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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The Artist Business Canvas Gallery Walk

The Artist Business Canvas Gallery Walk

One of the BEST activities during the Artist Business Canvas Course is the Gallery Walk.  The Gallery Walk activity is at the end of the course, and it’s where participants can share their canvases with one another, including the option to receive feedback or ask questions.  For example, it’s a great way to ask for help if you got stuck somewhere when building your canvas or to receive answers to questions like, “This is a customer segment I never thought of because I usually think of them only as a key partners, but maybe it’s a possibility.  What do you

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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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