receive the following services:

  • Facilitator and administrator training weekend in Kansas City.
    • M-AAA subsidizes all travel, food, and lodging expenses for six peer facilitators and two administrators.
  • Ongoing remote training for peer Facilitators
  • Application management
    • Artist INC program staff sets up and manages all artist applications and the panel process including creation and hosting of your application on the Submittable platform, and assigning applications and providing instruction to panel members.
    • Preparation of materials for panel meeting
  • Onsite assistance
    • Artist INC staff will run your application panel
    • Artist INC provide staff to present 2 “What Works” workshops in your community to be used to recruit applicants for the seminar
    • Artist INC staff will attend and assist with the first, fourth, and final session of the seminar.
    • Artist INC staff will be onsite to assist with the first session
  • Customized session materials
    • participant workbooks (25 sets)
    • facilitator and administrator training manuals (8 sets)
    • PowerPoint presentations
    • pocket folders
    • supplemental digital materials for distribution throughout the seminar
  • Additional seminar supplies
    • customized nametags
    • branded tote bags and pencils
    • table caddies
  • Assessment
    • pre- and post-seminar surveys
    • One, two, and five-year longitudinal surveys
    • post-seminar survey and longitudinal reports
  • Partner Services
    • pre-seminar administrative assistance
    • weekly administrative services during seminar duration
  • Promotional Services
    • promotion and dedicated page on Mid-America Arts Alliance website
    • press release, print, and digital communications templates
    • dedicated Artist INC Facebook group for your community
    • program design for Session 8 final presentations

Program Partner Organization

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), a nonprofit regional arts organization, strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our six-state region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas) and beyond. Since 2013, M-AAA has delivered Artist INC, a transformational professional development opportunity for individual artists, to communities throughout the region (Austin and Houston, TXArgenta and Springdale, ARKansas City, MOLawrence, KSOklahoma City and Tulsa, OK; and Omaha, NE.)