New Course Is Teaching Artists How to Professionalize by Isaac Kaplan

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This New Course Is Teaching Artists How to Professionalize—Here are 3 Takeaways
(Artsy Editorial - By Isaac Kaplan)

A new course that teaches artists the professional and practical skills they so rarely learn in art school hopes to provide a lifeline to mid-career and emerging artists at a time when the smaller and mid-sized galleries that support them are more precarious than ever.

Mana Professional, a new educational course run out of arts center Mana Contemporary’s New Jersey location, equips artists with the tools that can help them successfully navigate the professionalized art world—such as understanding contracts, how to approach digital marketing, undertaking financial planning, and fundraising for projects.

The $300 course, which offered scholarships and kicked off in September and runs through mid December, was developed by Guggenheim curator Sara Raza and features industry professionals such as JiaJia Fei, director of digital at the Jewish Museum, and Leah Heister, senior director of the consulting firm CCS Fundraising. (Full disclosure: Artsy’s senior counsel, Yayoi Shionoiri, is also a lecturer.)

The program offers mentoring, workshops, and more in addition to the lectures. Below, Raza and Mana Contemporary’s president and founder Eugene Lemay share some of their key advice for emerging and midcareer artists.


I expect to see a whole lot more of this kind of offer - specifically intending to teach artists how to navigate the new economy. I’m hearing rather gut-wrenching stories from friends who relied entirely on the old model (galleries/competitions/shows) and are now seeing a big drop in their business as the world changes.

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