Something that I learned a couple of years ago when I attended a weekend-long professional development workshop for artists is how desperately many of us need these kinds of services (and we don’t even know it!). Many other careers consider professional development an integral part of success: somehow, in the arts, there remains this bizarre romantic notion that success happens by magic because artists are special creatures, and acknowledging that this is a career, not just a life-pursuit, might compromise the mystique of what we do.

Granted, many of us have long been leery of cheesy Anthony Robbins-style corporate motivational seminar hokum, which never looked all that related to our endeavors. And granted, some creative personalities really don’t want or need PD. But for many others, it might have made things a whole lot easier a lot earlier if the process were demystified a bit, by other folks from within the arts.

Most of us who did that workshop (run by fellow artists and creatives from Creative Capital‘s professional development program) were overwhelmed by how much it helped, and how little we knew (about what we didn’t know we even needed to know): at the time, I remember feeling like we had all just been air-lifted out of our own chaos! It felt way more like liberation than indoctrination, that’s for sure.

I’ve been thinking about a Seth Tobocman quote lately, which was intended in a slightly different context:
“You don’t have to fuck people over to survive.”
To paraphrase:
You don’t have to fuck people over or self-sabotage your life as an artist to succeed, either.

Therefore, it’s truly splendid news that the Center for Cultural Innovation and the San Francisco Creative Capacity Fund are supporting a number of affordable workshops for artists and arts orgs to learn how to grow and sustain themselves more capably.  (I’m going to the Strategic Planning workshop this Monday the 27th: hopefully, I’ll see some of you there?)

Some of the offerings are below: a more comprehensive list of California workshops are here, at the CCI website, and local Bay Area workshops  here, at the CCI/SFCCF website.


Strategic Planning for Individual Artists:
From Vision to Reality

Amy Kweskin

Evolving your arts business begins with articulating goals that are ambitious, inspirational and accomplishable. You will learn how to use coaching tools that provide a foundation to the strategic planning process, keeping it grounded and solution-focused.

This workshop will cover:

* Strategic planning
* Mind-mapping, past, present and future
* Articulating goals in your stretch zone
* Using the GROW3 coaching tool to create a plan
* Thinking partnerships: peer coaching

Date: Monday, April 27, 2009
Time: 6:30-9:30pm
Location: SF State, 835 Market Street, 6th floor, San Francisco 94103
(next to Westfield Shopping Center, Powell Street BART/Muni stop)
Cost: $35 (BOA / CCI Members) / $40 Non-members


Marketing 101: Creating a Marketing Plan that Works for You
CCI’s Marketing Plan Seminar for Individual Artists

Nancy Hytone Leb

Marketing is the key to developing any business. You know you need to do it but where do you start? Understanding the basic fundamentals and creating a marketing plan is the first step. In this 2-day workshop, you will begin to:

* Explore strategies that will help you identify your target audience
* Learn to communicate what your work is about
* Analyze the ever-evolving list of marketing tactics so you can determine the most strategic way to reach your audience.

We will cover the planning process in detail and provide you with definitions, concepts, tools and resources that you will need to create a marketing plan that meets your needs as an artist entrepreneur.

Dates: Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28
Time: 6:30-9:30pm
Location: SF State, 835 Market Street, 6th floor, San Francisco 94103
(next to Westfield Shopping Center, Powell Street BART/Muni stop)
Cost: $105 (BOA / CCI Members) / $120 Non-members

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