The 25 artists participating in this year’s Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training attended their final in-person training session on Thursday, May 12. Periscope is an annual application-based program of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville that empowers working artists to see their creative practice through an entrepreneurial lens.
Over the course of the eight week program, the Periscope Class of 2022 has met on the campus of Belmont University each Thursday for a half-day of intensive entrepreneurial training. Each week’s session happens in three parts.
The first part of the day is a presentation by a Nashville Entrepreneur Center advisor on topics such as setting goals, understanding your customer, framing your business structure, pricing, and more. The second part of the day finds the cohort of artists divided into groups of five paired with a Nashville arts leader who facilitates group discussion to dive deeper into the topic of the day.
The last part of the day is a one-hour “Lunch & Learn” on specially curated topics tailored to reinforce the curriculum and introduce valuable, diverse perspectives on what it means to be an entrepreneur. For example, in Week 4 the “Lunch & Learn” session focused on neurodivergence and entrepreneurship, and the Week 5 “Lunch & Learn” featured a panel discussion of Women & BIPOC Founders.
The Arts & Business Council surveys the artists each week and there has been positive feedback from the class. Artists say they enjoy the practical examples of how abstract business principles show up in the real world, and that Periscope helps them translate those technical concepts into usable information. Others say Periscope has given them permission to pause, step back, and be thoughtful and intentional about their path, from both a personal and career perspective.
The combination of instruction, group work, and special topics is a formula for success when it comes to helping artists see their creative practices through that entrepreneurial lens. The final in-person session on May 12 marked the transition into the next phase of the program— business mentorship. Every Periscope artist will be paired one-on-one with a high-caliber business mentor for six months to help them implement what they’ve learned in Periscope to develop and fine tune their business plans.
The program culminates with the Periscope Pitch & Artist Entrepreneur Showcase on September 7 at OZ Arts Nashville. There, the 2022 class of Periscope artist entrepreneurs will showcase their work, unveil their creative business plans to the public, and share how the community can support their entrepreneurial dreams. The night ends with a graduation and award ceremony where every Periscope artist will be celebrated for completing the training.
For the latest information, and to be alerted to when tickets to the Pitch & Showcase become available, sign up for their newsletter at: abcnashville.org.
Periscope is an annual program, and applications for the 2023 cohort will open in January. The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville operates six main programs: Education for the Creative Community, Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts, Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training, Arts Board Matching, Fiscal Sponsorship, and Creative Advantage, among many other resources and opportunities. For more information, visit: www.abcnashville.org or contact 615-460-8274.