With the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effect on practicing artists, Assets for Artists (A4A) has redesigned its business and financial education programming to provide artists with recovery-focused, distance-learning opportunities that largely retain the intimate cohort-focused style of in-person workshops. Let’s come together to discuss current challenges, relief efforts, and opportunities for artists’ financial futures.
All workshops are FREE and held via Zoom, with pre-registration required to keep the webinar cohorts at a size that maximizes participation and peer support.
WORKSHOP REGISTRATION PRIORITIES: All workshops are open to Massachusetts artists at all stages of their career. For some workshops, space will be limited, and your registration is not guaranteed to be approved. Please be aware that priority will be given to:
1. Artists whose practice best matches the focus of the training.
2. Artists of color. A4A recognizes that the dire impacts of the pandemic have disproportionately affected BIPOC communities, and A4A’s 2021 programming is especially focused on supporting artists of color.
Learn about accessibility services for Assets for Artists workshops and webinars.
“Crowdfunding for Artist Projects” w/ Laura Christensen
Thursday, May 13, 2021 | 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Learn tips and tricks to help crowdfund your art project. In this workshop, Laura will guide participants through the process of preparing and running a successful crowdfunding campaign, from setting funding targets, to identifying potential backers, to sharing your campaign with the world, as well as post-campaign strategies. Using the platform Kickstarter as a case study, participants will take away strategies applicable to whatever their preferred crowdfunding medium. Laura Christensen is a visual artist who paints on recovered vintage portraits. In 2019 she ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund her project THEN AGAIN, a book anthology that features thirty-one original stories and poems written in response to her artwork. Open to artists in Massachusetts.
“Navigating Housing & Studio Spaces for Artists: Know Your Rights and Resources” w/ Ngoc-Tran Vu and expert guest speakers
Wednesdays, May 19, June 23, July 21, 2021 | 6:00 – 7:00 PM
With the ongoing housing crisis resulting from long-standing class and racial inequities (all exacerbated by the pandemic), it can feel like an impossible task to secure stable, affordable housing or studio space in some communities. But you’re not alone, and there are strategies to make the hunt easier. In this interactive workshop, artists will learn about locally relevant housing rights and resources and hear firsthand knowledge about navigating the housing market. This workshop micro-series is led by Ngoc-Tran Vu, a 1.5-generation Vietnamese American interdisciplinary and transnational artist whose socially engaged work draws from her experience as a community organizer, educator, and healer. Additional insight provided by guest specialists in each field.
This is a 3-part series. Participants may register for all sessions or select the topic most relevant to them. Suitable for all artists. Open to artists in Massachusetts.
I. Renting and Evictions: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Focused on navigating as a renter in the current housing crisis. We will share information on the moratorium and ways to seek eviction help/defense. Guest speaker: Housing attorney Liliana Mangiafico.
Register for “Renting and Evictions” via Zoom.
II. Alternative Artist’s Living: Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Focused on exploring different housing models that artists are building for themselves and one another. We will share insights on creating and sustaining these spaces. Guest speaker: Jacqueline Cooper, President of Financial Education Associates.
Register for “Alternative Artist’s Living” via Zoom.
III. First-Time Home Buying for Creatives: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Focused on navigating the current housing market as a prospective home buyer on freelance income. We will share tips and strategies on preparing yourselves for these rewarding long-term investments. Guest speaker TBA.
Register for “First Time Home Buying” via Zoom.
“Online Sales and e-Commerce for Craft Artists” w/ Ayumi Horie and Alicia Goodwin
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Sell your handmade work online! With so many in-person sales opportunities shuttered or limited, craft artists are turning to various online marketplaces to sell their creative wares. Join a conversation with two artists who have thrived in selling work digitally. Learn how to sell on your own site or through a third party host (e.g. Etsy), how to engage customers and bring sales year round — while running a business that reflects your politics and values.
Ceramicist Ayumi Horie has been making pots for 20 years and been in business for 14. She was Ceramics Monthly’s inaugural Ceramic Artist of the Year and is currently on the board of the American Craft Council and Haystack. Jeweler Alicia Goodwin has been selling work through her shop Lingua Nigra for 17 years, with major recent success on Etsy. Her work has been displayed and sold at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, featured in Essence and on Good Morning America. Best suited for craft artists. Open to Massachusetts artists.
“The Business of Writing: How to Successfully Research and Submit to Literary Journals, Publishers, and Agents” w/ Kristina Marie Darling
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 | 2:00 – 4:00 PM
This workshop will take writers through the basics of writing convincing and persuasive pitches, as well as submission etiquette and best practices for presenting your writing to decision makers in your field. It will address such topics as crafting cover letters, writing compelling queries, how to research opportunities for your career development, strategies for building an audience for one’s work, and ways to improve the odds for your submissions. Participants will leave the workshop with a packet of resources for discovering opportunities in their chosen genre, as well as examples of successful pitches and submissions, and next steps relative to their goals and career point. Poet, essayist and critic, Kristina Marie Darling is the author of 35 books of poetry and literary criticism and the Editor-in-Chief at Tupelo Press. Best suited for writers of all genres. Open to writers across Massachusetts.
