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“Network & (L)earn” event coming for Midlands artist/entrepreneurs

Have you ever wondered what resources are available to help you start, sustain, or grow your arts-based business?  Could you use a financial boost? This is a meeting you must attend! 

  • DATE:            Friday, Sept. 21, 2018
  • TIME:            6-8 p.m.
  • WHERE:       1013 Duke Ave., Columbia (29205)
  • COST:            None (That’s right. Free!)
Seating is limited to 50, so register today! You’ll have time to network, ask questions, and hear about resources – financial and others – that can help you grow your arts-based business. Also, you will learn about the resources at Indie Grits Labs, meet a representative from the City of Columbia Office of Business Development, and hear first-hand from an artist entrepreneur who has accessed resources for business growth. This meeting is open to artists located in the Midlands region, which consists of: Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter counties. We really want to see artist entrepreneurs! WHAT ELSE: Registration is required and closes MONDAY, SEPT. 17, 2018. Click here to register for this meeting, or use the QR Code at right. This meeting is being facilitated by the S.C. Arts Commission. Special thanks to Indie Grits Labs for hosting the meeting and the Central Carolina Community Foundation, our Midlands ArtsGrowSC funding partner. For more information contact Program Director Joy Young: jyoung@arts.sc.gov.

Business pitches, ceremony close FastTrac Artists and Creatives course

The South Carolina Arts Commission, in partnership with Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Center for Entrepreneurial Success and Community Engagement, is pleased to announce the completion of its first cohort of FastTrac® for Artists and Creatives 2018. The closing ceremony will take place June 23, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. at the Midlands Technical College Northeast Campus (151 Powell Rd., Columbia). Eight artists and creatives from across the state learned from expert panelists who are practicing artists, as well as other professionals who gave incredible insights on topics such as accounting and finance, social media, business planning, intellectual property, and personal leadership. The Hub brought you the launch of this joint venture in March. Classes began in April, and school is almost out for the summer – but not before the heat gets turned up on students: The highlight of the closing celebration is "Pitch Your Arts Biz!," where the students use knowledge acquired in the course to develop a pitches for their business ventures. The winning pitch is eligible for a $500 grant award. The closing speaker is Dr. Kasie Whitener, president of Clemson Road Consulting, who will be joined by panelists Melissa L. Lindler, director for the City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities; and Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, president/CEO of LLE Construction Group, LLC. The event is open to the public, but space is limited. Please click here to email your RSVP to attend. An artist’s comment about being part of this class: "It is very gratifying to know that we artists have such a great team behind us, advocating for us and looking for opportunities everywhere to expose us to larger vistas." Want to join the next class of FastTrac® for Artists and Creatives? Click here to message Program Director Joy Young.

Tuning Up: ‘Pure magic’ at DOHS, extension for coastal artisans workshop

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


  • You might remember us mentioning that musicians from chamber ensemble Decoda, including S.C. native and cellist Claire Bryant, did a week-long residency with students at Denmark-Olar High School at the end of March. Read here about how it went!
  • Now go fly a kite. No, really! Spartanburg Soaring is back on Saturday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. And you can even volunteer.
  • Extension for coastal artisans: today is now the last chance to register for the free workshop in Georgetown.

SCAC, Midlands Tech offer new course to help creatives start a business

Announcing a new FastTrac® class geared especially for creatives! This spring, you can learn how to evaluate your ideas, position your businesses around target customers, refine your venture based on personal and professional goals and ultimately, launch your business. Attend all sessions, write a business plan, and pitch it – you could win up to $500! Through an immersive online course, participants have access to planning tips and exercises, including lessons on how to:

