Last spring, the Arizona Commission on the Arts hosted its first-ever “Art Tank” program. Art Tank is modeled loosely on the ABC TV show “Shark Tank.” The commission describes, “Arizona Art Tank is a funding initiative of the Arizona Commission on the Arts that makes strategic investments in Arizona’s best arts-based entrepreneurial ventures.” The Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship was fortunate to successfully pitch the “Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit” to the art Tank panel of judges.
The past six weeks have been devoted to putting together material for the toolkit. Part textbook, part resource guide, and part template library, the Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit will provide Arizona artists with plain-language explanations about incorporation, social media, budgeting, and more, delivered on a USB drive. There are several excellent guides available for artists who want to manage their business side more effectively (I particularly like the Center for Cultural Innovation’s Business of Art, and the New York Foundation for the Arts The Profitable Artist). But with the Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit we’re adding another level of information specifically for artists in the state. We’re also spending hours and hours hunting the web for the information Arizona artists need so that they don’t have to. Modules on planning, budgeting, finance, publicity and marketing, and incorporation have been drafted; taxes, intellectual property, and public art commissioning are in the pipeline. Many people from the arts community – most notably the public art community — have offered their assistance, for which Pave (and me personally) are very grateful.
The benefits of the toolkit are two-pronged: Arizona artists will benefit, and the Pave Arts Venture Incubator will receive all proceeds to support the development of new arts ventures in the future.
If this sounds like a shameless promotional post – you’re right! There’s no shame in promoting something I’ve been working on hard and that will benefit both Pave’s programming and artists throughout the state.