PDP in New Orleans: “A Whole New Perspective on Working as a Professional Artist”

Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program (PDP) has worked with more than 50 communities across the country to present workshops that help artists to build sustainable practices. Earlier this month, PDP travelled to New Orleans to present a Core Weekend workshop, our hallmark professional development offering that tackles strategic planning, funding your work and promoting your work. This workshop, supported by the Kresge Foundation, was hosted by the Creative Alliance of New Orleans at the Joan Mitchell Center, and the PDP workshop leaders were Colleen Keegan, Jackie Battenfield, Aaron Landsman, and three Creative Capital grantees: Beverly McIver, Andrew Simonet and Byron Au Yong.
The diverse group of 24 workshop participants, mostly from New Orleans, included 13 visual artists, seven performing artists, two filmmakers, a poet and a fashion designer. By all accounts, this was a truly remarkable group of artists and PDP workshop leaders, making for an exceptional experience.

PDP Artist Leader Beverly McIver commented: “This, for me, was a fabulous workshop. I felt energized by the participants and felt that my presence really made a difference. I felt a mutual exchange of hope and love for the process of making art. My connection with the participants felt intimate and loving, like family. I know that great things are ahead for these participants, and I am excited by the possibilities. I am grateful to have been a part of this wonderful adventure.”
Participating artists praised the PDP workshop as “eye opening,” offering “a whole new perspective on working as a professional artist.” Ayo Scott, a painter, wrote, “The help and resources offered were immeasurable… I honestly had no idea how helpful it would be… The one-on-one time was personal and tailored to my direct obstacles in my career as an artist… I left overwhelmed with positive energy… Thank you to EVERYBODY who made this possible for ME and for other artists from New Orleans who need more things JUST LIKE THIS.”

Tori Bush, Program Director at the Creative Alliance of New Orleans, noted, “Creative Capital’s Core Weekend Workshop was presented in New Orleans at a really important moment in our cultural history. New Orleans was voted by Forbes the number-one brain magnet city in the country, and many new artists are arriving to the area. It is essential that we foster a support system for the creative and cultural producers who have been here for decades and encourage a unity within our community around all those working in the arts. This workshop empowered our participants to leverage their creative talents into sustainable and successful lives. These artists will go on to be leaders of their communities and act as catalysts of positive change as New Orleans moves forward, reinventing itself.”
Creative Capital has often found that one of the lasting effects of PDP workshops is stronger artistic communities in the cities where the workshop is presented. We are thrilled to work with artists in New Orleans and help them find their own path to success.

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