Saturday, June 19, 2010

What should you teach Artists?

On five Saturdays this month and next, Mr. Barman, Mr. Hinojosa and 54 other artists are attending a class paid for by the City of New York that is intended to help them turn their creative works into money.

“Does everyone have Excel?,” Peter Cobb, a lawyer and administrator at the New York Foundation for the Arts, which runs the program, asked the class last Saturday. “For next week, your assignment is to make a list of all your expenses for 2009.”

The sighs and complaints that followed were proof of the challenging task Mr. Cobb and his colleagues have taken on: trying to teach people who like to color outside the lines about drawing up business plans, budgeting and making a sales pitch...

Artists are not taught to plan,” said Jackie Battenfield, a painter and the author of “The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love.” Too often, she said, they’re “going in circles, and that’s very demoralizing.”

This is the first time the city has financed such a program, though others, like one at the Bronx Museum called Artists in the Marketplace, have long strived to help artists manage their careers.
-Creative Types, Learning to Be Business-Minded

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