  • Discover how your business concept matches your personal vision.
  • Align your business concept with a real market opportunity.
  • Find your target market and discover your competitive advantage.
  • Determine the unique features and benefits of your product/ service.
  • Set realistic financial goals for your business.
  • Define your company’s brand and marketing.
  • Manage business functions and develop an organizational culture.
  • Determine the steps to profitability.
  • Identify potential sources of funding for your business.
  • Launch your business.
The course faculty are themselves artists of various disciplines, educators, and professionals representing law, finance, higher education, and business leaders who have hands-on expertise to share.  FastTrac® is facilitated by seasoned facilitator Tom Ledbetter, associate vice president, Center for Entrepreneurial Success and Community Engagement at Midlands Technical College.
  • WHEN: Every Monday from April 16-June 23, 2018, 6-9 p.m.
  • WHERE: Anywhere you can connect via web and video teleconference
  • WHO:
    • Visual artist and entrepreneur Mary Gilkerson
    • Graphic designer, photographer, and entrepreneur Dalvin Spann
    • Performing artist, author, and entrepreneur David Cutler of USC
    • Performing artist and entrepreneur Armen Shaomian of USC
  • COST: $75.00 (this is a significantly discounted rate from $150, and you can earn 3 CEU’s).
  • REGISTER: Click here to register with Midlands Technical College
The SCAC is partnering with Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education to host this class. Applicants must sign a commitment letter. Two face-to-face gatherings are tentatively planned for April 16 and May 14 from 6-9 p.m. Graduation will take place Saturday June 23, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon. Face-to-face gatherings take place in Columbia at the Midlands Technical College Northeast Campus. Contact Joy Young, jyoung@arts.sc.gov to learn more.

COURSE OVERVIEW

Creative skills can be developed into a viable business. Working for yourself, either as your only job or as a second source of income, requires planning and preparation.  You can do this if you are willing to learn, put in the time, and commit to a track of entrepreneurship. Section 1: IDEATE Assess your entrepreneurial traits and personal priorities to better understand how your business goals might be affected by your strengths or weaknesses and your personal vision. Section 2: POSITION Any good idea will remain just that — an idea — unless it finds a place in the market and earns customers. In this section, you’ll figure out just who your customers (and competitors) are and where to find them. You’ll design your business model and think about the key factors that will help you transform your idea into a business. You will learn about legal structures that are best suited to your business, and you’ll start to think about how you’ll exit your business when the time comes. Section 3: COMMIT A business isn’t real unless it is reaching paying customers and generating revenue. In this step, you’ll focus on your brand, your distribution and your sales strategy. Finally, you’ll learn how to protect your intellectual property, your business and protect yourself from legal risks. Section 4: REFINE Now that you’ve sold and distributed your product/service, you have valuable information about the assumptions you made about your customer and your market. Now is the time to refine your business before you publicly launch. In this section, you’ll measure and analyze your financial results against your previous predictions. You’ll consider what people might be needed, and you’ll think about how to protect the assets of your business. You’ll learn what advisors and boards might do to help you as you work to launch. You will think about how you might fund your business. Finally, you’ll learn how to build and communicate the plan for your business with potential funders and others. Section 5: LAUNCH You’re ready to launch your business. In this section, you’ll learn strategies for launching, leading and developing processes that will allow your business to grow. You’ll learn how to draw attention to your new business. You’ll think about your leadership style, your company’s culture and how to manage the exciting challenges of growing a business. You’ll learn about best practices in process management and identify the success metrics that make sense for your business. You’ll forecast the financial future for your company and think about how to set yourself up for success. A professional faculty includes representatives from:
  • Accounting - Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, PA
  • Sales and Marketing - McKay Consulting Group, LLC
  • Law - McNair Law Firm

About Kauffman FastTrac® Kauffman FastTrac® aims to lower the barriers to entrepreneurship by providing practical learning materials, delivered online and via teaching partners, to entrepreneurs. In doing so, FastTrac® encourages and equips more people to start businesses, contributing to increased startup activity nationwide.

Free workshop, lunch coming soon for coastal S.C. artisans

Have you ever wondered what resources are available to help you start, sustain, or grow your business? Is your business in the creative or cultural heritage industries? Are you an entrepreneur whose business intersects with, or has the potential to intersect with the tourism industry? Are you an artist looking to start a business? This is the meeting you must attend…lunch is included! Seating is limited to 40, so register today.

  • DATE:            Saturday, April 14, 2018
  • TIME:            9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • WHERE:      901-905 Front Street, Georgetown, SC 29440
  • COST:            None. (That’s right. Free!)
Meet representatives from the Arts Commission, City of Georgetown Economic Development, CommunityWorks, Conway Innovation Center, Georgetown Innovation Center, and SCORE, along with other organizations that provide resources for small business and entrepreneurs. Network! Ask questions, provide input, and participate in planning to access business resources that can help your business grow. Click here to take a business / entrepreneur needs assessment survey that will help us help you before, during and after the meeting. This meeting is open to entrepreneurs located in Georgetown and Horry counties, but also includes the contiguous counties of Berkeley, Charleston, Dillon, Marion, and Williamsburg. We really want to see artist entrepreneurs!

