Bringing Creative Capital’s Core Workshop to Milwaukee Artists

Workshop Participants outside the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

When the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) in Wisconsin first considered hosting a Creative Capital Core Workshop, they knew the biggest hurdle to overcome would be communicating the true value to local funders. While MARN does offer professional development workshops to its 200 or so members, it had never attempted to coordinate a three-day immersive workshop like Creative Capital’s, which came with a higher price tag than MARN’s standard offerings.

“We offer a variety of programs—portfolio review, bookkeeping, some very basic things. But this just took things so much farther,” said Jeanne Olivieri, MARN’s Board Secretary. “Bringing Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program to MARN was a very unusual and very important thing for us. It was also something we had no prior knowledge about how to plan for.”  Continue reading

Postcard from Gainesville: The Creative Capital Professional Development Workshop

Last weekend, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, along with Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc. partnered with Creative Capital to offer a Professional Development Workshop to 24 artists from across the state of Florida who work in a variety of disciplines. This intensive two and a half days were a crash course in self-management, strategic planning, fundraising and promotion. The full weekend of lectures, peer critiques, one-on-one consultations and interactive exercises took place in the beautiful University Gallery and nearby classrooms at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

The workshop leaders included Colleen Keegan, Aaron LandsmanJackie Battenfield (if you’re near Sarasota, check out Jackie’s exhibition at the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery on display through February 9), César Cornejo and Beverly McIver. For more information, you should check out Jackie’s book The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love as well as the HBO Documentary Raising Renee about Beverly. By sharing their personal experiences and numerous resources, these artists and administrators provided the tools and methods that will help attendees manage the business side of their art with greater efficiency and results, allowing them to expand their skills and build more sustainable careers. Continue reading

PDP Brings Practical Tools to Artists in Nashville

The Arts & Business Council in Nashville hosted its second Professional Development Program Core Weekend workshop for local artists in late September. The workshop has been described as a ”crash course in self-management, strategic planning, fundraising and promotion.” The ABC staff asked the participating artists what they learned, and compiled this amazing video of their feedback (click Play above to watch). We’re thrilled to hear that the artists walked away with so many practical tools!

Learn more about PDP’s workshops and webinars for artists

Meet Our Newest Internet for Artists Workshop Leader, Brad Stephenson

Brad Stephenson presenting at a recent Internet for Artists workshop at the Montana Arts Council in Kallispel, MT

Brad Stephenson is our Professional Development Program’s newest Internet for Artists Workshop Leader. We think Brad has made a great addition to our team and, having just completed an amazing weekend workshop with the Montana Arts Council in Kallispel, MT, we asked fellow PDP Workshop Leader Matthew Deleget to help us introduce Brad to the broader Creative Capital community.

Matthew Deleget: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in the arts.

Brad Stephenson: I was an introvert during my middle and early high school days, and a fantastic teacher convinced me to join show choir. Singing quickly became a passion, which led to musical theater, which led to straight plays, which led me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in acting from the University of Kentucky. After spending time as a standup comedian in New York (yes, standup is an art form), I moved to Pittsburgh and completed the Master of Arts Management program at Carnegie Mellon University. My day job is digital marketing at CMU, but I continue to work on various artistic projects. I am also a grant award finalist for a film project called Reel Pittsburgh, a community-based video project focusing on the people of the greatest city in the world. Continue reading

Creative Capital and IdeaFestival: How We Fell in Love with Louisville


Ruby Lerner presenting at IdeaFestival 2010

On Friday, our Executive Director Ruby Lerner presents “Creative Capital: Art on the Edge” with grantees Liz Cohen, Hasan Elahi, Tahir Hemphill and Sam Van Aken at IdeaFestival in Louisville, KY (September 21, 10:30am, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts). This is our third year presenting on Creative Capital at this convening of global thinkers and innovators, and we’re so excited to be returning with a truly remarkable group of artists. Liz Cohen (2005 Visual Arts) is a photographer and performance artist who is best known for her project Bodywork, in which she transformed an East German Trabant automobile into a Chevy El Camino. Hasan Elahi (2006 Emerging Fields) is an interdisciplinary artist who began the self-surveillance project Tracking Transience in response to being mistakenly listed on the FBI’s terrorist watch list. He presented on Tracking Transience last year at TED Global. Tahir Hemphill (2012 Visual Arts) is a multimedia artist who created The Hip-Hop Word Count, a visualization series of data abstracted from a searchable database of lyrics from over 40,000 Hip Hop songs. Sam Van Aken (2009 Emerging Fields) is an installation and new media artist whose work has most recently taken the form of grafted trees that will bear over 40 different varieties of fruit on a single tree. What a group!

