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NYCEDC Launches Artist as Entrepreneur Program

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today launched the first Artist as Entrepreneur program for New York City-based visual and performing artists. NYCEDC selected the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) to manage the training programs that will equip up to 100 artists with business and management skills necessary to successfully market themselves and their work. NYCEDC provided a $50,000 grant to establish the pilot program, which is free to all participants. Artist as Entrepreneur encompasses two phases: in the first phase, up to 50 artists participate in an intensive five-day “boot camp” training program run by either NYFA or LMCC. Upon successful completion of the program, artists will be eligible to apply for low-cost studio or rehearsal space through one of the organizations to display their work and put into practice what they have learned.

“The competitive nature of today’s market, combined with the current economic downturn, makes it more important than ever that New York City-based artists be equipped with the necessary tools to establish financially sustainable enterprises,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “By providing working artists with basic business skills and facilitating access to affordable studio and rehearsal spaces, we are helping to ensure a vibrant future for the City’s vital arts sector.”

“Artists play a critical role in enhancing New York City’s economy, identity and quality of life,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. “Thanks to the Artist as Entrepreneur initiative, four terrific cultural institutions will provide artists with significant new resources and opportunities to support their work and reach audiences from across the five boroughs and beyond.”

NYFA’s Artist as Entrepreneur launched Saturday June 12th, and will continue to run on Saturday’s through July 17th at the organization’s offices in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The five day-long sessions will encompass career planning and business plan writing; marketing and networking; using the internet; fundraising; audience development; financial principles; and culminate in a final presentation before a panel comprised of NFYA staff members, the program consultants and fellow participants.

In addition, during each day of the program, artists will have the opportunity to meet individually with industry professionals to review materials and address artists’ specific needs and interests. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to apply for studio or rehearsal space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal arts incubator through Chashama, an organization created to connect artists with vacant real estate at subsidized rates. NYCEDC facilitated an expansion of the organization’s current studio capacity at the Brooklyn Army Terminal to include an additional 40,000 square feet of space, allowing Chashama to accommodate up to 75 artists.

“We are proud to have been selected by NYCEDC to administer this important project,” said NYFA Executive Director Michael L. Royce. “Artists have been especially hard hit in the current economic downturn and this program is designed to give them the skills they need to sustain them and continue pursuing their artistic careers.”

“Chashama is honored to partner with the New York Foundation for the Arts and participate in the Economic Development Corporation's Artist as Entrepreneur project,” said Chashama Founder and Artistic Director Anita Durst. “We are inspired by the EDC's effort to empower, create opportunities for, and support the NYC artist, and are excited to contribute to their endeavor by providing a portion of our newest development, Chashama's Brooklyn Army Terminal Studios, to participating artists.”

LMCC’s program, the Artists Summer Institute, is a partnership with Creative Capital that will run daily from Friday, June 25th through Tuesday, June 29th at Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center on Governors Island. A group of 50 artists were selected by lottery to participate from over 300 interested applicants. Artists will receive specialized information and training in the areas of strategic planning, business management and negotiation; internet and social media; artist websites; financial planning and management; time management; and utilizing alternative resources. Participants of the program will be eligible to apply in July for workspace through LMCC’s Swing Space program, which provides project-based residencies for visual and performing artists in Lower Manhattan and Governors Island.

“New York offers unparalleled opportunities, as well as unique pressures and challenges, for working artists. In the current economic climate, the need for customized professional support for the City’s artists is more crucial than ever.” said LMCC Director of Grants & Services Kay Takeda. “We are honored to have been selected to offer this important program, and to partner with Creative Capital to make it a success.”

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About NYFA
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) was founded in 1971 to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives. Each year we provide over $1 million in cash grants to individuals and small organizations. Our fiscal sponsorship program is the largest and most established in the country and helps artists and organizations raise and manage over $3 million annually. Our NYFA Learning programs provide thousands of artists with professional development training and our website,, received over 1.9 million unique visitors last year and has information about more than 8,000 opportunities and resources available to artists in all disciplines.

About LMCC
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has been a leading voice for arts and culture Downtown and throughout New York City for over 35 years, producing cultural events and promoting the arts through grants, services, advocacy, and cultural development programs.

Creative Capital is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects. Working long-term with artists, Creative Capital’s approach to support combines funding, counsel and career development services to enable the success of the project and the artist. Beyond the 325 projects it has funded, which represent 406 individual artists, Creative Capital has reached an additional 3,000 artists in more than 50 communities around the country through its Professional Development Program (PDP). PDP shares with the broader arts community the tools and methods developed to help Creative Capital’s grantees manage the business side of their art with greater efficiency and results. Through workshops led by Creative Capital grantees and other arts professionals, PDP helps artists expand their skills and build more sustainable practices.


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Contact Info

David Lombino/Libby Langsdorf
(212) 312-3523