The new WIP-funding initiative focuses on the creative economy

The University of Wyoming’s Neltje Center for Excellence in Creativity and the Arts, Sheridan College and Northwestern College have been awarded $1.1 million by the Wyoming Innovation Partnership to strengthen the state’s creative economy.

The initiative aims to help artists and creatives develop sustainable art practices, start art-related non-profits or create art-related businesses. The initiative is supported by the Wyoming Arts Council, UW’s IMPACT 307 and UW’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

A day-long workshop for those interested in applying for the program is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the UW’s Visual Arts Building. Additional workshops are planned for the spring in Sheridan, Powell, Riverton and Rock Springs. Some workshops allow virtual participation.

Wyoming-based artists and creatives — in any field from visual arts, music, theater and dance, to writing or interdisciplinary work — are invited to apply, including:

— A skills and community-building workshop designed to guide participants through multiple approaches to achieving professional goals and building a foundation for unlimited artistic growth.

— Assistance with mentoring and coaching from experts in various creative fields and startup business practices.

— Access to resources and support to help artists sustain creative careers beyond this program.

— An opportunity to compete in a competition for an arts-focused business startup, nonprofit venture, or arts-related organization.

This innovative art startup accelerator helps creatives in all fields gain the skills they need to take their practice to a new level or develop a viable business model rooted in creativity. The program helps artists and creatives master the fundamentals of the creative economy, solidify projects and refine their pitches for a chance to win up to $25,000 in startup funding.

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Sharon Loudon, an internationally recognized artist, author, artist advocate, community builder and leading voice in professional development for artists from around the world, will lead the daytime workshops.

Each workshop will include an instructional and discussion period; A group of creatives who open up how they created sustainable art practices, non-profit organizations or businesses; and introduction to mentoring/training program.

Following the workshops, participants will have access to a personalized mentor/coaching expert team from across Wyoming and the country, assembled to help each participant prepare to launch a new creative enterprise. Selected participants will be invited to develop projects that qualify them to join the „Creative Economy Start-up Challenge”.

For more information, go to Here.

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