Arts Mean Business sessions begin in March

Youngstown State University’s College of Fine and Performing Arts and the community arts and cultural group Power of the Arts announce a series of free events aimed at the business side of the arts.

The Arts Mean Business is a four-part professional development series designed to help artists thrive. The first part, titled “What the Heck is an LLC?,” will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in the McDonough Museum of Art on YSU’s campus.

Representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations note that for art groups or artists to thrive, some business savvy is critical. Artists of every kind not only support the community culturally, but also support themselves and their families financially, and therefore can benefit from a little business know-how. Since artists contribute to the local economy, pay taxes, market to the community, and often employ other members of the community, learning more about running a successful business is crucial.

“A strong arts and culture scene is a sign of a vibrant community, and we are pleased to serve the Power of the Arts effort through this professional development collaboration for area arts and culture partners,” said Bryan DePoy, F&PA dean.

Quarterly sessions are planned, covering many common situations that artists face. The sessions will provide relevant information and connections to available resources to expand and professionalize an arts-based business. Each workshop is independent of the others and participants may choose to attend any of the sessions or combine them all for a comprehensive experience. Each session is free, but registration is required.

Cary Wecht

Cary Wecht

“Artists are more than three times as likely as the average person to be self-employed,” said Cary Wecht, F&PA associate dean and one of the event planners. “This series is meant to assist their businesses, and in tandem, help people appreciate what artists contribute to the economic health and cultural vitality of their communities.”

“What the Heck is an LLC?,” features James S. Simon, an attorney with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLP. The session will address the basics of what the business structure of a limited liability company is, how to start one, and how it could be beneficial to an artist.  The speaker will also explore other possible structures such as an S Corp and a 501(c)(3).  In addition, he will answer questions from artists considering starting an art-based business, but have little preparation or knowledge.

Other sessions planned include:

Arts Mean Business; Really, They Do!
May 30, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Raymond John Wean Foundation
147 West Market Street
Warren, Ohio 44481

Sell What? Approaching Galleries and Agents
Sept. 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The Raymond John Wean Foundation
147 West Market Street
Warren, Ohio 44481

Got Cash; Now What? Financial Issues for Arts Based Businesses
Nov. 7, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
McDonough Museum of Art
525 Wick Avenue
Youngstown, Ohio 44555

Registration is available at or call Wecht at 330-941-2337 for additional information. Parking for the March 7 session is available for a nominal fee in the Wick Avenue deck at YSU.

With the support of the Raymond John Wean Foundation and YSU, this series is jointly sponsored by:

Power of the Arts
The mission of the Power of the Arts Initiative is to create and sustain a collaborative structure for the Arts and Culture community to effectively participate in our region’s revitalization and economic development and to positively impact our citizens’ quality of life.

College of Fine and Performing Arts
We provide a dynamic learning environment – utilizing music, visual arts, speech communication, telecommunication, theater, and dance – to strengthen and broaden the intellectual and cultural horizons of a diverse community.  We believe the creative and communication arts are expressions of our shared humanity, capable of building connections among people and cultures, exploring the human spirit in all of its nuances, revealing new perceptions of our past, present and future, and providing a humanizing force vital to a civil society.