Artists as Entrepreneurs series: grant writing
Ever dream of owning your own creative business? Or pursuing a career in arts and culture? If so, check out “Artists as Entrepreneurs”— the first virtual event of the Daemen University Speaker Series.
Featuring a curriculum focused on liberal and fine arts—uniquely coupled with management and entrepreneurship—the LEA program will prepare students to become strategically-minded, skilled professionals in the growing cultural and arts sectors of the economy.
Art and entrepreneurship
In the series’ inaugural presentation, Dan Shanahan, assistant professor and program director of entrepreneurism at Daemen University, discussed how grants are used as a valuable tool to support arts programming. This is one of many essential topics taught in the LEA program.
“Grants are imperative for an organization to not only sustain itself, but grow as well,” Shanahan said. “Besides providing essential funds, grants can also legitimize an organization to both consumers and the community, build relationships with other organizations, and help artists gain a noticeable track record that can lead to further funding opportunities.”
As co-founder and artistic director of Torn Space Theater in Buffalo, N.Y., Shanahan has first-hand experience working with creative entrepreneurs aiming to translate their interests into functional organizations.
“Most early career artists are not going to have the resources to hire a professional grant writer,” Shanahan explained. “Therefore, grant writing responsibilities often fall onto the founder.”
“Once learned, it’s a lifelong skill that can pay dividends,” he added.
The artists as entrepreneurs presentation also focused on how to effectively craft state-funded grant applications. In addition, it focused on how to use them as a valued “targeted strategy” in obtaining funds. Moreover, it focused on how to do this while allowing artists to stay true to the “foundational vision and mission of their organization,” Shanahan explained.
Along with the speaker series, Daemen’s LEA program and the WNYBAC are collaborating to release blog content providing valuable information to both aspiring and current artists.
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