The CHF Business Accelerator Program
How Working Artists Become Thriving Artists
Artists are the ultimate entrepreneurs...
...but they lack access to the kinds of incubator and business-development programs that are widely available to technology start-ups and other small enterprises. Art schools rarely teach business skills, but these are essential if artists are to take charge of their careers, and navigate an industry rife with predatory middlemen who are looking to exploit their lack of management experience.
“Art is not a charity,” says CHF Director Elizabeth Hulings, “and artists deserve every opportunity to earn a living from their work. To do this, business expertise is just as vital as creativity and artistic technique.”
How it Works
CHF has given me the push I needed to get my work out there and I now feel I have the tools and information to turn my practice into a business. I now have a lot more awareness of what’s needed to have a successful art career.
CHF's Business Accelerator Program is a year-long, intensive course of business study for visual artists that's designed to impart the necessary business training to succeed as entrepreneurs and make a complete living through the creation of their art.
Fellows in the program receive customized business training, publicity, network-building opportunities, and one-on-one support to boost their careers and help make their businesses self-sustaining.
The program consists of broad strategic workshops and labs delivered by remote technology (a laptop or desktop computer is required!), and provides participants with practical knowledge that’s actionable in the real world, including information about how to develop a business strategy, build a compelling brand narrative, find buyers for their art, negotiate contracts, handle copyrights, communicate more effectively, and manage their finances and taxes.
Each workshop is led by an expert in the pertinent subject matter, and the labs are deep dives that include extensive time for Q&A, allowing our Fellows to obtain feedback on their specific questions and hear the perspectives of their peers.
Get Ready to Accelerate Your Career
Following our call for Fellows, a total of 20 working artists will be selected to receive FULL TUITION for our Business Accelerator, as well as individualized guidance from the expert on CHF's educational team.
Our next call for Fellowship applications will take place in September 2018, after which we will select the working artists who will join CHF's 2019-2020 Accelerator class.
Between application periods, our Learning Portal remains open year-round, and it's full of valuable business resources and insights from successful artists, art-industry leaders, and business experts.
For information on eligibility requirements and the selection process, please visit our guidelines page. For additional background on how the program was developed read this interview with our Director of Education.
Some of the Opportunities Participants Receive
Program participants gain access to a host of benefits:
- Full tuition to participate in CHF’s live web-based Business Accelerator workshop course, facilitated by experts in the art industry and critical business disciplines
- The customized support of CHF’s Business Accelerator team, group Q&As, and powerful individual consultations with experts in the business of art, business growth, and strategy
- An art-business toolset that includes access to our full media library, including previous Accelerator workshops
- PR exposure via CHF’s digital media and social/PR channels, including training on brand messaging and how to respond to journalist queries
- Introductions to industry leaders (e.g., successful artists, gallerists, collectors, etc.); invitations to regional/local events (as available); and referrals to CHF’s core stable of vetted professional partners
- Opportunities to collaborate with other artists in shaping the program so that it addresses the challenges they all face as they grow their art businesses
CHF has pushed me way out of my comfort zone and into a new reality. Tools---tools change everything....And I’ve only just cracked the shell of what’s possible... My sales have significantly improved because of all of the work I have done with CHF.
In Their Words
Comments from 2018 Business Accelerator Fellows
CHF has broadened my mind to how my art is relevant and how I make money from it. What’s been great about this whole process is creating momentum, which involves all of my peers, and an ongoing evolution of business concepts and how they relate. My goals have evolved.
CHF has totally rewired my brain. I now think of both cost and opportunity potential for everything I consider doing in my business. I used to think small but am baby stepping my way toward being a bold businessperson and active artist community builder/member.
Accelerator Fellows & Alumni
You Can Hear These Artists Saying "Carpe Diem!"
2018 Senior Fellows
In the Meantime . . .
You Should Be Listening to The Thriving Artist™ Podcast.