Archive for the ‘creative community’ Category

Launching ArtSwell TV – With the Tools and Learning You Need NOW!

A big hug to everyone out there in the arts community. We see you, we are listening to your needs and wanted to give you an update on where we are with our work and programming. 


Many of you are familiar with Maslow’s hammer, which is roughly “if what you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. Triangle ArtWorks serves the Triangle arts community as a business community. Our biggest hammers are training/education and a central community support platform. So when we look at what is happening, we think “how do we use these tools to help the community we serve get through this?” As described below, we are busy creating online skills programming to help you get the skills you need AND will be gathering and sharing ideas from all of you, so that you can help others in the Triangle arts community. 


For months, we have been preparing for (and talking about) the launch of ArtSwell, a big new regional collaborative professional development platform to provide more diverse and robust educational opportunities for this sector. We had 19 in-person educational programs ready in the areas of arts administration/fundraising, a long-form craft entrepreneurship program, business of arts, and music entrepreneurship and were supposed to launch last week!

These programs are currently on hold, as we pivot to provide the resources, tools and training the Triangle arts sector needs in a way that works in our current environment. What we are hearing from the field is that many need to learn or advance new skills to adapt their work to continue to make money during what may be a long period of social isolation. But what we are also hearing is that many also need to know that they are not alone in this time filled with so many competing needs (work, bills, kids), hear how others are coping and get ideas of how to begin to move forward. 


Artswell TV Logo



Today, we launched ArtSwell TV. This platform will be a central location for folks working in the arts sector in the Triangle to find programs and videos to learn or expand the skills needed to continue their arts work now.  It will also be a place where all of you working in the arts sector can find stories of how others in this community are coping. We recognize that there is a LOT of content on these issues on the internet, but our goal is to create and collect content created by LOCAL people who understand the needs of the Triangle arts sector.  


ArtSwell TV will launch with three levels of content:

WWFM – “What Works for Me” – Let’s help each other through this! Each week, we will be giving the community a new prompt through our social media platform and asking you to load a short video in response. This is your chance to share lessons learned – from how to work with toddlers at home to how you are using online platforms to make money – what has worked and even what hasn’t! We will share as many of these as we can on our social media platform and load them on ArtSwell TV. 

Short Business Skills Tutorials – ArtSwell TV will have FREE short tutorials from local artists and others on skills folks need to move their businesses forward in this new reality. Skills such as how to stream on various online platforms, how to sell online, marketing online, etc. Some of these tutorials will have repetitive topics, as we know there is more than one approach to address issues.  

Webinars and Online Classes –  We are also developing live and long-form online programming with registration, Q&A and more complex discussion. We may even be moving some of our regular ArtSwell programming online. Topics will range from fundraising to legal and accounting issues in online sales, to panels on how to make money online. These programs will be posted on our website under Upcoming Events and promoted through our social media and email list.  Some will also be loaded on to ArtSwell TV. We are also sharing on ArtSwell TV, relevant webinars created by other local arts organizations and businesses. 

A Note on ArtSwell Launch Pricing – We understand the financial issues you all are dealing with, so we will be drastically reducing the prices of our online webinars for as long as we can. Thanks to Tremaine Foundation and City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development and Innovation grants in support of ArtSwell programs, we are able to do this. Want to help us continue to keep prices low, donate to ArtSwell here.


Here is how the Triangle Arts Community can help us build ArtSwell TV!

  • Be patient with us! We are excited to kick off this new platform on Friday … but know this came together FAST! There will be kinks at the start. Plus, we will have to adapt this work as the community needs change … so bear with us as we grow and develop this resource for you.
  • Share your learning! – Have you been making money on Etsy, Twitch, FB…whatever… for years and have information to share – let us know. Have an online workshop idea – let us know! Think we are missing a real skill need and wish we had a class/tutorial on that – let us know! Reach out to us by email. And be sure and pick up your phone, turn on your video, record a “WWFM” video and tag us online! 
  • Spread the word – Once we launch, help us get the word out about this central learning platform! Let’s make it easy for the Triangle Arts Sector to get the tools they need! 