What else?

Registration is required; walk-ins cannot be accommodated. Limit 2 registrants per business/organization. A registration-ticket will be sent 3 days prior to the meeting via the e-mail address you provide. Register now: Click here to register for this meeting. Registration closes April 9, 2018. This meeting is being facilitated by the SC Arts Commission. Sponsors of the meeting include the SC African American Heritage Commission, creator of the Greenbook of SC; Georgetown Innovation Center; Cultural Council of Georgetown County; Coastal Carolina University; and the City of Georgetown Economic Development Office.
For more information contact Joy Young, SCAC program director for Artists Ventures Initiative and ArtsGrowSC, at jyoung@arts.sc.gov.

Just in: one last slot for a GSP artisan to grow a business

Deadline: NOON Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 ArtsGrowSC, a program of the Arts Commission, has just ONE opening remaining for an Individual Development Account (IDA) for Artisans. The IDA is a matched savings program where artists commit to saving an agreed-upon amount of money over six months, and up to one year. The Arts Commission and CommunityWorks will then match the savings at a 3:1 rate; an artist who saves $1,000 is eligible to receive a match of up to $3,000. What’s the catch? You should be serious about business planning and committed to a process for thinking about how you will grow your business. You must live in Greenville or Spartanburg counties and fall within 200% of poverty (see guidelines below). The online application through Submittable is an easy process. Create an account, answer the questions, upload your support materials, and then submit. To be considered for the ArtsGrowSC Individual Development Account, click here. Please contact Joy Young (jyoung@arts.sc.gov) for questions about ArtsGrowSC. If you need technical assistance with the online submission process, contact Cathy Lee by calling 803.734.8674. Income guidelines are as follows:

SC Arts Commission increases access to grants and loans for artist entrepreneurs

Artists Ventures Initiatives letters of intent due January 11 Artists seeking to launch or expand a business venture may apply for grants or loans designed for varying levels of business readiness. Previous Artists Ventures Initiative grantees are eligible to apply for a new Business Builder Loan program through ArtsGrowSC. [caption id="attachment_33313" align="alignright" width="325"] Christine Eadie's nearly ready gypsy wagon[/caption] Christine Eadie of Ladson is the first artist to receive a business loan through ArtsGrowSC, a partnership between the S.C. Arts Commission and Community Works, a community development financial institution (CDFI) headquartered in Greenville. Eadie will use her loan to build and upfit a gypsy wagon to support her traveling tintype photography business. Eadie received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant from the Arts Commission in 2016.

"I was ecstatic to be awarded a grant by the Arts Commission via the Artists Ventures Initiative program to purchase a travel trailer and lights to turn the trailer into a mobile studio," said Eadie.  "The funds allowed me to turn my passion into a business and I was able to travel to arts events and started reached broader audiences for my tintype work.  I was invited to other states and made more connections which led to more business. My business has grown and I have attended events in Ga., N.C., Fla., Pa, Tenn., Ky., and Ark.

"The (ArtsGrowSC) loan I recently received allowed me to build a custom gypsy wagon trailer which is a dream come true!  Most of the events I am invited to attend are historic reenactments and living history events. It made sense that a more historically accurate trailer would fit in better.  Several leading photographers in my field have reached out to me expressing their admiration of this project. I plan on adding more options to my services in the coming year and I am optimistic this new venture will bring me more business.  I am excited for the future and very grateful to be part of this program!"

Artists Ventures Initiative grants encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Individuals and collaboratives may use AVI funding to help launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project/single purchase may be awarded up to $3,500. An ongoing business venture may be awarded up to $5,000. The AVI grant program is a two-part process, with letters of intent due Jan. 11, 2018. Selected applicants will be invited to develop a full grant proposal. Find out more about AVI grants. For more information about these opportunities, contact Joy Young.

Reminder – North Columbia Pop-Up Art Show and Sale is Dec. 2

The South Carolina Arts Commission’s ArtsGrowSC program invites you to get into the holiday spirit at the North Columbia Pop Up Art Show and Sale, Dec. 2 from 2-6 p.m. at Woodforest National Bank, 3730 North Main Street, Ste. D in Columbia. Purchase one-of-a-kind gifts for special people in your life from these featured artists:

In addition to high-quality handcrafted decorative and wearable art, this family-friendly community event will feature a live band, swing dancers and beverage and food trucks. Admission is free!

