A professional development workshop series for creatives.


Arts@Work is a professional development workshop series established in 2016 to provide professional development for artists and makers in the Appalachian Highlands. Topics include marketing, business communication and promotion, pricing, and client relations. The program also focuses on negotiation skills, entrepreneurship, and practical legal and ethical issues, including codes of fair practice for the arts. The workshops benefit small creative businesses, freelancers, and working fine artists and artisans, no matter their demographic. In this particularly challenging time, we seek to provide workshops that will help businesses stay afloat and even thrive.

Seats for each of the classes are limited, so be sure to reserve your spot early.  More comprehensive descriptions will be added soon.

Rachel L. Gibson

Instructor: Rachel L. Gibson

Thu, Jan 21, 2021 6:00 PM;  $30


Handouts, Q&A

Diversifying Before Disaster:
Pandemic-Proofing Your Creative Business

How do creatives survive depressions, recessions, and pandemics? By ART-ing.

When the rest of the world panics, we ART. We have survived and aided in the recovery from the Great Depression, war efforts of the 40s, energy crises of the 70s, the collapse of the bubble & the subprime mortgage crises of the 2000s and now a pandemic. What do we take from the financial rollercoaster? Don’t panic; be prepared.

Rachel Gibson & her husband Jon, of Jive Pottery, have supported themselves solely as creatives for the majority of the last two decades including the 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires which prompted a mid-career, radical media change for both artists and the 2020 Pandemic which they have met with an expansion of their practices and creative solutions to loss of income and even a loss of housing.

Learn how to diversify your streams of income, be authentically competitive, restructure your pricing, and embrace radical accessibility. Rachel will share some of her secrets for success in the face of adversity. She’ll help you take stock of the skills and assets that you already have and give you some advice as to how to be ready, not reactive, for whatever comes your way.

Rachel has broad experience as a gallery owner, a booking agent, and an artists’ representative. A sought-after speaker, she also travels the U.S. motivating, inspiring, and encouraging emerging artists. Her lectures equip them to conquer obstacles, including their own fears and anxieties about success. Rachel boastfully claims many generations of East Tennesseans. She and Jon have now added a business in SW VA to their impressive resumes: The Ford Studios.

To learn more about Rachel’s current projects, follow these links:

Rachel L. Gibson

Instructor: Rachel L. Gibson

February 11, 2021    6:00 pm      $30

Creative Assets: Finding Resources in a Changing World

Rachel Gibson will help you identify the resources and skills your practice is missing and help you find creative ways to fill those gaps through self-paced education, resource & sustainability grants, both domestic & international residencies, and more.

More detailed information coming soon!
Rachel L. Gibson

Instructor: Rachel L. Gibson

February 25, 2021  6:00 PM    $30
Optional: Individual consulting   $25

Branding Yourself as a Creative

Custom recommendations specific to individual artists’ existing branding (limited to 20).

Learn how to create a public image. This class covers such important topics as websites and website design, using social media to best advantage, and how to maintain a creative but professional personal profile. “Creating a strategy for effectively presenting yourself and your work,” observes Gibson, “begins with identifying your audience and how they perceive you. You ARE your brand, and you have to be prepared to represent that brand every time you step out the door—literally or digitally.”

More detailed information coming soon!

Instructor: Dr. Hannah Harvey

The Story That Gets You Noticed

Session 1: Crafting your story

March 11, 2021   6:00 PM     $30

Optional: Individual consulting (limited to 20).

Who are you? Who is your audience? What makes you and your work interesting and relatable? This class covers how to craft a relatable story for targeted uses to promote you, your work, and your business.

Session 2: Telling your story

March 18, 2021   6:00 PM      $30

Optional: Individual consulting (limited to 20).

Using your story to make a creative and persuasive presentation In writing and in-person, including short versions and elevator pitches. Oral presentation, practice and critique.

More detailed information coming soon!

Instructor: Jocelyn Mathewes

April 8, 2021   6:00 PM      $30

Using Social Media to Promote Your Art

More detailed information coming soon!

Instructor: Dr. Katie Hoffman, with Cher Cornett

April 2021 (exact dates TBA)

Artist Self-Promotion: Creating Personal and Professional Marketing Materials 

More detailed information coming soon!

Instructor: Tom Raymond

May 20 and 28, 2021

Styling and Photography for Creative Businesses

Photographer Tom Raymond of Fresh Air photography will lead your through how to style and shoot your artwork for professional purposes such as gallery proposals, online sales, brochures and other promotional media.

More detailed information coming soon!

Instructor: Kelly Porter

June  2021 (2 Sessions. Exact dates TBA)

Creating Your Marketing Tools

You don’t always need to hire a professional photographer or designer. Every artist should be equipped with simple content production skills to produce day-to-day promotional materials needed to support your art business. These workshops will take place in the studios at the Create Appalachia Center.

More detailed information coming soon!

Workshops will be recorded, and edited versions will be made available online to our subscribers and attendees.

Our Funding Partners

Is there a course you’d like to see offered?

We may have just what you need coming up in the next months, or we can create a class. Let us know.

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