Triangle ArtWorks Launches ArtSwell – Collaborative Regional Professional Development the Triangle Arts Community Needs

The Triangle would not be the same diverse, exciting, and beautiful place without its incredible arts community. The work of artists enrich our lives, as they weave together our history, our daily trials and tribulations, our thoughts and emotions. Artists and arts organizations are a powerful part of our current and changing economy​, not only through the work they do, but the events and vibrancy they bring to our towns and cities are a major factor in quality of life – and a major driver in employee and business recruitment. Artists are also a vital part of our innovation infrastructure, helping to support and enrich divergent thinking, which is vital to the future of our Region.

Tailored Regional Professional Development to Help Artists & Arts Organizations Thrive

How do we, as a Region, ensure that the members of the arts sector can grow and thrive as businesses? This business sector needs tools and education to become sustainable working arts businesses, either alone or collectively as small businesses or nonprofits. That’s why Triangle ArtWorks is launching a new program, ​ArtSwell​, that will create the professional development program that the Triangle’s arts community needs and deserves. Thanks largely to the generosity and vision of the ​Mary Duke Biddle Foundation​ and working with eight Program Partners from across the Region, Triangle ArtWorks, we will be working this year to build a comprehensive program to meet this need.

The arts sector in the Triangle is largely made up of small businesses, sole proprietorships and nonprofits that have unique needs often not met by large economic development programs or even typical small business programs. Triangle ArtWorks has already created a ​central platform to listen to, empower and serve this sector and is now building a broader arts eco-system to help this community thrive. Our new initiative, ArtSwell, is designed to provide tailored and accessible professional development programs and is an important part of this work.

The ArtSwell initiative will build a professional development program to provide more diverse and robust programming to serve artists and arts administrators in all arts disciplines and stages of career development. Workshops and other types of training in entrepreneurship, marketing, business development, accounting, legal issues, etc., as well as networking and other peer support and learning events, will be crucial to help artists and small arts businesses thrive and grow. Similarly Arts nonprofit leaders need peer support and professional development to further their individual careers and to improve their work for our local arts organizations. To serve the many workers in the arts sector who are part of the “gig economy”, online resources and programs will be provided to fit professional development within their difficult schedules. Learn more about our ArtSwell Plan ​here.

Working Cooperatively Across the Region

Triangle ArtWorks is developing ArtSwell along with eleven committed Program Partners – Durham Arts Council, Office of Raleigh Arts, United Arts of Raleigh/Wake, Town of Cary, Hillsborough Arts Council, NC Arts Council, Artspace, Orange County Arts Commission, Chatham Arts Council, Visual Art Exchange and Durham Art Guild. All of these organizations share this mission to support Triangle artists and are already engaging in professional development activities, but recognize that, by working together across the Region, we can create a broader program, serving more people, in more places.

Triangle ArtWorks and our Partners recognize that making artists and arts organizations more financially sustainable is not only good for the arts sector, but for the Triangle as a whole. Through ArtSwell, Triangle ArtWorks aims to pool resources, time, funding, and energy to cultivate programs in professional development for artists, arts administrators, and creative businesses, wherever they may be in their arts and culture careers in the Triangle. Reaching and supporting art-makers, culture-workers, and creative leaders with easy-to-access and high-quality professional development classes, workshops, seminars, and events will be invaluable for the health of local arts eco-system and the region as a whole.

ArtSwell Program to be Managed by Daniel P. Wilson

To launch ArtSwell, the TriangleDW-Leader-Headshot ArtWorks Board of Directors is pleased to announce its first official hire, ​Daniel P. Wilson​, as our ArtSwell Program Manager. In the coming months Mr. Wilson will be working with Executive Director, Beth Yerxa, to further develop and lead existing Triangle ArtWorks programs, and collaborate with our ArtSwell Program Partners to establish a comprehensive set of year-round regional professional development offerings.

A transplant to the Triangle area, Daniel Wilson, relocated to Morrisville with his wife, Anna Decker Wilson, and thier three young children, from San Jose, CA in 2016. Daniel’s background is in the entertainment industry, with more than a decade of arts management experience, four years casting commercials in Hollywood, and a lifetime spent in the arts as an actor, director, and more. Dan has also worked in corporate staffing as a Recruiter and served on the Steering Committees of both genARTS Silicon Valley (San Jose’s emerging arts leaders’ network) and Directors Lab West (an offshoot of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab) where he gained experience and insights in the area of arts advocacy, professional development, and arts leadership.

Prior to relocating to North Carolina, Daniel served for four years as the Associate Artistic Director of Los Altos Stage Company. Dan is a graduate of the Acting Program at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, CA and holds a BFA in Directing from Roosevelt University in Chicago. As a performer, Dan has appeared in more than 40 stage productions, and acted in a dozen commercials and a handful of television and film projects, including many local productions since moving to North Carolina.


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