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July 2024

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Free Creative Business Workshops from March through May

Three creative business development workshops will be held in Questa, Penasco, and Taos between March and May, sponsored by a recent grant award won by Taos County.

Taos County was among 18 recipients of the inaugural Creative Industries grant award, funded by the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The grants flow from House Bill 8, passed during the 2023 Legislature, that establishes the Creative Industries Division as part of the Economic Development Department.

The newly announced grants will catalyze local communities and tribes to stimulate advancement or economic development through creative industries. A total of $1.8 million was awarded.

Taos County’s project is a two-pronged program that will expand upon and continue a youth internship program currently underway at the Taos Center for the Arts (TCA) that places young people in paid internships with arts and cultural organizations.

The second part of the project will offer three in-person, weekend-long business development workshops across the county for artists, makers and creative entrepreneurs. The Taos Arts Council will administer the various projects within the grant, through their newly hired grant coordinator Lindsey Rae Gjording. Taos County and the Taos Arts Council are working with the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) through their Artist Inc. Express program to deliver the three creative entrepreneur training workshops.

Creatives of all types—both new and those established in their careers—are invited to attend the workshops, which help with both personal branding and building business foundations for art and creative endeavors.

Free catered lunch on both days will be provided, along with stipend money to cover transportation, accommodation, childcare and elder care costs that may be incurred in order to attend the workshop.

The workshop dates are as follows:
• Questa workshop on March 2-3
• Peñasco workshop on April 27-28
• Taos workshop on May 18-19

Additional information and registration for all workshops is available at https://www.taosartscouncil.org/artist-inc-express/

The Chamber of Commerce will be an important partner in cultivating and supporting the creative entrepreneurs who are seeking to build relationships with the broader business community.

Taos County is committed to equitable access to the creative business development workshops, and has dedicated funds in the grant budget for transportation, accommodation, child and/or elder care, and other needs that may arise that would otherwise prohibit individuals from participating and advancing their creative practices.

The two project pieces will offer a continuum of direct workforce development opportunities that build the capacity of the County’s cultural institutions for the long term, helping create a trained and sustainable workforce to enhance the fabric of its creative community. The workshops are specifically designed to serve artists and creative entrepreneurs from across disciplines and at all points in their career trajectories.

This opportunity will also allow Taos County and partners to explore the long-term viability of establishing its own creative entrepreneur program that could be led and operated locally, with revenue-generating opportunities for local partners.

This initial grant funding is a unique moment to provide high-quality training for local businesses and the County’s own education as service providers to ensure business and workforce development programs such as these for the foreseeable future. Please email projects@taosartscouncil.org for additional information.