Arts Entrepreneurship

Arts Entrepreneurship Intensive

Are you a mid-career artist struggling to leave your day job or a  new-to-the biz creative with dollar signs in your eyes?

Join Triangle ArtWorks’ experienced instructors in a 6-week intensive business school-style experience aimed at you. From business structures to support systems, from credit cards to cash flow, this course will walk you through the process of creating an art business that makes money. Each week you’ll work on activities and projects that lead you to a clear vision of your business and a business plan. You’ll leave the class with a binder full of worksheets, ideas, contacts and checklists and be energized to make your business succeed.

This course is a business school for artists. With hands-on, activity-based experiences and tools, you’ll work on your art business issues while learning how to become a better networker, how to set up a solid business structure, and about financial tools and structures that can help you make better business decisions. If you've tried to understand business principles before and been bored or frustrated, this is for you. If you want tools to understand your own art business better, this is for you. Course topics will include cash flow, production, costs and pricing, inventory, local resources, sales and promotions, and more. These arts business specific skills are not currently part of most university fine craft and fine art programs, but are essential for artists to function as businesses.

  • All registrants will be invited to join a course-specific private Facebook group where weekly live-video sessions will be available for participants to ask instructors questions outside of the meeting times. This group will be an integral part of the course, so membership is encouraged.
  • All registrants will be invited to schedule one-on-one consulting sessions with course instructors to address their specific needs. 
  • Both beginners and more experienced artisans can benefit from this course.
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to attend all sessions.
  • This course will be held on Zoom. Course handouts will be delivered digitally.
  • Outside work for this class can total up to 1 hour per week. This homework is optional, but to get the most out of the class, you’ll want to spend some time on the activities.
  • This course meets on Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00 pm.

Instructors are Cynthia Deis and Tiffany Coley

woman selling pottery in her shop


The application for this program closed on February 7th. The program will begin on March 15th. 

If you are interested in joining a future cohort of this program, please stay tuned for announcements from the City of Durham and Triangle Artworks.


"I realized through my pricing review of my products that I was under pricing many of my items and have adjusted allows me to be a more sustainable business." 

Rick Gardner, Binky And Belle, Apex NC

"I came in not knowing what I didn't know, and now I know! The class provided a method of examining the potential success of my business, and was very useful."

Michelle Folkman, Greensboro NC

"I registered for this course knowing that I needed help with the numbers aspect of my business. Tiffany and Cynthia had the perfect examples + formulas to help us small businesses understand our own numbers and provided us the tools to make adjustments we'd want to improve our business.

I know I'll be referencing these equations + examples throughout my business' journey."

Nicole Drake, Pet Paintings By Nicole


Tiffany ColeyTiffany Coley: Tiffany Coley is a jeweler and silversmith with a background in tech business. With over 15 years of teaching and craft sales experience, she sells her work to galleries and stores around the US and works out of her studio in Durham, NC. Tiffany brings to the course her deep knowledge of selling crafts at both retail and wholesale as well as how to create a focused product line. Learn more about Tiffany Coley's work here.

Insta: @tiffanycoleyjewelry

CCynthia Deisynthia Deis: Cynthia Deis is an artist and art educator with over 25 years of experience in creating and selling art and in running a retail crafts store and artist-focused pop-up markets around the Triangle. She currently works as the Education Director of Triangle ArtWorks and consults with artists and creative small businesses. Learn more about Cynthia’s work here.

Insta: @CynthiaDeis

The City of Durham is proud to partner with:

Triangle Art Works logo_new_Sept 2020