The creation of new programs, like The Art Express workshop and the Arts Entrepreneurship minor, is sending a message to the student body--skills in the arts can go a long way both creatively and commercially.
The Art Express workshop was designed to help artists of all varieties learn how to market their work, whether it's in painting, design, music, or theatre .
This is the first time The Art Express will be done at N.C . State. The cost is $49 for students and $98 for the general public, with the first class beginning on March 15.
Cheryl Weisz , instructor for the workshop, has previously trained individuals in the course and provided intel for potential job opportunities.
"I have a lot of contacts in New York, Atlanta, in different places," Weisz said. "So artists can actually get connected into the system."
In particular, students in the workshop will be taught what venues they should approach to get their work displayed or bought, how to approach them, and other important aspects like how to design a portfolio.
According to Weisz , roughly 97 percent of her previous pupils were successful in getting their foot in an arts career or opportunity.
One such student, Susan Fry, was encouraged to send demo tapes of her music to various radio stations. Having liked one of Fry's lullaby tracks so much, a radio station owner requested her to write one for his son.
"From that one contact, she was asked to write another lullaby, and then two more, and now she is writing lullabies internationally and selling them," Weisz said.
"It's important for an artist to define what success is to them. You have to work hard at the business of being an artist if you want to make a living of it," Jo Ellen Westmoreland, Assistant Director of the Crafts center and coordinator of the workshop, said.
A free information session about the workshop will take place on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m .
While many students are excited about the program, The Art Express is not the only program generating buzz about the arts and business connection. The Arts Entrepreneurship minor is a relatively new idea, not only on campus, but also nation-wide.
N.C . State is one of only three universities in America to offer this minor to students.
Gary Beckman, Director of Entrepreneurial Studies in the Arts, was brought in to create the minor on campus, making it the first in the country to actually be offered to students majoring in any field.
"It's for any student who's interested in the arts, any student who wants to make a living with their art or, more importantly here, students who feel as if they can compact the production of art," Beckman said. "So perhaps they have ideas that help artists create better art."
The minor contains four courses and an advised elective, all of which can be completed within three semesters, according to Beckman.
"I have at least one student who in three years is going to have a multi-million dollar idea," Beckman said. "There's no doubt in my mind, and that's just one of my students."
The minor will be represented at the next campus eGames , with the inclusion of an arts feasibility challenge and a prototype challenge, which will allow art entrepreneurs to display their creativity amongst engineers and the like.
The first-prize winner for each will receive $4,000.
"Art is this beautiful, magical, mystical thing that people, for some reason, can't live without. It may be commoditized in many ways for the 21st century," Beckman said. "But the core magic of what it does to people, no matter the discipline, is still there."
The Art Express and the Arts Entrepreneurship minor are paving the way for individuals to enhance their arts prospects by allowing art and the innovations of marketing and business to work together.