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Second Dane Arts Buy Local Business of Art Conference set for March 30-31

The first Dane Arts Buy Local Business of Arts Conference was held in September 2022. Photo by Wendy Schneider, courtesy Dane Arts.

Dane Arts will host its second Dane Arts Buy Local Business of Arts Conference on March 30 and 31 at Arts + Literature Laboratory, 111 S. Livingston, Suite 100 in Madison, to help local artists turn their passions into dollars.

“Money is a difficult topic to discuss with folks. People shy away from money,” said Dane Arts Executive Director Mark Fraire. But, he said, “you can’t go to the grocery store and buy groceries with passion.”

The first Business of Arts Conference was held in September with about 50 people in attendance. 

“The participants were very adamant in the surveys about how much they appreciated the conference and wanted it to be moved to two days,” Fraire said.

The two days will feature workshops on a variety of topics like grant writing, accounting, intellectual property law, ergonomics and more. Keynote speakers will include Arts Midwest Executive Director Torrie Allen and Chazen Museum of Art Director Amy Gilman.

“I’m really making an effort to be really inclusive and deliberate about participation as well as presenters,” Fraire said, noting that the workshop presenters are artists from a variety of ethnic and artistic backgrounds. 

Presenters will include social media strategist Gaonou Lo, Creators Cottage artistic director Catrina Sparkman, hip-hop artist Rob Dz and more.

County Executive Joe Parisi and Dane Arts Commission Chair Roderick Ritcherson will also speak.

“Dane County has a unique community of artists who contribute to our local economy, and we are excited to celebrate and support their careers with these upcoming workshops,” Parisi said in a statement.

“We have six presenters who are going to talk about how they’ve done their startup business,” Fraire said. “We’re not trying to tell artists you need to do this. We’re saying here’s your work as an artist but here’s some ancillary work you can do to support your work as an artist.”

The conference will also build in some networking and social time, including an evening reception.

“One of the things we learned when we did this last year was getting them all in a room, they’re chatterboxes,” Fraire said. “Most artists, especially visual and literary artists, you’re working at home in your room. That’s it. But when you get out of your room and you meet other artists who are doing similar work, you realize you’re facing the same problems.”

The workshops are intended for independent working artists and arts administrators across disciplines. The “Early Adopter Special” cost for the full conference is $100 until March 3. Then the price increases to $125. The day-of cost is $150. Registration is limited. Scholarships and financial assistance are available.Registration is now open at www.dablmarket.com. Questions can be directed to Mark Fraire at Fraire@countyofdane.com.