I spoke with Ruby and Alice Gray Stites—Director of artwithoutwalls, Chief Curator and Director of Art Programming at Louisville’s 21c Museum and long-time friend of Creative Capital—about IdeaFestival and Creative Capital’s strong ties with Louisville.  Continue reading

Professional Development Program Presents its 200th Workshop in an Inspiring Cross-Country Weekend


In Columbus, OH, Steve Lambert, an Artist Leader for the Internet for Artists workshop, explains the importance of using Content Management Systems.

This past weekend marked our Professional Development Program’s 200th workshop! Since the program launched in 2003, we’ve presented PDP workshops with 87 community partners in 71 cities, and nearly 4,500 artists across the country have attended. PDP has been incredibly busy lately, with workshops in Puerto Rico, Ohio and North Dakota in the last weekend alone!

Creative Capital worked with Beta-Local to present our Spanish-language workshop, Taller Profesional de Desarollo para Artistas, for the second time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Continue reading

PDP in New Orleans: “A Whole New Perspective on Working as a Professional Artist”

Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program (PDP) has worked with more than 50 communities across the country to present workshops that help artists to build sustainable practices. Earlier this month, PDP travelled to New Orleans to present a Core Weekend workshop, our hallmark professional development offering that tackles strategic planning, funding your work and promoting your work. This workshop, supported by the Kresge Foundation, was hosted by the Creative Alliance of New Orleans at the Joan Mitchell Center, and the PDP workshop leaders were Colleen Keegan, Jackie Battenfield, Aaron Landsman, and three Creative Capital grantees: Beverly McIver, Andrew Simonet and Byron Au Yong.

The diverse group of 24 workshop participants, mostly from New Orleans, included 13 visual artists, seven performing artists, two filmmakers, a poet and a fashion designer. By all accounts, this was a truly remarkable group of artists and PDP workshop leaders, making for an exceptional experience. Continue reading

Creative Capital On the Road: Los Angeles, February 2012

Creative Capital welcomed our new 2012 class of grantees with a celebration at LA><ART in Los Angeles on February 24. Left to right: Jill Hartz, Lyda Kuth (CC board), Sean Elwood (CC Director of Programs & Initiatives), Mike Plante (2012 grant panelist) and Richard Herskowitz.


Ruby Lerner (CC President & Executive Director) greeted the group and introduced our 2012 grantees in Film/Video and Visual Arts. Continue reading

Tampa Tales: Performing Artists at NPN’s Annual Meeting


Kristina Wong (2006 Performing Arts) presented her new play Cat Lady at the NPN Conference in Tampa.

Despite living in Tallahassee over two decades ago, I only recently learned that Tampa is considered Gulf Coast Florida not Central Florida!  On my first visit to the city, I spent three days at the National Performance Network’s inspiring, informative and fun Annual Meeting.

Since Creative Capital is headed into a Performing Arts grant year, NPN’s gathering easily shot to the top of our annual conference attendance list this year and I served as the official Creative Capital representative. NPN is a national organization supporting artists in the creation and touring of contemporary performing and visual arts, and its annual meeting brings together over 300 performing artists, presenters and funders to discuss pressing issues in the field. One “idea forum” I attended outlined lessons learned by the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s important initiative on the issue of legacy planning among artists, while another looked at the challenges of supporting performing arts residencies. Continue reading

Dispatch from Miami: Creative Capital Artists at the Fairs


Brian Knep‘s Creative Capital-supported project, the interactive floor projection Healing, is installed at SEVEN, co-presented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts and Creative Capital.


Creative Capital hosted a family-style brunch at SEVEN on Friday, December 2 for artists, supporters and friends. Board member Stephen Reily welcomed the group. Continue reading