Executive Director, Beth Yerxa, Re-Elected to National Advisory Council

Triangle ArtWorks Executive Director Re-Elected to Americans for the Arts’ Advisory Council

Members of Americans for the Arts have re-elected Triangle ArtWorks Executive Director, Beth Yerxa, as a member of their Private Sector Advisory Council for a second term. Yerxa will advise Americans for the Arts’ staff on developing programs and services that will build a deeper connection to the field and the network membership. In the Private Sector Council, Yerxa will work with fellow arts leaders to develop and implement private-sector advocacy programs and serve as leaders to other local arts agencies seeking to connect with the private sector.

“I am pleased to welcome these members back to our advisory council,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Americans for the Arts strives to cultivate the next generation of arts leaders in America, and these leaders are willing to dedicate their time and expertise to work with peers across the country to shape national programs and messages and help craft services for states, communities, and local organizations. I applaud them for their valued contribution and commitment that will undoubtedly improve the state of arts in America.”

“I am thrilled to be re-elected and to be able to work with my fellow Council members to look at the changing field of “arts work”.  I believe we are in a period of major change for how arts organizations, working artists, and arts and creative businesses are seen and how they are impacting our economies, communities,  innovation, and lives. ” say, Yerxa. “These changes in the field demand that we look at new ways  to not only provide services and support for people working in the arts sector, but also new ways for this sector to work and collaborate with other business sectors. The Private Sector Council consists of leaders from both arts and creative economy organizations, which allows us to provide great feedback and insight on these issues from the field nationally. For Triangle ArtWorks and the Triangle Region we serve, my service on this Council also keeps us abreast of these changing trends, as they happen, which helps guide our work in the Triangle.”

Potential council members were nominated in September and were voted on by members of Americans for the Arts through November 15, 2019. Yerxa will serve a two-year term, from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. 


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Request for Qualifications – ArtSwell Marketing Partner

Request for Qualifications for
ArtSwell Marketing Partner

RFQ Issue Date: September 10, 2019
RFQ Deadline: September 24 , 2019


Triangle ArtWorks is seeking a qualified, full-service advertising agency to guide the organization’s marketing strategy for the launch of ArtSwell, a regional cooperative professional development program to help the Triangle arts community thrive.

Background on Triangle ArtWorks

Triangle ArtWorks’ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to provide the services, support and resources necessary to cultivate and ensure a vibrant creative community in the Triangle. Since our launch in 2010, we have worked to elevate the position of the Triangle arts community, both for-profit and nonprofit, as a business sector that significantly impacts our region’s economic development and quality of life, while creating programs and services to contribute to their sustainability. Triangle ArtWorks works in all five counties of the Triangle (Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Johnston) and across all artistic disciplines. Through our platform and network, we bring these diverse artists, businesses and nonprofits together as a vital regional business sector, and connect them to resources and to each other. We are an established convenor and connector, creating opportunities for other business groups to collaborate with and support local arts groups and businesses.

What is ArtSwell?

ArtSwell is a new initiative of Triangle ArtWorks designed to develop a regional collaborative professional development program to provide more diverse and robust educational opportunities to serve all disciplines and stages of career development for the Triangle region’s arts and creative sector. ArtSwell was initiated in response to requests from several of our current partner organizations to work collaboratively on professional development projects. Rather than work piecemeal or “upon request,” Triangle ArtWorks convened these Partners to discuss and develop the program and are now moving this regional project forward together. 

At this time, Triangle ArtWorks is developing ArtSwell along with eleven committed Project Partners: Durham Arts Council, Office of Raleigh Arts, United Arts of Raleigh/Wake, Town of Cary, Orange County Arts Commission, Chatham Arts Council, Visual Art Exchange, Durham Art Guild, Artspace, Hillsborough Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council. Although this project began with eight partners, since this Program was launched and publicized, more partners have asked to become a part of it.  All of these Partner organizations have artists professional development as part of their mission, but have recognized that a collaborative regional program is a more efficient and effective way to serve this part of their mission. To find out more about ArtSwell, read “What is ArtSwell?”

ArtSwell Launch Marketing Needs

Although the content of Artswell’s professional development programs will be important, it is also crucial to create a program that the entire Triangle arts community is aware of and looks to for the resources and training they need as a business sector. Thus, a vital element in the success of ArtSwell will be our ability to create a program that is visible, clear and recognized by the entire arts community. 

