MAP workshops well underway; registration open for fall
Gomez, Czelsi

MAP workshops well underway; registration open for fall

By Rickie van Berkum

Certified MAP Coach

The Montana Artrepreneur Program (MAP) is an art-centered business development program taught by working artists and open to all Montana visual artists. MAP provides over 40 hours of college-level instruction, reviews 35 practical business tools, demystifies the world of business, and affirms the title of “Artist” as a credible profession.

Instruction is focused on advancing your proficiency in your chosen medium, articulating your story and purpose as an artist, strategically seeking patrons for your art, and engaging in the arts community. MAP instruction is centered on four weekend-long workshops held roughly eight weeks apart. After submitting for review a complete “toolbox,” demonstrating understanding of each business tool, artists become certified.

MAP is currently working with two cohorts (groups) of artists, one in Three Forks and another in Helena, under the leadership of Liz Chappie Zoller and myself. Both of us are Certified MAP Coaches and working artists. The 20 Montana artists in these FY19 cohorts are busy working through the tools in their toolbox.

As MAP coaches, we work with the artists to articulate and refine the story of their art in a way that speaks to their target customers. We provide feedback as artists write and re-write their artists statements.

We “Start with Art” every day of instruction. Each artist stands and speaks briefly about their art as though they are speaking to customers. With this practice, we’ve seen marked improvement in artists’ ability to talk to others about their art.

We have recently completed Workshop 3, and the artists are reaching out to mentors to advance their proficiency in their medium and considering internships to learn more about their business of art. They are using the skills they learned in Workshop 2 to design and create booths that professionally display their artwork at shows and other venues. 

In the workshops, we also cover best practices in creating logos, business cards and brochures, and general business practices such as record-keeping, among a range of practices necessary for creating a sustainable business of art.

We strive to create a safe and welcoming environment as artists work their way through MAP. New MAP artists are welcomed into the community of over 450 Montana artists who have completed the program. The feedback we most often hear from our MAP artists is that the program teaches everything they need to learn to be successful small business owners and thriving artists.

The next instructional period will occur between September 2019 and May 2020. For more information and to apply, please see

Are you interested in becoming a MAP artist? Wondering if MAP is right for you? The MAP Coaches are happy to discuss this with you. Please contact one of us: Liz Chappie Zoller or Rickie van Berkum



Upcoming Montana Artrepreneur Program (MAP) Deadlines

Learning Cohorts: May 15 deadline

The application system is open for artists interested in participating in the 10-month curriculum. Accepted applicants will be contacted in July to determine the meeting locations of the learning cohorts. Workshops will commence in the fall.


Certification: June 28 deadline

Artists who have completed the MAP coursework may submit toolkits for certification beginning June 17. Toolkits will be available for pick-up after
Aug. 5, 2019.

Information on the MAP application and certification process is available at the MAC website: Please direct questions to or


Photo: The Helena Cohort, at a recent gathering, includes (L-R): Marcia Miller, Suzy Combs, Madeline Keller-King, Suzy Lake-LeJeune, Ciadie Schlosser, Dre Castillo, Brandy Rasmussen, Rebecca Wells and Bobbi de Montigny (Amanda Bielby was absent) (Photo by Rickie van Berkum)




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