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MassArt Launches Free Professional Development Programs for Boston-based Artists

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Applications now open to join the eight-month Creative Economy Business Incubator Program

Boston, MA – July 13, 2022 – Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) announces new free professional development opportunities for Boston-based artists and creative entrepreneurs, fully funded by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture Workforce Development Grant announced on June 30.

The program includes:

  • 24 one-day non-credit creative economy workshops for aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs ranging from high-level introductions to tactical advice on a range of business related topics such as taxes, branding, social media, and grant writing. The calendar of workshops will be announced in September.

  • One-on-one office hours with workshop speakers to ask individual follow-up questions.

  • Portfolio reviews and critique groups for Boston-based visual artists led by MassArt graduate program faculty. Artists may sign up for a 30 minute one-on-one zoom session with a faculty member and the critique groups will be open to groups of up to four artists for two hours.

  • Space for 12 artists to enroll in MassArt’s Creative Economy Business Incubator program, an eight-month two-course program designed to teach creative entrepreneurship through the launch and growth of a student-owned venture. The application process is now open and will close August 5, 2022. Incubator faculty Sara Hartmann will host an information session Monday, July 18 at 7pm.

“For nearly 150 years, MassArt has been educating and supporting artists, designers, innovators, educators, leaders, and makers,” said MassArt President Mary K. Grant. We are thrilled to be building upon and deepening our important partnership with the City of Boston and to have this opportunity to expand access and engagement with our local and diverse community of artists and designers. We are grateful to Mayor Wu and the Office of Arts and Culture for their belief in MassArt and the power and impact of art and design. We look forward to the impact that this will have on Boston’s creative economy.”

About the Creative Economy Business Incubator

The Creative Economy Business Incubator at MassArt first launched in the 2020-2021 academic year for a mixed cohort of undergraduate and graduate students as well as MassArt alumni. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the College will offer a second section of the program to a juried cohort of local Boston-based artists and creative small business owners. Priority consideration will be given to BIPOC artists.

From September to May, the cohort will meet for weekly on-campus evening classes; the curriculum covers market research, business planning, financial forecasting, and marketing. Students complete individualized projects designed to advance their business goals and are supported by volunteer mentors including arts-based small business owners and professionals from organizations including Bow Market, Clarks, Converse, HATCH the Agency, IDEO, Iron Mountain, The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Proverb, SoWA Open Market, and Wayfair. Incubator participants will have free access to manufacturers and suppliers through MassArt’s Maker’s Row account and will have the opportunity to sell their work through MassArt’s booth at SoWa Open Market. Learn about past participants in the Creative Economy Business Incubator and their businesses.

About Entrepreneurship Professor Sara Hartmann

Sara Hartmann is an educator and arts entrepreneurship change agent. As faculty at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she founded the Creative Economy Business Incubator, a scale-agnostic program designed to support the unique needs of art, design, and cultural ventures. Sara also produces MassArt’s Creative Economy Workshop Series in partnership with the City of Boston. This series offers free business skills training and professional development for artists and designers. She has taught business and design at UMass Dartmouth, Simmons University, and Lasell College. Sara serves on the Design Museum Everywhere Council and is a member of the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education. Sara also writes and speaks about the intersection of business and art. She has had articles published in the Journal of Corporate Citizenship and Design Museum Magazine, recent conference appearances include Self-Employment in the Arts Conference (Chicago) and All Together Now: Inclusive Entrepreneurship (Boston). She holds a BFA from MassArt and an MBA from Simmons University.

Prior to academia, Sara worked both as a costume designer for theater and opera, and as a digital marketer for apparel and consumer product start-ups. Her experience moving between the cultural and innovation economies has inspired her work addressing the resource gaps faced by would-be founders in creative industries.


About MassArt

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is a public, independent institution that prepares artists, designers, and educators to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good. Since 1873, MassArt has built a legacy of leadership as the first freestanding public college of art and design in the country, and the nation’s first art school to grant a degree. MassArt offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in art, design, and art education, taught by world-class faculty.

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