From the Left: Desiree Taylor, CEF Coach Julie Ann Otis, Laurence Pierce, Johnetta Tinker, Dianne Zimbabwe, Walter Clark, Kristen Belton Willis, Carlos Byron, CEF Program Lead Candelaria Silva, Arthur Collins and Jim Grace (not featured in the photo: Helen Credle and Cassandra Cacoq)

Congratulations to the 10 outstanding artists and solopreneurs selected for the A&BC’s 2017 Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship. This is the third year of this nine-month program, which evolved out of our Artist Professional Toolbox program (2004-2014). More than 75 applicants applied this fall, and the finalists were announced in late November. The 2017 Fellowship kicked off with a successful retreat last month, and each Fellow is now deeply engaged in self-assessment and goal setting, working with their personal coaches and building their overall artistic practices.

This year’s Fellows represent a diverse and exciting range of media including public art, spoken word, digital photography, floral design, and fashion. Common among the group, however, is a desire to bring their creative pursuits to scale. The passion of these entrepreneurs is palpable, and the program’s coaches and mentors are deeply inspired to help each Fellow meet their individual definitions of success.

In addition to oversight by A&BC leadership, the cohort is guided and supported by:

Candelaria Silva, a consultant, facilitator and nonprofit leader who has a long track record of success in economic development, fundraising, and arts administration. In addition to her work with the A&BC, Candelaria coordinates the community membership program of the Huntington Theatre Company and is Program Manager for the Fellows Athenaeum Trust Fund of the Boston Public Library. Candelaria was the first director of ACT Roxbury from its start in 1998 until 2007, where she conceived and implemented its many signature programs, including the Roxbury Film Festival and Roxbury Open Studios.

Julie Ann Otis, the Founder and Creative Director of Samana Coaching and Consulting. Julie works with individuals who want to develop more mindfulness, balance, ease, clarity, and success in their personal and professional lives. As a consultant, Julie works with executive leaders to develop powerful strategic planning, communications, and stewardship practices. She regularly leads meditation and creative practice workshops as well as writing retreats in the New England area.

Fellows receive one-on-one professional coaching as well as participate in monthly workshops and peer group sessions designed to cover topics that are most relevant to their current goals and pursuits. To be led by experts in their respective fields, upcoming workshops and seminars will cover marketing and social media, budgeting and finance, taxes and accounting, creating and scaling a business, legal issues, self-publishing, and understanding juried shows and open markets. While the opening retreat took place at the offices of the A&BC, workshops and coaching sessions are held at various locations in Roxbury.

The CEF program is funded through the generous support of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and the Clowes Fund. These funders are dedicated to supporting thriving artists with an appreciation for the business side of a creative practice. These funders also are dedicated to funding diversity and inclusion in the arts. The CEF’s focus on supporting artists of color aligns with these larger goals.

We look forward to sharing the progress of our Fellows with you throughout the year. You can also meet the artists in person and experience their work at our annual event, Martinis & Masterpieces, on June 8.

Learn more about the Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship

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