Triangle ArtWorks staff and Board of Directors will support and guide this effort, as needed, but are looking to hire a marketing partner to guide us in the development and implementation of the ArtSwell Launch Plan. Therefore, we are seeking a qualified, full-service advertising agency or team to guide the organization’s overall marketing strategy and oversee its execution for the launch of ArtSwell. Responsibilities to include: the design of the ArtSwell brand and visual identity, creation of a central website that supports the program, and a detailed plan of how to best publicize the program launch to the entire Triangle community (including the use of social media platforms, traditional media and other marketing tools). 

If you are interested in being considered for this work, please provide the following:

  1. Agency information to establish your experience in this type of work and give us an understanding of your approach to marketing campaigns.
  2. The names of the primary team members and their relevant experience and background. 

Please submit this information in pdf format to Beth Yerxa 


Beth Yerxa – Executive Director
Buffy Taylor – ArtSwell Program Support


Announcing Six New Members of Triangle ArtWorks Board

The past few years have seen incredible growth in support from the community for the work that Triangle ArtWorks is doing to serve our regional arts community as a business sector.  We see that support in increased attendance at events, requests for programs and partnerships, growth in our media platform, and more.

But one concrete area of growth is the number of folks that have stepped up to say “I BELIEVE in what you are building and I want to be a part of making it happen”.  This year, we are excited to announce our largest class of incoming Board members to date – and a amazing group they are.

Welcome to our six new Triangle ArtWorks Board members!

Jungle Red 2 (2)Lyman Collins
Lyman Collins has served as Cultural Arts Manager for the Town of Cary since 1999 – before Koka Booth Amphitheatre was Koka Booth Amphitheatre!  His history degree from Davidson College prepared him well for the intricacies of the music business and his Master of Public Administration from UNC-CH prepared him for the intricacies of everything else. He has presented every genre of music from the Beach Boys at the University of Virginia to Wu-Tang Clan at Western Illinois University to Andre Watts at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to Poison at Booth Amphitheatre and he has enjoyed each of these artists & many, many more. In addition to Booth Amphitheatre he oversees Cary’s other outstanding arts venues: the Cary Arts Center, the Page-Walker Arts & History Center and the upcoming Cary Theater.


Susan Flower headshotSusan Flower
Susan is a former journalist with The Boston Globe who made the leap to digital marketing. In her current role as Production Manager at Carusele, she is passionate about finding creative ways to share stories that resonate with target audiences for many of the world’s top consumer brands. A native of New England, she moved to the Triangle six years ago with her family, where she enjoys the arts scene and volunteering.


meforpal2Matia Guardabascio
Matia is The Editor of Durham Beat, a local arts & culture magazine practicing in the style of Gonzo Journalism. She conceived of, founded, and manages the magazine. She is a long-time editor, writer, and Gonzo journalist. In her capacity at Durham Beat she manages the business, the staff, handles event coordination, and collaborations with local businesses and local artists, as well as her writing and editorial duties. Durham Beat hosts a regular no-cost local artisan market (The Beat Market) with curated live local music twice a month. Matia is a full-time employee at Duke University, where she works in the English Department as the Event Coordinator. She is a professional writer, editor, and event planner. She holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature and English Creative Writing from Rutgers University, where she graduated in 2010.


P1010179 2Cynthia Mollenkopf
In the spring of 2017, Cynthia opened Cocoon Gallery in Downtown Apex, NC. featuring high-quality, locally made, one-of-a-kind utilitarian art pieces from over 60 artists in a variety of mediums with whom she has developed first-hand relationships. Cynthia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, a Master’s in Geography (specializing in international trade), and an MBA in marketing. After some years in corporate marketing, Cynthia reignited her creative passions by delving into Feltmaking. As a fiber artist, Cynthia specializes in creating wearables, sculptural pieces, as well as wallhangings under the business name of ARTiFELTs. She also enjoys demonstrating and teaching felting as she believes creating public awareness of the felting process and sharing the potential of this medium are ongoing opportunities. Cynthia is a former member of the Town of Cary Cultural Arts Committee and, after years of participating in local arts festivals and juried art shows with her felted creations, Cynthia became a longtime member and Board member of Cary Gallery of Artists. Cynthia currently participates in the Apex Downtown Business Association and Women’s Power Networking.


imageWhitney Stanley
Whitney Stanley is a visual artist who also works as a privacy counsel at Virginia Tech. She double majored in economics and anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her law degree from Campbell University. Whitney travels as far as she can as often as she can. When she is home in the Triangle area, she’s volunteering and serving on boards, reading, eating (and cooking) good food, going to art-related events, and creating art.


