North Central event designed to help artists make a living
Sun Staff January 3, 2013 7:52PM
Updated: February 5, 2013 6:39AM
Is art a business?
For many artists in Naperville, they certainly hope so.
To help keep them from being “starving artists,” North Central College in Naperville will hold its 13th annual Self Employment in the Arts Conference to help aspiring artists learn to become successful entrepreneurs.
The unique conference will provide educational resources to help aspiring artists gain entrepreneurial knowledge and skills needed to establish and maintain careers as independent artists. The conference will feature performances, workshops, panel discussions and other activities tailored to actors, filmmakers, musicians, painters, sculptors, writers and other artists.
This year’s conference will feature three keynote speakers. Drummer and entrepreneur Mike Veny will deliver a keynote address at 1 p.m. Feb. 22. Veny is founder of the websites FastDrumSkills.com, MusicLessonBusiness.com and SupportMusicEducation.com, serves on the board of the Fender Music Foundation and is a member of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition.
Composer and performing artist Tom Sharpe will deliver the keynote address, “Tom Sharpe’s World Music that Rocks!” at 5 p.m. Feb. 22. Sharpe is drummer for the Grammy Award-winning group Mannheim Steamroller and for Dennis DeYoung of Styx. As a composer he has earned numerous awards, including winning the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
Artist and educator Greg Forbes Siegman will deliver the keynote address “Connecting Dots” at 11:45 a.m. Feb. 23. He is the real-life subject of the book, “The Silhouette Man” by Jillip N. Paxson. Siegman’s primary art collection, “My Sleepless Nights,” features portraits of historical, contemporary and cinematic figures who inspire people to think, act, serve, give and lead. Siegman was honored at Princeton University as one of America’s top social entrepreneurs under 40 and has been featured by media like Art World News and “Good Morning America.”
In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference will feature numerous other artists and entrepreneurs who will host roundtable sessions, participate in panel discussions and conduct workshops.
The conference will also feature one-on-one mentoring sessions, a “create room” sponsored by Blick Art Materials, book proposal review, mock auditions and improv. Sessions focus on such topics as marketing, business plans, websites and social media.
A highlight of the conference is the Business Plan Pitch Competition, which gives selected finalists the opportunity to present a three-minute pitch on their business plan to a panel of judges. The winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize to assist in starting a business, with additional prizes for runners-up.
Winners will be announced at the conference.
The event will be held at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville Hotel, 3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle, starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22 and ending at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.
The registration fee for students is $95 for the full conference or $55 for one day, and scholarships are available.
For nonstudents the fee is $190 for the full conference or $100 for one day. Discounts of $15 off the full conference rate and $8 off the single-day rate will be applied if registered by Jan. 31
For more information and to register visit selfemploymentinthearts.com or contact Amy Rogers, SEA director, at 630-637-5468 or email@example.com.
The event is sponsored by The Coleman Foundation and North Central and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.