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From left: Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace; Saint John Mayor Donna Reardon; ArtsLink NB programming director Jericho Knopp; and Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long. Image: Alex Graham

ArtsLink NB Gets Funding To Help Artists Become Creative Entrepreneurs

By Scott Pettigrew Feb 6, 2023 | 7:13 AM

ArtsLink NB received more than $300,000 in federal and provincial funding on Friday to support programs that help artists learn how to be entrepreneurs.

The announcement was made at ArtsLinks’ home base, a former church now known as The Sanctuary Theatre on Uptown’s Germain Street, with Saint John Mayor Donna Reardon also in attendance.

“Growing a passion for arts into a successful business is not always easy,” says New Brunswick Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture Tammy Scott-Wallace. “And we believe [artists] should be adequately prepared.”

Liberal MP Wayne Long announced a $152,905 contribution from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), while Scott-Wallace announced an additional $161,870 from the provincial government.

“We understand that a self-employed professionals it can be overwhelming at times for artists to find all the tools they need to succeed,” Scott-Wallace says. “And I want to thank ArtsLink NB for developing programs that address their unique needs.”

One of the recipient programs, CATAPULT Arts Accelerator, is an eight-week course in business for artists and encompasses everything from branding and pitches to applying for grants and financial planning and exporting.

“All the things you need to run a business but don’t necessarily learn in arts school,” says Jericho Knopp, the programming director of ArtsLink NB.

“It’s designed for artists of any discipline. We’ve had dancers, we’ve had musicians, we’ve had painters, we’ve had ceramicists.”

Knopp says approximately 100 artists have participated in the program so far, with a new session set to begin in February. The program runs a fall and spring session and has virtual options for artists who live in more remote parts of the province.

Funding was also allocated to the Arts Atlantic Symposium, a three-day conference and contemporary arts festival for artists from across Atlantic Canada that took place in Saint John last October.

Knopp says the organization is always looking to grow the courses that it offers and has recently begun offering “One 2 One” sessions where artists get individual consultations on anything from filing tax returns to utilizing social media to promote their work. The organization also offers a library of media equipment including speakers, lights and projectors as well as books about art as well as entrepreneurship.

ArtsLink NB is fully funded by various levels of government.

“Our programming has been proven over the years to help professional artists succeed, which then leads to new jobs, helps contribute to federal and provincial GDP,” says Knopp, citing research done by David Campbell finding the arts sector in the province contributed close to $550 million to the economy.

“When you think about working at a job that you actually have a talent for and a passion for, but then you don’t have that business component,” says Saint John Mayor Donna Reardon. “This way we can keep our artists producing, and we all benefit from that.”

Alex Graham is a reporter with Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


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