ARTISTS FIRST!

Across the breakfast table at an Oakland cafe, my friend and colleague’s eyes fill with tears.  “I’ve been so worried about my films.  I haven’t been able to finish the last one… I miss it so much.” My own eyes blur with tears. You see, we are both founders of start-ups in the arts (no, this is not an oxymoron), and we are continually up to our eyeballs with what it takes to build profitable businesses with scalable futures while staying true to vibrant social missions. I’m the CEO and founder of ArtSpark, and Holly Million is the founder and

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ArtSpark Manifesto

ArtSpark Manifesto

The word manifesto traces its roots to the Latin manifestum, which means clear or conspicuous.  A manifesto is a public declaration of beliefs, opinions, motives, and intentions. It is often a document that organizations develop and share with constituents, declaring what is most important. A manifesto is a statement of principles and a bold call to action. Manifestos encourage people to evaluate the gap between principles and their current reality, and it challenges assumptions, fosters commitment, and provokes change. ArtSpark’s Manifesto champions artists and creators to keep the creative spark alive while making choices about participating in the marketplace.  The Manifesto

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WHERE did the Artist Business Canvas come from?

WHERE did the Artist Business Canvas come from?

Where did the Artist Business Canvas come from? At ArtSpark, we get asked this question all the time. So here’s the story…. A couple of years ago at a Start Up Weekend in ABQ, I pitched an idea that was voted on and selected by the weekend’s participants. Very quickly, a team was assembled and we dove in to the amazing and arduous process of building out a mere business idea over 36 hours and then pitching it at the end of the weekend in front of an assembled mass of people, including judges and potential investors. That weekend I

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Business Model Canvas for ARTISTS

Business Model Canvas for ARTISTS

  Six amazing artists came together for two evenings in September, creating a “Business Model Canvas” to think about how their creative work could produce income.  ArtSpark discovered the “Business Model Canvas” during the Start Up Weekend in Albuquerque last year.  After working intensely with a start-up team using the model all weekend, I quickly realized that it was the PERFECT approach for artists, artisans, designers and other creatives.  Yes, it needed to be modified so that it made sense to artists who often don’t relate to business terms like “customer segments” and “value proposition.”  Yet, the short and sweet

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ArtsLP's Success in Silver City!

ArtSpark’s Arts Listening Project travelled to Silver City on November 15, 2013 and we are happy to say we had a great a turnout and a very lively  event.  The ArtsLP seeks to discover how to best support artists, artisans, designers, and other creatives in different communities by facilitating dialogues across a wide spectrum on diverse community stakeholders.  In Silver City, a total of 15 people participated, and all 14 stakeholder categories were represented (with one additional community member/advocate). To the left is the ArtsLP model that depicts these stakeholder categories. A lot of different perspectives and viewpoints were shared throughout the

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