Written by Charlie Patton and originally published in the Jacksonville Times-Union on February, 27, 2017.
In 1978, already in the midst of a successful business career that saw him retire in 2007 as a vice president and chief architect at Haskell, David Engdahl was looking for a way to market himself as an artist.
His solution was to secure a National Endowment for the Arts grant and then approach management at the Jacksonville International Airport. He offered to produce a couple of aviation-themed sculptures. In 1980, two wooden sculptures, “Ascent” and “Descent,” went up over the escalators between the two floors of the airport where they remained on conspicuous view for a decade.
“The art of marketing and promotion are of the utmost importance to artists,” Engdahl said. “ You have to build your own art career. Nobody is going to build it for you.”
That’s a message that will be conveyed next Saturday during a workshop titled “Entrepreneur Symposium for Creatives: Every Artist is a Small Business.” Hosted by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville at the Jesse Ball duPont Center in Jacksonville’s former downtown library at 40 E. Adams St., the workshop is sponsored by Community First Credit Union’s philanthropic Community First Cares Foundation.
Leading the day long workshop — 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. — will be Diane Mataraza, a St. Augustine resident who has been a senior advisor at the National Endowment for the Arts and executive director of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Foundation, which administers the Grammy Awards.
“She’s dynamic,” said Tony Allegretti, executive director of the Cultural Council. “She’s got a real talent for pulling artists together and keeping them focused.”
Topics to be covered include managing finances as a freelancer; the value of branding, marketing and digital communication; defining success, establishing goals and doing strategic planning; and how to grow a sustainable business model.
Speakers will include Davis Johston from Community First Credit Union; Nadia Ramoutar of Nadia Ramoutar Productions; Autumn Berrang of Adjective & Co.; and Kevin Monahan of the University of North Florida’s Small Business Development Center.
In addition to sponsoring the event, the Community First Cares Foundation will offer five individual artist grants of $1,000 each.
Also, the Cultural Council is partnering with Any Given Child Jacksonville to launch an artist-in-residence pilot program under which up to four Jacksonville visual artists will be embedded in Duval County Public Schools. Allison Galloway-Gonzalez, the executive director of Any Given Child Jax, will be at the symposium to make an official announcement about the paid artist-in-residence program, including a timeline on how to apply.
The workshop will accommodate up to 125 people and openings remain. To register go to bit.ly/2l0LIxH. The price is $10 for those who use the promo code bold40.
Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413
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