(LaPorte, IN) - A few local artists have utilized a state program to build their business skills.
Every year the Indiana Arts Commission sponsors artists to help build their entrepreneur skills. The program is known as the On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator. Three days of intensive business courses in Lafayette help the artists learn how to make their creative passions profitable. Learning topics include budgeting, tax classifications, and marketing, among others.
Artists from the LaPorte area this year included Sara Noë, Susan Atwell, and Pete Kaminski. Noë is an award-winning author, photographer, and artist. Atwell is a textile artist, specializing in limited edition hand-spun and dyed yarn pieces. Kaminski is a graphic designer, who is looking to specialize in book cover design.
Participants received a stipend up to $2,000 to apply their new business knowledge to their creative endeavors. Noë, for example, who has published two novels and is working on a third, is now marketing her work in a different way. "I'm using the funds," she said, "to produce my first audiobook and branch into a new market so I can share my story with people who might be visually impaired or simply prefer to listen rather than read." She expects the project to be done by early spring.
For Noë, the program broadened her horizons professionally and creatively. "Until On-Ramp," she said, "I hadn't realized that Indiana is actively investing in its artists. This program allowed me to connect with a motivated, supportive community that opened doors to resources I didn't know were available."
Noë says the On-Ramp program has expanded to regional locations in recent years, making it easier for artists to participate. She encourages local artists to take advantage of the opportunity. Applications for the upcoming 2022 program are open through January 6.