The Challenge Facing Today's Visual Artists
Artists are among the most geographically and ethnically diverse workforces in North America, with more overall education than the total work population, but generate lower overall earnings and struggle to sustain enough annual business. Why?
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CHF Solves This
The CHF Business Accelerator Program is a one-year program of business education for working artists. Our Fellows plan pivotal business projects, produce an Investment-Grade Proposal, and develop a business skill set that is designed to serve them throughout their careers.
Self-Directed Digital Learning
CHF's digital learning portal provides education in formats working artists already consume–portable podcasts distributed through iTunes and other syndicated networks, blog post Q&As, socially disseminated expert columns, and videos. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we add the engine of pivotal business learning.
CHF partners with arts and business organizations that have a strong local or regional presence to bring face-to-face entrepreneurial learning to working artists where and when they need it most. The result is a growing network of partners and resources that ensures widespread reach for crucial labs, workshops, and training.
In addition to jointly-sponsored events, CHF licenses digital learning and provides sponsored Fellowships to extend the effectiveness of art and business organizations that have an educational mission. By providing drop-in educational expertise, services, and content, our mission is also exponentially extended.
In Their Words
“I have seen how important business skills are. I have learned that art has to be a business, or the artist cannot survive to create…”
“I don’t want to piece my business understanding together from a bunch of different resources. I want to have a sense of continuity in my business strategy from here on out.”
“It took years to come to the realization that my art was monetarily valuable to those around me. I support my patrons through my visual interpretation of the world, and they support me by buying my art. It is a mutually beneficial relationship.”
“My goal is to be the finest artist I can be and be professionally recognized as well as fairly compensated. [CHF’s Accelerator] is truly supporting a deeper effort in me to keep evolving in this direction.”
“Artists who try to go it alone often stop making their work. It’s just too difficult, and there’s so much business stuff to navigate that does not get taught in art school … When you’re in a group of artists, the camaraderie helps.”
“…The creation and sale of art is a business. I still wish that everything I make could magically sell itself, but I know that it cannot and that I need to do the work to make it happen…”
“I was trained in traditional drawing methods. Running a business and making your art business sustainable—that’s a whole other skill. I really appreciate that there’s this training with CHF on the business side.”
“….We’ve been taught that art and business cannot coexist. This is a damaging and incorrect perception. A working artist needs to be a businessperson.”
“Some artists believe that turning their practice into a business jeopardizes their artistic integrity and autonomy … I believe that with strong business practices and confidence in my artwork, the two can work hand-in-hand to support my professional and artistic goals.”
“After several workshops, I have realized that I am learning a much broader spectrum about the business aspects of being a professional artist.”
“[Thanks to the CHF grant,] I was able to have my work professionally framed for exhibition, creating a long-term value that benefits the work and my practice.”
“If I invented a shoe that helps people’s feet feel good, people would not knock on my factory door asking to buy them. I don’t know why an artist should think that others will intuitively know how to find them … There simply must be marketing and communication.”
“CHF’s Business Accelerator Program has given me the opportunity to review, evaluate, and develop my art business through different channels, from business strategy, marketing, sales, legal, to financial planning.”
“Feedback from the artist is included in the program so that future sessions are actually built around the questions that the artists have, which make the sessions very relevant to the artist; they certainly have been relevant to me.”
“[Thanks to CHF’s support,] I was able “to expand into the Tri-State area, not just locally… but to begin to broaden my horizons as an artist and to reach a new audience.”
“Art certainly is a business (though one that’s unlike any other), fraught with risk and uncertainty. I feel a strong sense that my work needs to be in the public eye, for sale, in order to be relevant…”
“[Because of the grant,] I was able to purchase the quality and quantity of materials that allowed me to push my studio practice to a level that continues to challenge me.”
Art is a business. You have a vision for your career, but you need business training to succeed. CHF equips working artists with formal business training, self-directed digital learning, and periodic local/regional learning events. Explore your options.
The opportunities are limitless. CHF attracts enthusiastic working artists who are interested in your mission as well as ours. We collaborate with arts and business organizations in ways that extend your reach and amplify our mutual effectiveness.
Working artists are the untapped economy of work and beauty. By supporting CHF's mission, you fill the world with thriving, self-sustaining visual artists who beautify our culture and fortify our economy. Every dollar creates change.
This Month at the Clark Hulings Fund
Tune in to The Thriving Artist Podcast
Several times per month, we interview artists, collectors, and art-industry experts on topics that impact the careers of working artists.
Listen / Subscribe on Your Favorite Platform
Tell your favorite collector about this once-in-a-lifetime piece!
Glenna Goodacre has collaborated with the heirs of the Clark Hulings estate, Mary and Elizabeth Hulings, to support the Clark Hulings Fund with her final new work—a bas-relief of an iconic Clark Hulings drawing—"Helping to Push". This unprecedented collaboration, which includes both artists' signatures, is quintessential Goodacre interpreting Hulings at the height of his powers. There will only be 25 of these limited-edition works. For those in the market for really scarce art, this is a rare opportunity to own the joint work of these two preeminent American artists [more].
In February, each Fellow created & honed a viable business objective.
February was an incredible month. CHF's Business Accelerator Fellows engaged in a core workshop, participated in an interactive lab, and took one or more electives on sales and marketing. Each Fellow created and honed a viable business objective. This month, they'll be drafting effective milestones for achieving that objective as part of an Investment-Grade Proposal. They've also completed a financial analysis as part of CHF's data-driven educational research, and a promotional survey designed to identify suitable PR opportunities for each Fellow throughout the year-long program. With 6 facilitators, 5 Personal Project Managers (PPMs), 10 program developers, and 20 Fellows, it's an amazing coalescence of talent.
Our Programs Depend on Your Gift
Working Artists already have a job. They aren't looking for a handout. But to become self-sustaining, thriving artists that fill the world with art and fortify our economy with lifelong careers, they need BUSINESS training. YOU can launch a dozen businesses.