Tricia Heuring and Craig Rice lead a creative ventures workshop at MCAD

Come to MCAD at noon on Thursday, October 4, for the final workshop on launching creative ventures.

For four Thursdays this fall, MCAD’s Arts Entrepreneurship Department has been encouraging people—whether that be students, alumni, or the public—to join in discussing how to make their creative ideas a reality. Workshops are free and open to anyone with an idea.

The series began on September 13 with Noah Keesecker, program director at Springboard for the Arts, and Jovan Speller, artist and curator, talking about what makes a good idea for a creative venture. Attendees were asked to describe their creative ideas, after which Keesecker and Speller gave real-time feedback on what was good and what needed more work. One of the main messages they imparted was “if it is a necessary endeavor for the community or a product that people don't know they need, it is likely to be a more successful creative venture.” Not only did Keesecker and Speller share their opinions, but the other attendees in the group gave feedback to each other as well. The open communication that the workshop encouraged allowed everyone to freely share what they were passionate about and get other people involved in their ideas.

The second workshop was co-led by artist and MCAD Fine Arts faculty member Ed Charbonneau, and Toby Nord, a faculty member at Carlson School of Management. This meeting focused on ways to find customers for your creative endeavors. Some advice Charbonneau offered on the subject was “to look for connections where it isn't obvious and to build relations with other artists through the alumni office.” Nord would encourage those trying to make their creative plans a reality to “work with people who share their vision of the project foundationally, but as it gets bigger, to seek out employees who are more skeptical to encourage creative growth.”

The third workshop was centered around finding funding for your venture and was co-hosted by filmmaker and MCAD Media Arts faculty member Craig Rice, and Tricia Heuring, co-founder of Public Functionary and MCAD Arts Entrepreneurship faculty member. Throughout the workshop, both Heuring and Rice gave insight into how to get grants and which ones would be most beneficial for the specific ideas of the attendees. Rice also recommended crowdfunding for projects to get recognized, stating, “people want to be involved in something creative because they want to help people make things.” Heuring advised the group to find a way to connect their ideas to the community, because “not only does it help pitch your idea to a board for a grant, but it also makes the community more invested in your idea.”

The final workshop in the series takes place this Thursday, October 4, and will explore the theme of launching your creative venture with Emily Johnson ’02, founder of EC Design jewelry studio, and Blake Iverson, entertainment attorney and MCAD Arts Entrepreneurship faculty member. Anyone with an idea for a project or a desire for a change in the community is encouraged to stop by, listen in, and take part in the discussion on making your project a reality.

And if you are a current MCAD student wanting to further explore this topic, a new 1-credit studio course will be held over two weekends this spring that will provide an introduction to foundational arts entrepreneurship concepts, skills, and methods needed to ideate, refine and launch a creative venture. More information on the course will be available before spring registration.

The series of four MCAD workshops are funded in part by the Smaby Family Foundation.