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Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists

Springboard’s Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists is a professional development curriculum designed to teach business skills to artists in all disciplines, and has been taught at arts organizations, libraries and colleges in over 80 communities in the Upper Midwest, and replicated across the country. 

  • Duration: 2.5 hrs.
  • Presenter: Springboard Staff
  • Capacity: 30 per workshop


Career Planning
Where do you want to be both artistically and professionally? Learn how to define your values, identify key choices and develop a plan to achieve your career goals.

Time Management
Discover analytical and tool-based approaches to manage your time. These tools will help you tackle hurdles related to efficiency, flexibility, and structure to help you reach your artistic goals.

Portfolio Kit
Your portfolio is the core of your promotional material and professional calling card. Focus on the essential elements: sharpening your artist statement, tailoring your artistic resume, and curating and formatting your work samples.  

Define your product, discover your target audience, make decisions about how you sell your work, and identify a budget and strategy for your artistic business.

Craft persuasive messaging and create a strategy for how you will get the word out about your work, events, and news.

This analytical approach isn’t intended to be the only way to price your work. It’s intended to show you the factors of product production that apply to everything in the marketplace. Once you understand what each of the variables are you’ll be able to customize a formula that fits your business model.  

Learn how to track revenues and expenses, make informed projections, and gain a clearer understanding of your artistic business finances.

Legal Considerations
Obtain general information about your intellectual property, contract basics and structuring your artistic business.  

Learn how to think creatively about diversifying your funding streams by exploring different models for generating value, resources, and revenue.

Grant Writing
Learn the essentials of grant writing along with resources for searching and structuring your grants.

Business Plan Essentials
Learn how to prepare a simple business plan, in arts-friendly language, to help you organize all the various aspects of your artistic practice and make informed business decisions.

Engaging Customers and Selling Your Work
Learn tools and techniques to communicate the value of your work to potential customers.


Work of Art+

Work of Art+ workshops and panels are meant to complement the standard Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists curriculum, providing a more detailed workshop or panel for a specific topic from the curriculum.

Work of Art+ Workshops

  • Duration: 2.5 hrs.
  • Presenter: Springboard Staff
  • Capacity: 30 per workshop


Artful Organization: Strategies for Streamlining Your Space and Practice
Get practical tips and strategies for organizing your art practice, from decluttering physical workspaces to organizing digital assets and more. Attendees will learn how to create efficient and realistic systems for managing their inventory, storing their artwork, and tracking their expenses.

Artist Statements
Get a hands-on, step-by-step approach to writing a range of statements that best represent your work as an artist.

Artists Working in Community
Use your creative skills to address community issues and opportunities! Whether you are an artist who already works in community or who wants to start, this workshop will introduce you to methods to clarify your own goals, techniques to ensure successful outcomes for you and your community collaborators, and how to reach out to community organizations and businesses to expand your artistic practice and income sources.

e-Commerce 1: Getting Started
Learn how to maximize your online sales using Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Etsy and other platforms. No experience required! This workshop is geared towards beginners with little or no experience in e-Commerce. 

e-Commerce 2: Running Your Online Store
For artists who have chosen a platform, this workshop covers the ins and outs of running your online store. We will discuss choosing a domain name, accepting payments, packaging and shipping your work, sales tax, product photography and more. Some experience is required. e-Commerce 1 is not a prerequisite, but taking it first is recommended if you haven’t yet decided which platforms you’ll be using.

e-Commerce 3: Intermediate Sales and Marketing
Learn about email and social media marketing, advertising, SEO and other marketing techniques for your online store. Some experience is required. e-Commerce 1 and 2 are not prerequisites, but artists should have an active online store.

Pitching Your Work
Learn the basics of what constitutes a “pitch”, or how to tell the story of your work to potential collaborators, funders, and other stakeholders. Clarify the important elements of your pitch; practice your pitch and get feedback in real time from your peers.

Ready Go! Make Your Art Mobile
Learn about practical and conceptual strategies to translate your art into a mobile tool that can be used to engage community and prompt interaction.

Website Basics for Artists
Get a big picture view of the components of your artist website, find clarity on whether you need a website for your artistic practice, and learn the basics of creating a website.


Work of Art+ Panels
Work of Art+ panels are on topics that are better suited to a panel format, through which a group of experts, rather than an individual instructor, can share their different perspectives and experiences. Panels can also accommodate larger audiences.

  • Duration: 2 hrs.
  • Presenters: Guest Panelists with Springboard Staff moderator
  • Capacity: 100 attendees per panel


Funding Panel
Learn about navigating the funding landscape and hear from members of the arts community, experienced both in granting organizations and as independent artists.

Grant Writing for Artists of Color and Native Artists
Join us for a panel that will take a look at the grant writing process and discuss how artists who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and Native can successfully navigate the application process.

Going Beyond Grants for Artists of Color and Native Artists
Join us for a panel that will look closer at how artists who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and Native can go beyond grants to more sustainable, regenerative and community-driven options such as crowdfunding, microfinance and earned income strategies.

Publishing Panel
Our panel of professionals from the publishing industry, including publishers, bookstore owners and writers will try to take some of the mystery out of the ins and outs of the publishing business.

Panels we have presented in the past include Artist Residencies & Fellowships Panel, Crowdfunding Panel, Curator and Gallery Owner Panel, and Leasing and Buying Property Panel. If you are interested in any of these topics, please contact us for more information.


MnLA Workshops

MnLA workshops are on legal topics, and they are presented by an attorney from Springboard’s Minnesota Lawyers for the Arts program. MnLA workshops complement both Work of Art and Work of Art+ workshops and panels with a broad overview of legal considerations related to artistic practice.

  • Duration: 1.5 hrs.
  • Presenter: Attorney from Springboard’s Minnesota Lawyers for the Arts program
  • Capacity: 30 per workshop


Business Structure Basics
An attorney from Springboard’s Minnesota Lawyers for the Arts (MnLA) program will cover business models from LLC’s to 501(c)3’s, including information on how to evaluate benefits and risks.

Copyright Essentials
An attorney from Springboard’s Minnesota Lawyers for the Arts (MnLA) program will cover legal basics for visual and performing artists.

What is a trademark and how long does it last? Do you need to register? Get answers from an attorney from Springboard’s Minnesota Lawyers for the Arts (MnLA) program.


Springboard Staff

Program Specialist
Bring Springboard to You

To request the presentation of a workshop at your organization, please complete the Bring Springboard to You form.

Bring Springboard to You