Montana Artrepreneur Program launching new cohorts
By Liz Chappie Zoller
Certified MAP Coach
The Montana Artrepreneur Program (MAP) is currently in the process of establishing two cohorts (groups) of 10 artists, under the leadership of certified MAP coaches, which are scheduled to begin meeting in February/March 2020. The location for each cohort is yet to be announced.
MAP is an art-centered business development program taught by working artists and open to all Montana visual artists. It provides more than 40 hours of college-level instruction covering 35 practical marketing tools, and consists of four 10-hour, weekend-long workshops, taking place on average every two months. Four to six interim meetings are held during the months between workshops.
MAP coaches foster a safe and welcoming environment for artists as they work their way through this nationally acclaimed program. Training emphasizes each MAP artist’s ability to articulate the purpose and story of their art, to strategically target appropriate markets, and to engage in the arts community.
Workshop days begin with a practice called “Start with Art,” in which artists briefly present one piece of new work and talk about their art, as though they are speaking to potential collectors. Although this sounds intimidating, the level of improvement and ease each artist experiences by the end of the program is remarkable. Practice with, and insights from, supportive peers is so important, and MAP is proven to be very effective in this way, too.
Workshops are presented in topics that revolve around each artist’s story. In Workshop I: Discovering the Story, coaches work with artists to discover and articulate the story of their art as they write artist’s statements and learn best practices for beginning their art business journey. Workshop II: Showing the Story illustrates how best to present one’s art, including promotional materials and the design and creation of booths for shows and exhibitions.
Workshop III: Telling the Story has artists advancing proficiency in their medium by pairing up for mentorships with professional artists, as well as deciding on business-of-art internships. Workshop IV: Funding the Story includes grant writing, proposals, marketing strategies, business plans, and more.
Additionally, MAP covers branding, and general business practices such as recordkeeping –all necessary for creating a sustainable art business. The interim meetings are in-depth discussions of specific tools, and might also include studio visits to MAP artists who have completed the program.
MAP coaches are always excited to welcome new MAP artists into the very supportive community of more than 470 Montana artists who have completed this program in years past. At the end of the MAP year, artists are encouraged to certify by creating a comprehensive toolbox demonstrating their effective and appropriate understanding of each MAP tool as it is applied to their own art business. A panel of certified MAP coaches judges the toolboxes and awards certifications thereafter.
Are you interested in becoming a MAP artist? Is MAP right for you? MAP coaches are always available to answer any additional questions. Feel free to contact Rickie van Berkum at vanBerkumFiberArt@gmail.com, or Liz Chappie Zoller at PearlSnapStudio@gmail.com.
For more information and to apply, visit art.mt.gov/map.
Photo: MAP meetings include intense and lively discussions about each artist’s work. (Photo by Liz Chappie Zoller)