Being creative and displaying their talents is usually not the most difficult task an artist must face.
Taking their finished products, marketing them, and actually making a living as an artist is, by far, their greatest challenge.
To address this issue, the Northwest Business Centre held an “ARTpreneur” conference on March 31 at the Best Western Lakeside Inn in Kenora, where artists of all types from across Northwestern Ontario were invited to be a part of the biggest gathering of the arts community in years.
Writers, dancers, musicians, and nearly every genre of visual artist imaginable gathered together to learn the business skills necessary to turn their artistic talents into a successful business venture.
The keynote speaker for the day, Judy Slivinski, spoke about the “Courage of the Artist,” explaining to those on hand that success is possible given the right skills, drive, support, and business know-how.
Slivinski was followed by Jordan L. Miller, a young female “ARTpreneur” who shared her uplifting story of success.
She spoke about the steps she took towards success; and about how her experiences at a school of art changed her life.
More than 100 people took part in day-long workshops that included such topics as successful selling strategies, art and money, funding opportunities, social media and the future of marketing, grant proposal writing, and aboriginal art.
The success of the conference really speaks to the size and enthusiasm of the arts community in Northwestern Ontario. There has, for many years, been a desire and a need for the artists in this part of the province to network and pursue the business side of their passion.
But until this event, there have been very few opportunities for local artists to do so
Rhonda Bobinski, a multi-medium artist and teacher from Red Lake, put it this way:
“As an artist, it is difficult to get resources pooled together for success, and the ‘ARTpreneur conference did that in one day, in the same building!” she enthused.
The “ARTpreneur” conference was the first of its kind in Northwestern Ontario, focusing strictly on the business needs of artistic entrepreneurs.
Painters, musicians, designers, dancers, actors, writers, photographers, filmmakers, singers, and craftspeople were educated and motivated by the energy of the speakers and workshop presenters.
The one-day conference also gave the artists an opportunity to share their experiences and to network with one another.
Most of the enlightened artists left the conference prepared and equipped with the tools necessary for them to succeed in the highly-competitive world of art.