Artist Sustainability Workshop Series

All workshops for 2020 have wrapped up, but you can still view our library of recordings below.

Through the Artist Sustainability Workshop Series (ASWS), the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) seeks to provide resources for artists seeking to build out their skill sets and create sustainable careers. We offer two types:

  • Professional Development- which helps artists learn how to structure their artistic practices as a business, with workshops in business planning, intellectual property, marketing, fundraising and more.
  • Craft Development- including writing, visual arts, music, and media workshops.

"Thanks you so much for providing this Artist Sustainability Workshop Series. I really appreciate all that the Bronx Council on the Arts has done, and continues to do, for the artist community." -J.G. 

"Thank you very much for this conversation. It was a great opportunity to have a healthier approach to the financial aspect of been an artist." - L.M.

2020 Workshops

Financial Strategies for Freelance Artists in a Time of Crisis

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, many are experiencing various states of financial uncertainty and anxiety.

In this online workshop, Amy Smith affiliated with Creative Capital, does a deep dive into the elements of financial preparedness, and offers resources and support to help freelance artists get through this challenging time.

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Best Business Practices: CV, Resume and Artist Statement Writing

Learn the various components of what it means to present your best self as an independent artist.

Facilitator, Natalie Caro, will lead participants through the difference between the three, providing examples and opportunities for questions along the way. Join us for this engaging workshop.

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Portfolio Basics for Exhibiting Artists and Photographers

Lead by Laura Alvarez, learn how to create an effective portfolio or enhance your current one to gain entrance into the gallery or museum of your dreams.

It is important that your portfolio catches the eye of curators before your work is installed. This session will offer the necessary tools to a successful portfolio.

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Intellectual Property

In the new age of technology, ownership of your creativity can be in constant jeopardy.

As artists, exposure of your work on popular mediums, such as the Internet, can have its negative consequences due to unauthorized usage. How do you showcase your work and still protect it? In the course, with Kathryn Wagner from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, professionals in the field of law will instruct thriving artists on how to protect the intellectual property of hard worked pieces while displaying it on popular and widely used mediums.

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*note this workshop was not recorded at the request of VLA. This workshop was a donated offering and can be found on VLA's site.*

Affordable Housing for Artists’ with Daniel Arnow from Actors Fund

This workshop has passed, but you can still view it here.

The Actors Fund and Bronx Council on the Arts are pleased to present this affordable housing seminar that aims to help participants navigate the process, and get organized so they can be prepared to apply. 

The application process is explained in simple steps and helps applicants avoid common mistakes. Information regarding income eligibility and documentation is discussed to address the specific needs of arts workers. Since many artist and other workers in the gig economy have income that is episodic, fluctuating and from several different sources, the seminar explores different methods for calculating and verifying annual household income. The workshop will also provide historical context, an overview of affordable housing programs, and updates on the City’s housing plan.

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Branding and Marketing with Michael Hamlett Jr. of The Bronx Brand

Michael Hamlett Jr. is the co-founder and managing member of The Bronx Brand, a streetwear and magazine platform that has collaborated with many artists and writers in The Bronx.

The workshop will cover the following topics:

Marketing: the process of creating and keeping customers – Artists communicate who they are through the work they produce. In order to find a clientele, they need to consider how their work would resonate with others. Once they understand how their work is being received, they can have a better sense of who their customer base would potentially be. From there, they can build a website, email list, and social media presence in order to build awareness and trust which are essential to building a business.

Branding: the message you tell the world – Artists should consider creating a clear and understandable message anyone can understand when they hear their name. This message is what distinguishes them, and should be incorporated with the art they produce as their signature.

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Artist Bio as Self Portrait with Ximena Izquierdo Ugaz

An artist’s bio is often the first piece of information to reach audience members and collectors. Your bio is important for your website, social media, retailers, galleries, grant applications, market applications and press releases.

The key is to continually update it and have different versions for varying platforms. In this workshop we will read, learn from and discuss a few examples of artist bios. Participants will have a chance to engage in a dialogue on their own questions and doubts about writing their bios. We will use free writing prompts to get us started on writing our bios and go over tips for best practices.

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 Navigating a Career in the Visual Arts with Yancey Richardson

Art industry professionals, Yancey Richardson, founder of Yancey Richardson Gallery, and Gail Albert Halban, American fine art and commercial photographer, answer your questions on how best to navigate a career in the visual arts.  

The conversation will be centered around how best to navigate the art market, gallery representation, art law, and more.

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Shadows and Inner Scenery: Transmuting Through Art with Nathalie Flo

Space to create is also space to heal, and being able to choose one before the other or both simultaneously is the artist’s superpower.

Shadow work is another among the arsenal of tools at our disposal. From our deepest fears, traumas, and most fantastical thoughts, we create worlds. But what do we do when it’s hard to find a gig, when writers block hits, or when our Instagram feed is full of people producing and we can’t even pick up paint?

In what ways can we utilize this time to build trust, community, and accountability with ourselves through transparency, wellness, and routine? How can we create a process of seeing our lives and the process of unfolding as art within itself, and good enough? Join us for a zoom conversation where we’ll dig into that, build tools and resources, engage in guided meditation, and create a bond between who we are now, and who we will be after quarantine.

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The Profitable Side of Nonprofits led by NYCON

There was a time where the most stable and viable nonprofits were those that relied on the traditional business model of contributions and government grants. In this challenging environment, dependency on the “market” forces of philanthropic and taxpayer support is not possible.

As an alternative to self-sufficiency, an area to prioritize and develop is earned revenue, where there is a direct exchange of a product, service or privilege for monetary value. Participants in this workshop will have an opportunity to discuss and learn about earned revenue and entrepreneurial strategies – the pros, cons, and preparation and cultural shifts necessary to proceed down the entrepreneurial path. The workshop will also include an overview of how to maximize the SBA Payment Protection Program loan forgiveness.

Led by New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) Founded in 1927, the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) is a 501(C)(3) membership-based, mission-driven, statewide association of diverse charitable nonprofit organizations. We provide a collective policy voice for the nonprofit sector and serve as a crucial support and information provider.

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Web Design 101 Crash Course with David Ulloa

In this web-lead web design course. You will learn the basics of how to build your own site using free host Led by David Ulloa, web developer, Studio Creative Director and Lecturer at Bronx Community College and former Senior Visual Experience Designer at Amazon.

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Organizational Management Series: Mergers & Strategic Alliances

This session will introduce participants to the idea of strategic alliances (partnerships, collaborations, alliances, mergers) as tools that can be used to strengthen and preserve their mission in an environment marked by uncertainty. Drawing on a real world case study, we will talk through the various considerations in forming strategic alliances.

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Organizational Management Series: Scenario Planning

Dive into an overview of the scenario planning process, discuss who is involved, and share some tools to help participants create plausible future scenarios and plan strategy to address each potential scenario. We emphasize iterative strategy development involving acting, learning and adjusting rather than planning for the next three years.

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Organizational Management Series: Organizational Redesign

For organizations with larger staff, that either had to do layoffs and will need to restructure on the other side of the crisis, or that want to use the crisis as an opportunity to rethink their structure entirely, moving away from traditional hierarchy (power over) to a flatter network of teams (power with).

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There are no upcoming events at this time