The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists is excited to announce that it will be hosting an Art-Business Conference at the University of Mary Washington November 7-9.

The conference will kick off Thursday, November 7th, with a Thriving Art Exchange event featuring working artists and other industry stakeholders including municipal, college, and nonprofit arts administrators, collectors, gallerists, retailers, and others on Thursday, November 7th, from 12 – 5:30pm, at the Belmont estate, which was the home and studio of famed American painter Gari Melchers.

Noted organizational change leader Shem Cohen, the president of Change Events, Inc., will facilitate the event. His strength is creating a collaborative journey of discovery and learning. He helps groups achieve shared meaning, make well-informed decisions, and energize their system around possibility, vision, and hope. The purpose of the Thriving Art Exchange is to examine the art industry’s current reality, dynamics, and trends, and foment discussion and ideas to shape a flourishing local arts economy that serves all of its members. This interactive process will involve spirited inquiry and dialogue, as the group works towards the discovery of shared goals, values, and strategies.

Cohen notes, “We are especially looking forward to delivering this program and being part of building a sustainable ecosystem of artist-entrepreneurs. The arts contribute almost $17 billion to Virginia’s economy, over 3% of the state’s GDP, and employ over 76,000 people in almost 17,000 business. We are excited to bring the stakeholders of this vibrant economic engine together to plan for the future growth of visual art in Virginia.”

Programming for the following two days of the conference will be held at the University of Mary Washington’s Stafford Campus, from 8 am to 5 pm, and consists of high-level presentations and interactive sessions designed to educate and support artists in becoming self-sustaining entrepreneurs. Topics include setting a viable business objective and action plan, honing a brand story, understanding sales channels, and effective pricing, developing sales strategies, and building a dynamic peer network. The program will be led by Elizabeth Hulings, CHF director and co-founder; Carolyn Edlund, CHF sales director, and events manager; and Daniel DiGriz, CHF education director.

The Art-Business Conference is presented by The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists, the Stafford County Virginia Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the University of Mary Washington, and the Fredericksburg Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

The event manifests CHF’s assertion that “Art is a business and artists should run it.” With the art market undergoing rapid and significant change—not only with regard to technology but also HOW art is marketed, bought, and sold—artists need to reclaim their rightful position at the center of the industry. The Art-Business Conference will help them to take charge of their careers, captivate their audience, and maximize the extraordinary professional advantages they already possess tosell their art effectively. With the inclusion of an industry-wide exchange, CHF provides a powerful opportunity for all sectors of the arts community to work together toward developing a stronger ecosystem in which artists can thrive.

The event fee is $795, but CHF is offering an early-bird price of $295 until September 8th. Tickets and info are available here. In addition to conference admission,registrants will gain automatic access to CHF’s Digital Campus and Learning Portal, a comprehensive online learning and community resource for working artists.

About The Clark Hulings Fund

Founded in 2013, The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists (CHF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that equips professional visual artists to be self-sustaining entrepreneurs. Because they are self-employed, visual artists are necessarily entrepreneurs, but like all business owners, they need training and real-world experience to achieve financial prosperity. CHF equips working artists with critical entrepreneurial skills, business tools, technology, and networks of peers and experts. We make it possible for artists to thrive and ensure collaboration among artists, collectors, other members of the industry, and the wider world of which they are part. A healthy social ecosystem is one where all of its members can connect, and artists are the key to building these vibrant communities. Without artists, we’re all left culturally stranded. When artists flourish, we all flourish.

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