Grants and loans available for new and seasoned artist entrepreneurs

Artists seeking to launch or expand a business venture may apply for grants or loans designed for varying levels of business readiness. Previous Artists Ventures Initiative grantees are eligible to apply for a new Business Builder Loan program through ArtsGrowSC. Christine Eade of Ladson is the first artist to receive a business loan through ArtsGrowSC, a partnership between the S.C. Arts Commission and Community Works, a community development financial institution (CDFI) headquartered in Greenville. Eadie will use her loan to build and upfit a gypsy wagon to support her traveling tintype photography business. "It's been a dream of mine for several years to build a gypsy-wagon style portable studio," said Eadie. "An historically  "period correct" studio is ideal for my business, because I mainly work at historic venues and events making vintage looking photographs called "tintypes" (a handmade process invented in 1851). "Being a divorced mother putting my daughter through college on my own, I simply couldn't afford to use my limited funds to invest in building a wagon.  This loan from Community Works has been such a blessing!  It has given me the boost I needed towards making my business stand out even more and set me apart from the crowd.  What I do is already unique, so I'm excited to get out on the road and travel to more and venues and events and bring my business to more people. I am excited about branching out into other areas and renting out my wagon as a digital photo booth." Eadie received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant from the Arts Commission in 2016. Artists Ventures Initiative grants encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Individuals and collaboratives may use AVI funding to help launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. A one-time project/single purchase may be awarded up to $3,500. An ongoing business venture may be awarded up to $5,000. The AVI grant program is a two-part process, with letters of intent due Jan. 11, 2018. Selected applicants will be invited to develop a full grant proposal. Find out more about AVI grants. For more information about these opportunities, contact Joy Young.

Lexington and Richland county artists may apply for Pop-Up Art Show and Sale

Deadline extended to November 17. Lexington and Richland county artists are invited to apply for the inaugural North Columbia Pop Up Art Show and Sale taking place December 2. Sponsored by Woodforest National Bank and the S.C. Arts Commission's ArtsGrowSC program, the event will feature high quality art and crafts, a live band, a swing dance, food and beverage trucks, and artist demonstrations. Click here for more information on this unique opportunity. Artist exhibitors can apply to showcase and sell their work, which must be the original work of the artist. $200 will be awarded to artists selected to participate. No commission will be taken from sales.

  • When: Saturday, December 2
  • Where: 3730 North Main Street, Ste. D, Columbia, SC 29203
  • Time: 2 - 6 p.m. (Must be available for set-up beginning at 11 a.m.)
  • Applications will be accepted between November 6 and 17.
  • There is no entry fee! 
Who is eligible? Artists must reside in Richland or Lexington county and be 21 years of age or older. What kind of arts products are eligible for the show and sale? Items sold must be the original work of the submitting artist. Artists who create wearables, home-goods, visual and craft works, as well as other one-of-a-kind products may apply. What else?
  • Artists will be notified of their selection November 21.
  • Artists must be present to set-up December 2 beginning at 11 a.m.
  • Artists will be located indoors and provided with a 2 x 6 ft. table, two chairs, display space, wireless access, and electricity. More than one free standing pedestal, rack or display will be allowed only if space permits.
  • All items must be priced for sale (prices must be visible and include taxes) and ready to be hung. Artists will be responsible for their own sales; no commission will be taken.
  • 2D submissions: All work should be limited to 4ft x 4ft. If work is framed, include the frame in the measurement. Each piece must be ready to hang; no saw-tooth hangers or string will be accepted.
  • 3D submissions: 3D pieces may be of any reasonable size, of a permanent medium and suitable for an environment with pedestrian foot traffic. If a pedestal, rack, or display is required, the artist must provide.
How to apply Applications will be accepted online on Submittable between November 6 and 17. Go to the online application. Applications must be received by midnight November 17. Free workshop - DUE TO SCHEDULING CONFLICTS, THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELED As part of this artist entrepreneurship activity, Woodforest National Bank will host a free workshop, Money Smarts for Small Business, for all artists who submit. The workshop will be held November 20 from 6- 7:30 p.m. at 3730 North Main Street, Ste. D, Columbia, SC 29203. You do not have to attend the workshop to be considered for the show and sale; however, it is highly recommended. Want to attend the workshop but not apply for the sale and show? Just email jyoung@arts.sc.gov. Questions? Contact Joy Young or more information.