4elements delivers arts business webinars

MANITOULIN—The business of art can be a challenging hurdle for most artists; being focussed on their creative processes, the commercial side can be daunting. The Manitoulin’s own 4elements Living Arts and WorkInCulture have come together to provide a webinar series that hopes to bridge that chasm for local artists.

“We had FedNor funding through LAMBAC last year to put on a series of courses,” said 4elements Executive Director Sophie Edwards. “We have managed to leverage that to help put together this series.”

“We at WorkInCulture have partnered with 4elements Living Arts in Kagawong to bring a free learning series to artists on Manitoulin Island,” said WorkInCulture Marketing Coordinator Mandy McNeil. “It is a five-week series that provides skills in starting and/or managing your own creative career or business.”

The courses are free to attend and advertised in The Manitoulin Expositor. Each session includes: a 45-minute webinar on a business skill development topic for artists; an opportunity to network with artistic peers from the local community; one-on-one time with a career counselor from your local business centre; opportunity for personalized feedback on your own business needs and issues. These courses take place Wednesdays in March and April, 12:30 to 1:30 pm at the 4elements gallery, 91 Main Street in Kagawong.

“People can also log in from their own home,” said Ms. Edwards, “you just have to log in at workinculture.ca/Our-Programs/Webinars.” The free course is a $175 value, and registrants will qualify for a 50 percent discount on other WorkInCulture E-Learning courses.

“The great thing about these courses is that they are specific to artists,” said Ms. Edwards. “There are nuances to the artistic community that might not be addressed as well in more general course offerings.”

The courses include concepts such as ‘Plan for Success: Business Development for Artists’ on March 25 where artist and business-person Monica Schut provides practical advice to Northern artists on growing a business to ensure its future success. The instructor helps participants reflect on the importance of planning, the features of self-employment in the arts, and how to get a good start. ‘Your Art, Your Brand: Social Media & Marketing for Artists’ runs on April 1, 2015, and covers the touchy subject of how to sell your work without selling out. Led by Clayton Windatt, the course will provide tips on creating an attractive identity for yourself and your creative work as well as finding your ‘market’ whether it’s in your region or across the sea. Learn how to use marketing tools such as social media to convince others of what you already know to be true: your product is unique. ‘Before You Sign: Contracts and Agreements for Artists’ on April 8, where three dynamic presenters will provide confidence in making the right decisions when presented with a contract or agreement. Learn about the standards already in place for paying artists across Canada and how to protect yourself and your product through copyright. CARFAC Ontario Executive Director Kristian Clarke, WorkInCulture senior staff and representatives from Music and Film in Motion will be on hand for this very informative webinar for all disciplines. ‘The Price is Right: Pricing and Selling for Artists,’ April 15, explores finding somewhere to sell your work, which isn’t always easy in rural communities in the North. This webinar with textile artist Kim McBrien will explore the different avenues for selling your work as well as knowing who to sell to. This course will look at the best price for your products or services while staying true to your brand and making sure you yourself get paid. ‘Getting Started: Finding Funding for your Business’ on April 22, will have instructor Jim Blake focussing on how to find the funding in specific regions, or elsewhere, to support a business and provide the banking know-how and advice.