“Financial Strategies for Artists” w/ Amy Smith
Monday, June 3, 2021 | 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Financial shame gets imposed on artists by our socioeconomic structures. In this workshop, Amy Smith cuts through shame and covers the financial building blocks necessary for surviving a career as a freelancer, including personal finance topics such as debt management in a time of crisis, emergency funds, private and governmental safety nets, tax issues, and how to negotiate with lenders. Participants will leave empowered to combat the scarcity mentality and impostor syndrome ever present in the creative sector. Amy Smith is an educator and the Co-Director of Headlong Dance Theater, a Bessie-award winning Philadelphia-based dance theater company. Suitable for artists of all disciplines. Open to artists across Massachusetts.
“Elevating Online Sales” w/ Han Cao & Ayumi Horie
Thursdays, June 10 & 17, 2021 | 6:00 – 7:30 PM
(This is a TWO-part webinar)
In this 2-part webinar, artists will dig deeply into strategies to best market and engage their audiences with an eye toward direct online sales. The workshop will focus on multiple tools and methods of engagement, including: photography, the website, the email list, and social media.
In Part 1, Han and Ayumi will cover strategies and lessons learned from their own successful practices, as well as examples from other artists they admire.
For Part 2, select workshop attendees will be invited to send in examples of their own engagement strategies (websites, Instagram posts, e-blasts), and a selection will be reviewed for live feedback and discussion with Han and Ayumi and other workshop participants. Through these live critiques, all attendees can discover how to steer away from common pitfalls and how to build audience engagement within their own network.
Han Cao is a self-taught artist specializing in embroidery on found paper. She has over 100K followers on Instagram and over 5 years of experience selling through online channels. Potter Ayumi Horie was an early adopter of using the internet for business, coding a website 20 years ago and selling work online for 15. She ran the popular Instagram feed, Pots In Action, and is currently a trustee at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.
Best suited for artists who already sell work online. Open to artists across Massachusetts.
“The Basics of Building a Grant” w/ Yara Liceaga Rojas
Thursday, July 8, 15 & 22, 2021 | 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Grants and other written proposals can feel daunting without a plan. In part one of this webinar, participants will learn about developing an appropriate project for the appropriate funder and where and how to search for opportunities. In part two, Yara will cover the basic building blocks that make up a proposal, including how to get organized, what the review process looks like from the inside, and how to persevere through rejection. The last webinar of the series focuses on a project’s monetary and non-monetary needs and how to build a corresponding proposal budget. Participants will discuss how to set artist fees, as well as the barriers – financial trauma, the devaluing of the arts, and systemic inequities – that come into play when we build our own project budgets. Participants will leave empowered to fight for their worth and prepared to take advantage of creative opportunities.
Based between Boston and Puerto Rico, Yara Liceaga Rojas is a writer, performer, and independent grant-writer who works in both English and Spanish. A4A’s fundraising & marketing manager, Molly Rideout, will be a guest speaker for this workshop, as both a professional grant-writer and practicing artist. Suitable for artists of all disciplines. Open to artists across Massachusetts.
This is a THREE-part series. Participants may register for all sessions or select the topic most relevant to them.
I. Project Development & Where to Find Grants: Thursday, July 8, 2021 | 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Register for “Project Development & Where to Find Grants” via Zoom.
II. Getting Organized & Writing: Thursday, July 15, 2021 | 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Register for “Getting Organized & Writing” via Zoom.
III. Building a Project Budget & Addressing Financial Trauma: Thursday, July 22, 2021 | 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Register for “Building a Project Budget & Addressing Financial Trauma” via Zoom.
“Staying Authentic While Marketing Your Work” w/ Daniel Callahan
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 | 6:00 – 8:00 PM
They say 80% of life is showing up. How one shows up determines the rest. Whether it’s an interview, Google search, Pinterest post, TED talk or a conversation over tea, making sure the impression one leaves leads to interest, opportunity, and growth for both you and your audience is crucial. In this workshop, participants will learn some of the strategies and apply practical knowhow to promote themselves and their services with excellence and authenticity in both in-person and online spaces. Participants will leave the workshop with a fuller understanding of themselves and some tried-and-true methods for presenting and pitching their art and their practice. Daniel Callahan is an award winning transmedia artist, designer and filmmaker. In addition to running his own multimedia production company and art practice, he teaches film and video at Emerson College and The Institute of Contemporary Art. Best suited for visual and media artists. Open to artists across Massachusetts.
“The Essentials of Digital Marketing” w/ Francesca Olsen
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 | 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Francesca Olsen is a writer, musician, textile artist, and digital marketing consultant. In this webinar, Francesca will cover the basics of digital marketing for artists, including branding, audience building, effective social media, SEO optimization and website best practices. By the end of this workshop, participants will have the tools to build an online audience, evaluate what digital platforms are best for their work, use analytics to determine future decision making, and put together a marketing plan that covers multiple platforms. Suitable for artists of all disciplines. Open to artists across Massachusetts.
This page includes all Assets for Artists workshops funded by Mass Cultural Council. See a full list of Spring/Summer ’21 workshops and webinars from Assets for Artists.