Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Artist Business Training Project to help struggling artists learn business strategies

To ease the blows the economy has had on struggling artists, the University of Massachusetts Arts Extension Service is using an $8,000 grant awarded to them by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts to run the “Artist Business Training Project” in Springfield, Northampton and Orange, Mass.

The Artist Business Training Project will hold a day-and-a-half session to coach 75 local artists, 25 in each location, on business techniques, said Dee Boyle-Clapp, program coordinator of the Arts Extension Service. The training will include creating a basic artist business plan and teaching them valuable skills such as marketing, website design and grant writing.

Artists will also be instructed on how to set up a business and handle finances. They will be taught market analysis and how to track who is accessing their websites. From that information, they can learn how to better target their audience. The artists will also receive the Artist Extension Service’s Artist in Business workbook, said Boyle-Clapp.

The project was brought about in response to economic pressures artists have faced in recent years. Many art organizations are dependent on fundraising and therefore have been extremely hurt by the recession, explained Boyle-Clapp.

“When the economy worsened, people stopped going to events and didn’t spend as much money as they used to, so it was a double whammy,” she said. “More people are also shopping online, which means they aren’t purchasing local goods.”

Boyle-Clapp received many e-mails and phone calls from local, successful artists who said their businesses were either closing or suffering. These artists needed advice on how to save their businesses.

Boyle-Clapp found inspiration for her project from  The Artists of Franklin County, a group of local artists that meet in Greenfield, Mass., monthly to discuss business ideas, presentation techniques and personal experiences. She found these group meetings were helpful for the artists to offer advice and encouragement to one another.

“Many artists were feeling very isolated, so getting connected with other artists helped them feel that they were connecting with something bigger,” said Diane Clancy, founder of The Artists of Franklin County. “It definitely gave people a lot of inspiration and we did a lot of networking.”

Clancy created the project, Artist Window Exhibit, which gave many of the group members who had never publicly shown their artwork the chance to display their work in shop windows in downtown Greenfield.

Clancy believes that it wouldn’t have been possible for many of the artists to publicly show their work without the group.

“But for most people, they were doing it because it was a way to promote individual artists and give the town a sense of pride,” said Clancy.

The first Artist Business Training session will be held at North Quabbin Woods in Orange on April 21 and 22. The second session will take place at Springfield Technical Community College on April 28 and 29, and the third session will be in Northampton at the Commonwealth Center for Change. The Northampton dates are yet to be determined.

“The great thing about this is that it’s free, open to artists of any sort of background, open to musicians, theater people, anyone,” said Boyle-Clapp.

“We’re giving people work to do before they come, to figure out their problems and have them come to the workshop to do exercises, group work and build a cohort of people,” she added.

The aid artists will receive will not be limited to the workshop. Within a month of the session, the site coordinators from each location will have a half-hour phone consultation with each artist in their group to follow up on the artist’s problems and help guide them in the next steps in reviving their business.

“It’s really hard to be given a lot of information and then go home and be left alone with it,” said Boyle-Clapp, who hopes that these consultations will help the artists better apply the learned information to their businesses.

After the training session, the site coordinators will also host a meeting once a month for their group to gather and discuss their business dilemmas and offer each other feedback.

“They’re really helpful. It’s just a really fun thing to do and meet other people,” she said.

Artists of any field can register to partake in the Artist Business Training Project and can get in contact with the Art Extension Service at aes@outreach.umass.edu.

Anna Meiler can be reached at ameiler@student.umass.edu.

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