Home » Events » Clark Hulings Fund Business Accelerator – Fellowship Applications Open

Clark Hulings Fund Business Accelerator
VISUAL | The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists (CHF) will begin accepting applications for its 2019 Business Accelerator Program, an intensive year-long course of business study for professional working artists.

Clark Hulings Fund Business Accelerator – Fellowship Applications Open

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Date(s) - 09/01/2018 - 09/30/2018
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The Clark Hulings Fund


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The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists (CHF) will begin accepting applications for its 2019 Business Accelerator Program, an intensive year-long course of business study for professional working artists. Through this innovative web-based program, currently in its fifth year, the national nonprofit organization is transforming the art industry by providing visual artists with the business training they need to succeed as entrepreneurs and make a complete living through the creation of their art.

A total of 20 Fellows will be selected to receive free tuition for CHF’s 2019 Business Accelerator, which will provide them with customized business training, network-building opportunities, publicity, and one-on-one support to boost their careers and make their art practices self-sustaining. At the end of year one, each Fellow will have established a viable business objective and developed an “investment-grade” business plan for an entrepreneurial project that furthers the objective. A select group of the 2019 Fellows will be chosen to continue on to the program’s second year, during which they will work directly with the Accelerator team to hone their skills, ensure accountability, and capitalize their proposed projects.

With this groundbreaking program, CHF is filling a vacuum that exists in the art industry. Art schools rarely teach business skills, but these are essential if visual artists are to seize lucrative opportunities in a timely manner, and navigate an industry rife with predatory middlemen who foster artists’ dependency by exploiting their insecurities about their business acumen. To thrive economically, artists must fund and operate their businesses, often on a shoestring budget, while creating salable work that still realizes their creative vision.

Visual artists are fully capable of achieving these goals, but they just need access to the right resources and skills. CHF’s comprehensive Business Accelerator Program provides all this and more. Through the program’s monthly workshops, interactive labs, and required assignments, participants obtain practical training that’s actionable in the real world.

They learn how to:

  • Develop a business strategy.
  • Hone their brand narrative.
  • Be proactive about marketing.
  • Find buyers for their art.
  • Negotiate contracts.
  • Handle copyrights.
  • Communicate more effectively.
  • Manage their finances and taxes.

Every session is led by a subject-matter expert, and labs include extensive time for Q&A, allowing the Fellows to get feedback on their specific business questions and hear each other’s perspectives.

Fellows also receive free all-inclusive access to CHF’s comprehensive digital learning portal, which delivers business education to artists in formats they already consume—learning videos and tools, expert columns, Q&As with leading figures in the art world, and podcasts that are distributed through iTunes and other syndicated networks.

Although the educational components form the core of the Business Accelerator Program, participants also gain publicity for their work—through CHF’s The Thriving Artist™ podcast, social-media accounts, press outreach, and other channels—and, even more importantly, they build a powerful network of allies via their peers in the program. Being a visual artist is often a solitary pursuit, but CHF Accelerator Fellows communicate with each other directly on an ongoing basis through workshop and labs, a closed Facebook group for current and past Fellows, and other one-on-one and small-group interactions.

Beyond training, funding, and personalized support, CHF’s pioneering program also gives artists something that’s more intangible but just as crucial: a new outlook on their businesses, and the confidence that they have both the right and the ability to break out of the boxes in which they’ve been penned. “Those walls exist only to serve the gatekeepers who built them,” says CHF Director Elizabeth Hulings. “We’re here to knock them down so that artists are free to act in their own best interests, individually and collectively.”

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