image002Brian Sullivan
Brian is partner with Wyrick Robbins and practices in the areas of venture capital, private equity, and general corporate and business law with a focus on growth stage companies, including early stage life science and technology companies. He advises companies and venture capital and private equity funds in matters ranging from initial formation and general corporate matters to financings and mergers & acquisitions. Brian earned his law degree with high honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a member of the Order of the Coif. He was a published member of the North Carolina Law Review and later served as the Publication Editor. Before law school, Brian spent two years working for a major international accounting firm in New York City. Brian graduated with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Psychology. Brian is a longstanding and active member of Law + ArtWorks.

Triangle’s Newest Arts Space – Smelt Gallery Opens at The Plant


Marcella Slade talks with Triangle ArtWorks intern, Colin Gallagher, in main hall of the Gallery.

Pittsboro is home to the newest arts space on the Triangle Scene – Smelt Gallery.  “A non-conventional Art Gallery within an old smelting plant.”, Smelt describes itself as “an inclusive, multi-discipline, multi-cultural space that hosts a variety of exhibitions from monthly solos to pop ups, trunk, one night, collective and innovative shows for renown and up and coming Artist and Designers. We look forward to serving the Piedmont region, but are open to national and international work as well.”

A rather blurry picture of Marcella Slade, Smelt Gallery Coordinator/Curator.

A rather blurry picture of Marcella Slade, Smelt Gallery Coordinator/Curator.


Marcela wants the Triangle arts community to know that they are open to show the work of artists of all disciplines, alone or in groups for everything from events, to exhibitions, to installations. “We are open to everything from folk art to contemporary, but specifically looking for artists or groups of artists who can fill the large space with their work, or a unified installation or show.” You can contact Marcela through Smelt’s Facebook page.

Smelt Gallery

Smelt Gallery


Smelt Gallery opened in May and is located at The Plant in Pittsboro, so it is surrounded by “a diverse group of businesses aimed at developing local economy and resilience” such as Fair Game Beverage, Starlight Mead and Abundance Foundation.  You can check out the Gallery at its next event, the closing of its current show of Slade work on July 27. You can also listen to Gallery Director/Curator Marcela Slade talk about the Gallery recently on WHUP here.


The Plant



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Help Us Research the Growing Field of Senior Arts Programming

Older adults are brimming with underserved creative energy and curiosity. With the “greying” of the Triangle, we hear more and more from senior living facilities — as well as all sorts of senior centers and program providers — looking for artists of all disciplines to teach and present programs and classes. Given Triangle ArtWorks mission, we see this demand as an growing opportunity for working artists of all disciplines. So, we want to look at how Triangle ArtWorks collaborative platform could help support this field in any way. To do this, however, we need to build a better understanding of how this community works now, before we could begin to think about what resources, if any, would be helpful.


Grant Holub-Moorman

We are thrilled to introduce our new Program Assistant, Grant Holub-Moorman, who will begin to study and develop connections for Triangle ArtWorks in this field of work. Grant is a local educator, oral historian and radio producer based in Durham. Grant will communicate with both artists and facilities to understand how programs and artists are currently connecting and ways these connections could be easier. These discussions will also explore training and other resource needs for artists designing programs for the specialized environment of a senior programs and facilities. His research will also look at how this work is done nationally in order to expand our knowledge of this changing field.
If you are working in this area and have input or ideas for this research, or otherwise want to get involved with this project, please reach out to Grant by email.

Centerpiece Gallery Opens in Person Street Neighborhood

Centerpiece Horizontal LogoRaleigh has a new gallery showing the work of local and international artists, with the opening of the The Centerpiece in Raleigh’s Person Street neighborhood. The Centerpiece focuses on contemporary fine art, including paintings and glass works, both by established and emerging artists. The Centerpiece is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM, and Saturdays from 11 – 6 PM.

In addition to gallery space and framing, The Centerpiece is also hosting artists workshops at all career levels. The Centerpiece welcomes artists interested in teaching workshops to contact Miranda Estep. Artists interested in showing their work at The Centerpiece should send digital copies of their work to Katie Brown at Centerpiece to be considered for a Spotlight Show.

Katie Brown and Miranda Estep at The Centerpiece.

