Business & Finance

Professional development resources for building the business aspects of your creative enterprise.


Joshua Ginsberg, Chicago Art Leasing

How I ended up taking the path of "leased" resistance.

Maybe it's a local networking event, a friend of a friend's birthday party, or just a conversation with a cab driver, but the question always comes up: “Chicago Art Leasing? How did you get into that?”

The short answer is that I needed to figure out a Plan B to pay rent once I learned that the company I was working for was going to be closing its doors.

Jason Pettus, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

How to Start a Cultural Institution for Under $500

Before I started the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, I worked as a self-publishing artist—first, as a photographer back at the University of Missouri, then as a writer of novels, travelogues, and
performance poetry in Chicago. I attended high school during the peak of the early-'80s punk years, so for decades now, I've been a strong adherent of the "do it yourself" (or DIY) ethos.

Andrew Hobgood

Crossing Over: Bringing Business to My Art and Art to My Business

In the 19th Century, the dominant form of theatrical production was the actor-manager system: A seasoned actor would form a company, play the leading roles, and take on the financial and organizational responsibilities as the troupe toured the country. The 20th century favored a model where business and art were handled by separate staff. Recently, though, the artist-manager system has experienced a resurgence via the rise of artist-driven “independent” or “storefront” theatre.

Nicholas Barron

What makes a successful music career?

My idea of success has changed significantly over the 24 years that I've been making my living through music. I felt successful when I was 21 years old and playing in the Chicago subway. It was there, and on the Chicago streets in the bitter months of winter, where I learned to sing blues and soul music, both in solo and ensemble settings. Making enough money to buy dinner and have a delicious beer or two felt like success.