SFCC courses give creative a leg up on business

Published: Friday, January 20, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 20, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
People in creative professions - not just artists, but also those in clothing design, landscaping and catering - may be highly proficient in their particular passion.
But when it comes to handling the books, the marketing and the advertising, they may fail miserably.
In order to help these artistic and imaginative people make a living in the business world, Santa Fe Community College's Center for Business is offering a series of courses on the basics of entrepreneurship and how to enter the local economy.
In partnership with the Artists Alliance of North Florida, the courses are being taught by professionals in their field at the SFCC Blount Center, 530 W. University Ave. Classes are at various days and times of the day - including many evenings - and begin next week. People may register through today by calling 395-5896; classes need at least five people, so if students wait until the day of the class to register, they should call first.
Kathryn Gordon, an artist herself and the person who lines up the Center for Business classes, suggested the courses to Artists Alliance co-directors Annie Pais and Stewart Thomas.
They created the curriculum using information they gleaned from conferences led by Handmade in America, an industry-support group based in Asheville, N.C., that works to develop and enhance opportunities and entrepreneurial strategies for artists.
Pais is leading the kickoff course, Skills for the Creative Economy, in which participants can explore starting and operating a business while facing the challenges of marketing creative output.
Stewart will teach a four-week course on creative marketing plans and computer skills. He said traditional business courses are taught from the starting point of, "What excites you is making money, then you come up with some product to earn it. Creative people do it the other way around. They create items, and then figure out how to make money from them."
Queenchiku Ngozi - executive director of the Chiumba Ensemble, incoming guest curator at the Thomas Center and one of the instructors, said the economic impact of the arts is huge. A study released by the Florida Cultural Alliance in January 2004 reports the annual statewide economic impact has grown from $1.7 billion in 1997 to more than $2.9 billion and now supports more than 28,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
Other instructors include Nelson Pizarro, coordinator for the city of Gainesville's Minority and Small Business Development Center; Melody Record, founder of the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Ethnic Arts Network and now in the curatorial department of the Harn Museum of Art; and Linette Singleton of Singleton Consulting Group.
For more information, call Kathryn Gordon at 395-5236.
or visit http://admin.sfcc.edu/~ce/buss.html.
Marina Blomberg can be reached at (352) 374-5025 or blombem@gvillesun.com.

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