Katie Brown and Miranda Estep at The Centerpiece.

The Centerpiece prides itself in providing high quality service in everything it offers. From hand-selecting original art to showcase in the gallery to working individually with clients to design frames made specifically for them, they work to fit the needs of everyone that walks through their doors. They bring the same attention to detail to their art worksho
ps, bringing in only the highest quality instructors, guaranteeing an amazing, enriching experience for participants.
The gallery will be hosting a two-day Grand Opening event on June 7th and 8th! These events will feature a sneak preview in tandem with First Friday, and the official grand opening on Saturday, June 8th. The Saturday event will feature artist demos, raffles, refreshments, and more! You can check out their social media for updates closer to the event.

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Triangle Cultural Art Gallery Opens in North Raleigh

IMG_5139Jason Franklin wanted to create a gallery that “engaged a community with a cultural narrative” and nest that space in a part of the Triangle that would support it.  So, he opened Triangle Cultural Art Gallery on Litchford Road in Raleigh with a Mission to cultivate and exhibit “art that reflects the Triangle’s diverse cultural heritage and artistic expression. IMG_5137Through the engagement of cultural art awareness and events, we help build our local community.” An NCSU Design School graduate, an artist, a teacher and a designer, Franklin is working to create a space that “includes all types of voices that reflect the diversity of the Triangle – including marginalized voices”.


In addition to featuring artists in rotating exhibitions, the Gallery has a classroom space that hosts a variety of programming through their Gather and Create workshops.  Visual artists will be able to join the TCA Guild to participate in regular peer critiques.


Find out more at their website.  If interested in showing at Triangle Cultural Art Gallery, contact Jason by email or phone.

Cecy’s Gallery & Studios Opens – New Art Venue In Durham Central Park District

Cecy’s Gallery & Studios at 417 Foster Street in Durham is providing a new retail venue for artists to sell their work on commission or to lease studio space. The Gallery had its soft opening on March 1, 2019 and will hold a grand opening party on March 16.

A Vision of Creating Community Through Art

Cecy’s Gallery is the vision of owner Cecilia Henaine de Davis, a jewelry designer and former manager of the Vega Metals Gallery at 214 Hunt Street. Henaine de Davis seeks to create an inviting and diverse community space that makes art accessible and exciting. She hopes that Cecy’s will become a destination along with the other attractions in Durham Central Park, such as the Farmers Market, Food Truck Rodeos, and the upcoming Durham Food Hall.

Durham Saturday Art Market

Durham Saturday Art Market

Preserving Durham Traditions

Another key element of establishing Cecy’s was to preserve the Durham Art Market (formerly the Art Market at Vega Metals), a weekly outdoor market taking place in Durham Central Park on Saturdays. Henaine de Davis founded the Art Market in 2008 and it has steadily grown as a platform for artists to sell their work, engage with their customers and find support among other artists. The Art Market has been the launchpad for many artists to establish brick and mortar stores or become full-time professional artists. With the closing of Vega Metals in 2019, the Art Market needed a new sponsor, which will be provided by Cecy’s going forward.

Although construction on studio space and other refinements is underway, Cecy’s was open for a recent Saturday art market.

Durham is also renowned for the signature Vega Metals butterfly benches and other spectacular metal work by artists Francis Vega and Neal Carlton. That business will now operate under new management as Cricket Forge and will have a showroom at 2314 Operations Drive in Durham in Durham. Visitors to Durham Central Park won’t miss seeing the latest designs though, as Cecy’s Gallery will carry Cricket Forge items, including the benches, chairs, tables, garden ornaments, holiday ornaments, and planters.

Adding Studio Space For Artists And Class Space

Cecy’s will provide studio space for three artists. Artists who lease the space will have a dedicated area in the shop where they can sell, and they can also use the class space at Cecy’s to hold workshops and lessons. However, artists do not have to lease space there to sell their work at Cecy’s, as they will be accepting artwork for commission sales effective March 1.

Anyone interested in learning more about Cecy’s can attend the Grand Opening on March 16 from 6 to 9 pm. There will be refreshments, raffles, a silent auction, and door prizes. The event is free and open to the public. Regular business hours have not been posted, but the gallery is currently open every Saturday during the Art Market hours (10 am to 1 pm winter, 9 am to 1 pm spring and summer). Check out Cecy’s website for more information, as the space grows!

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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.