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


Apply here.

Don't wait! The application for this program will close on September 5th. Applicants will receive an update about their status by Sept. 7th.


"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

LaDara McKinnon headshotLaDara McKinnon: LaDara McKinnon is a teaching abstract artist, curator, and business owner based in Charlotte, NC, who was raised in Hawaii and Japan. Her appreciation for the arts and color began in her years living abroad. 

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts while minoring in Psychology and Women & Gender studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As an undergraduate she studied abroad at Burren School of Art in Clare, Ireland which inspired her to pursue a career as an artist. Learn more about LaDara and her art on her website.

Insta: @ladarafineart

The City of Durham is proud to partner with:

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