By Cindy Kittredge Montana Arts Council Folk Arts and Market Development Specialist

HELENA – The Montana Arts Council’s Montana Artrepreneurship Program is now open to artists in 10 parts of the state.

Founded in 2008, MAP helps visual artists develop a sustainable business in art by learning more about entrepreneurship and developing a framework for their business of art. Participants commit to eight to ten months of instruction and workshops that help them create 35 tools for their business toolbox and then move forward to Market-Ready Certification. Tools include creating marketing materials, setting pricing, developing displays for shows and building a business plan. There are also mentorship and internship opportunities.

MAP participants can also qualify for market-expansion opportunities like a recent learning excursion that took artists to the Western Design Conference in Jackson, Wyo., in mid-September.

Funded by LINC (a foundation that builds infrastructure for artists nationwide) and a grant from the USDA, the arts council is also guiding 10 past participants toward becoming MAP certified coaches. This group includes DG House, an artist who will establish an artrepreneurship group based in Bozeman for artists from nearby areas such as Ennis, Three Forks and Livingston.

This program is specifically for visual artists, which includes individuals working in all media, including oils, glass, leather, textiles, fibers, metal and photography. Artists need to have developed a body of work and have some computer skills. The groups are kept small to insure artists receive the full benefits of the learning opportunity.

More information and applications available on the MAC website at arts.mt.gov or email elkittredge@dishmail.net. The signup period closes Feb. 1.