Professional Development Program Presents its 200th Workshop in an Inspiring Cross-Country Weekend

This past weekend marked our Professional Development Program’s 200th workshop! Since the program launched in 2003, we’ve presented PDP workshops with 87 community partners in 71 cities, and nearly 4,500 artists across the country have attended. PDP has been incredibly busy lately, with workshops in Puerto Rico, Ohio and North Dakota in the last weekend alone!

In Columbus, OH, Steve Lambert, an Artist Leader for the Internet for Artists workshop, explains the importance of using Content Management Systems.

Creative Capital worked with Beta-Local to present our Spanish-language workshop, Taller Profesional de Desarollo para Artistas, for the second time in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Workshop participants in San Juan, Puerto Rico, practice effective communications through role-playing with PDP workshop leader Ela Troyano.

After the workshop, Beta-Local co-director Beatriz Santiago Muñoz reaffirmed the viewpoint of many participants that it’s “wonderful to get the workshop from a working artist, who has had similar experiences and struggles to the artists participating in the workshop. The workshop naturally forces us into a zone of discomfort: thinking about money and long-term planning, but it is so necessary and anything that demystifies the art career is so appreciated.”

In Columbus, Ohio, we worked with the Greater Columbus Arts Council to offer an Internet for Artists workshop. Artist Leader Blithe Riley reported: “The participants in Columbus were great to work with! The group represented a variety of disciplines (street artists, installation artists, painters, graphic designers, musicians, dancers, theater artists), and showed an incredible level of the generosity to each other throughout the weekend. It was a testament to the strength of the artist community there. By the end of the workshop, they had created their own Facebook group to stay in contact and planned to organize a follow-up skills share to get their WordPress websites up and running.”

Artists presenting their work to other participants at the Columbus workshop.

Participants often remark that learning from other artists is particularly valuable because they can relate to artist leaders on a whole different level than they would with a purely technical professional. One Columbus participant called the workshop “inspiring and oddly life-changing.”

Columbus workshop participants hard at work, immediately applying some of their new-found internet marketing skills.

PDP’s last stop of the weekend was in Bismark, ND, where we partnered with the North Dakota Council on the Arts to offer a Core weekend workshop. One participant, Linae Bieber, has already written a blog post about the PDP workshop on Women Create ND:

“WOW!  … I came home with several workbooks, a group of new artist contacts and friends, and ideas coming out all over the place. One point that was stressed over and over again is that we are our best resource:  our creativity, our work ethic, our persistence, our vision.  What most artists need (myself included) is a plan and a direction for our work.  Sure, we can subsidize our work with non-art income, but what if you’d like to cut back on this kind of work and profit more from your art?  It’s possible, you know!”

We couldn’t agree more—it IS possible! Thanks, San Juan, Columbus and Bismark for a fabulous weekend, and thanks to all our PDP participants and partners for helping us reach this major milestone.

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