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My Artrepreneur™ Program

Artists are, by nature, inventors, engineers, explorers, and discoverers. Artists see possibility everywhere. Monetizing curiosity, however, can be a daunting task. Creating a sustainable life in the arts is complicated. To help artists build a sustainable life in the arts, the Idaho Commission on the Arts offers My Artrepreneur™ Program, an intensive professional development program teaching business skills for artists, by artists.

The program is offered in one area each year, rotated around the state. The 2024 course will be held in cooperation with the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council, at locations around Valley and Adams Counties. Artists attend four mandatory workshops, and pair with a mentor artist to develop their art as they build a kit of 35 essential tools for an art-centered business.

Opening reception for North Idaho MAP artists at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center in Post Falls.

This course is comprehensive and requires attendance at four weekend workshops. Those workshops will be held:

April 6-7 in Cascade
June 15-16 in New Meadows
September 14-15 in Donnelly
November 16-17 in McCall

Saturday sessions are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sundays are 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


A sustainable career in the arts is attainable by developing one’s skill and expertise in a chosen medium, understanding and engaging in the arts community, articulating one’s story and purpose as an artist and strategically seeking patrons for one’s work. MAP provides practical coursework to develop your tools of art and business. Read the complete program information here.

  • Over 40 hours of instruction and workshop activities
  • 35 practical business tools
  • Demystify the world of business
  • Affirm the title of “Artist” as a credible profession

The Cost

The Idaho Commission on the Arts offers scholarships reducing student cost from $1,000 to only $300. Additional scholarship funding up to $150 is available for residents of the West Central Mountains Creative District upon completion of the course. If you have the means to pay full price and would like to donate these scholarships to another student, indicate so on the application. Students will be responsible for their own lodging and transportation.

Artists pay a $150 deposit to reserve their seat. Outstanding tuition is due before the final workshop. Monthly payment plans are available.

The Results

MAP was developed in Montana as the Montana Artrepreneur Program, where it has earned national acclaim. The Montana Arts Council surveyed participants from 2009 through April 2014 and respondents reported being:

  • More confident in their business management skills (79%)
  • More specific and clear on their art business financial goals (78%)
  • Actively making art and pursuing their art businesses (75%)
  • In progress toward their art business financial goals (71%)
  • More satisfied with their art business (65%)

If you have questions about business skills for artists, contact john.mcmahon@arts.idaho.gov.


For currently enrolled artists, here is the MENTORSHIP COMPLETION FORM

The Tools

My Artrepreneur™ Program works with artists to develop 35 practical tools for sustaining their arts business. Individually, the tools meet specific business needs. Collectively, they constitute the elements of a professional marketing and business plan. The Artrepreneur’s Toolbox contains:

  • Log of studio hours
  • Annotated list of area heritage and cultural resources
  • Landscape journal for creative ideas and marketplace branding
  • Product line list with both retail and wholesale prices
  • System for record keeping and organization
  • Written mission, values, and vision statements for the artist’s business
  • Three goals and three objectives to reach each goal
  • Artist statements (three versions required: one page, one or two paragraphs, and 25-30 words)
  • Customer profile
  • A small window or table display of the artist’s work
  • Diagram and photos of the artist’s booth for use at a show
  • Documentation of five hours spent with an art mentor
  • At least 6 professional photographs of artwork
  • At least 2 professional photographs of the artist at work
  • Logo
  • Business card
  • Brochure
  • Hangtags to use on the artist’s work
  • A sample of packaging for use in sales, customer transport, and shipping of the work
  • A sample of business transaction materials (eg. invoices, statements, receipts, and order blanks)
  • 2-minute video presentation
  • Research of four shows (one local, two regional, and one national)
  • Research of payment methods
  • Proof of participation in an area show
  • Ten hours of internship with a creative sector business
  • Press release
  • Press kit
  • Portfolio
  • Website
  • E-portfolio
  • Resume and cover letter for use with a gallery
  • Studio Budget for the coming year
  • Mini-proposal for funding a project in line with the artist’s goals
  • Plan outlining the artist’s strategies for marketing
  • Business plan to use in building a business of art