The Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) of Mesa, Arizona, led by Terry Benelli, received a grant that provided the funding for 12 entrepreneurial artists to be coached and inspired to take new business actions. Working with 3 coaches and covering several topics such as our market audience, contracts, and accounting, I, as Elaine Kessler Photography, was lucky to be a part of the first cohort of Mesa Entrepreneurial Artists. Bringing in guest speakers as well as sharing their own personal experiences, the coaches offered helpful insights that contributed to the wealth of information and resources we were given. I made some wonderful connections with some amazing artists – it was a tremendous opportunity to see the work of others and get to know some great, creative souls!
Linda Essig, Matt Lehrman, and Christy Strauch were the 3 coaches and they led us with integrity and inspiration.
As an artist making her way as a commercial entity, I find the identity navigation rather suspenseful. I believe that great art has power and appeal in and of itself. I also believe that great art can be relevant and useful in our everyday lives. Switching gears, or changing hats, depending on the audience is par for the course and I’m finding myself embracing this exciting dynamic.