As a part of creative leadership development program that I signed up for as a part of the DCASE IAP Grant that I received from the city I was given the option to work with an organization here in Chicago called 3AP as a potential fellow. 3AP is a non-profit organization whose mission is to allows individuals to invest directly in the art of Chicago artists. 3AP is designed to build momentum in the careers of our past 3Arts awardees and fellows by supporting their projects. As a nonprofit crowdfunding organization, individuals can pick the projects that inspire them and decide how much to pledge--$5.00, $50.00, $250.00, or whatever they wish. Unlike similar crowdfunding programs, 3Arts does not charge a service fee to the artists and 1/3 of each project is supported by a matching grant to help artists gain traction and leverage donor pledges.
In conjunction with 3AP (3arts.org), national non-profit Creative Capital (creative-captial.org) offered a workshop on financial literacy that is “led by artists for artists” in Chicago and I was delighted to be able to attend. Led by Philadelphia’s Amy Smith (Founder/Co-Director of Headlong Dance Ensemble), the all day seminar and discussion was uplifting if not therapeutic for attendees such as myself who almost never have an open forum to discuss our financial struggles with those who can empathize. By creating an open dialogue amongst a diverse array of creatives, a safe and constructive environment allowed us to tackle tedious subjects like debt management, best practice for filing tax returns as a LLC, 501c3 or sole proprietorship and also how to create habits of fiscal responsibility. Other topics covered included how to budget personal money, money for specific projects and how to create budgets for grant proposals. As a creative person, it is often easy to place so much emphasis on your craft that the business is forsaken with the assumption that once you “make it” you can hire someone to pay attention to the finances. This workshop helped me to not only trust in my own abilities to manage budgets, it affirmed that some of the things that I already have been doing since pursuing starting my own label and launching an arts non profit organization, have been spot on. It was an enlightening experience and well worth the 8 hours and 20 dollars I paid to park downtown…lol,. For more on Creative Capital head to their site at creative-capital.org. Some pictures the event are currently up on my instagram (ig: mildsauceking) page as well.
Raised on the East side of Chicago. Globally Local. Cheers!