For the Love of it! A conference happening March 6 – 8h

For the Love of It! Conference

A professional development conference about creating a sustainable life as an artist

At this time there are no current plans for this conference. See the information below to learn about the 2020 event and some of the work we  do with supporting the professional development of artists.

2020 Event Details:

With all of the demands and expectations surrounding the life of an artist, we invite you to re-frame your artistic passions, while also gaining more in-depth, pragmatic skills to make your work sustainable. Join us for a weekend filled with resources, tools, and opportunities to learn more about how to keep doing what you love!

Sessions on a variety of topics from recordkeeping to career planning are outlined in the schedule below and participants are invited to register à la carte.

Conference Presenters

Keynote Artist
Andrew Simonet, Founder of Artist U and author of the open source guide, Making Your Life as an Artist
Drew Digby, Director of Arrowhead Regional Arts Council
Kathleen Durbin, Musician and Creative Coach
Paul LaJeunesse, Painter, Public Artist, and Assistant Professor of Art College of St. Scholastica
Greg Mueller, Sculptor and Public Artist
Lynn Speaker, Mixed-media Artist and former Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota mentor
Free for Members | $10 for Non-Members (or you can become a member!)

Throughout the conference various one-to-one appointment slots will be available for participants to sign up for in order to meet with any one of the conference presenters about specific topics and questions. Sign up will be throughout the day on Friday, March 6 and following the keynote, as well as throughout the weekend as space remains available.

Pat Campanaro, Small Business Development Center Business Consultant, will also be on hand for Schedule-a-Need appointments, offering expertise in the areas of business structures and tax planning, business plans, defining an ideal buyer, loans and loan alternatives, and more.

Art Colony Members
Are you an Art Colony member? You should have a discount code for this conference sitting in your email inbox! Use this as you go through the registration process and enter it into the Promotional Code box at check out. Please do not go through the registration process without first having your code in hand.

Registration Deadline
Registration remains open until March 1, 2020 at 4 pm.


Conference Keynote: For the Love of It: The Artist’s Long Journey
with Andrew Simonet
Friday, March 6 | 7 pm 

How do we understand our Work with a capital W, the big sacred Work we artists are here on this planet to do? What nourishes and deepens our Work, and what gets in the way? As artists, we work on problems that are beautifully unsolvable, like making dances and paintings and stories. And we face problems that are beautifully solvable, like finances and schedules and hiring someone to do your dang taxes. How do we use our skills as artists to build balanced, sustainable lives? How do we stay grounded in our role, the impact we want to manifest for our communities and our culture? Join Andrew as he talks through these complexities and why our skills as artists are more than up to the challenge.

Andrew Simonet is a writer and choreographer in Philadelphia. He founded Artists U in 2006, an incubator for helping artists make sustainable lives and wrote Making Your Life as an Artist, an open source guide to living as an artist. Andrew is an artist leader in Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program. He has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, an Independence Fellowship in the Arts, a Bessie for Choreography, and residencies at Yaddo, Ucross, The Studios of Key West, and Hambidge.


Align Your Creative Life with Your Creative Strengths
with Kathleen Durbin
Saturday, March 7 | 9 – 10:30 am 

Crafting a fulfilling creative life requires groundedness, openness, and an exploration of the ongoing work of self-discovery. Students will uncover their individualized personality strengths as measured in the VIA Character Strengths survey (taken beforehand) and identify how to better leverage these strengths in their creative work through an interactive and reflective group session. Come and gain a greater understanding of where and how you can use your strengths in tangible ways to align your creative work with your natural intuitions. Students can opt to pay for a fuller version of the Strengths survey but the basic survey is free and students will complete the test prior to the session.


Knowing Your Audiences and Avenues
with Paul LaJeunesse
Saturday, March 7 | 10:45 am – 12:15 pm 

How can you determine which direction to go with your work? Most artists are combining their efforts in multiple ways to share their work, including exhibiting in galleries, attending art fairs, or working commercially or digitally. What kinds of tools and questions help to determine what avenues are the best fits for you? Attendees will gain tools to assess these questions and come away with a framework to help make sense of the myriad of options.


Lunch Roundtable: Practice, Mission, Time, and Opportunity
with Drew Digby, Paul LaJeunesse, Greg Mueller & Lynn Speaker
Moderated by Andrew Simonet
Saturday, March 7 | 12:30 – 1:45 pm 

As artists, although our answers vary greatly, we all ask similar questions: How do I nourish and maintain my artistic practice and studio time? Who is my work for? What impact matters most to me? How do I make it all work practically? How do I identify and cultivate opportunities relevant to my practice and mission? Join us for a lunchtime discussion that will delve into all of these questions and more. 

Bring your own lunch or registered for a catered lunch by selecting the optional lunch ticket at the bottom of the page. The Art Colony will reach out to you to place your lunch order. The deadline to order a catered lunch is February 24. Your menu options are: 

  • Meat Sandwich: Turkey and provolone with lettuce, tomato, and mayo packet. Includes an apple, chips and a cookie.
  • Gluten-Free: Lettuce wrap with turkey, provolone, tomato, and mayo packet. Includes an apple, chips and gluten-free dessert
  • Vegan Wrap: Lettuce wrap with tomato, roasted red pepper, banana peppers and onions. Includes an apple, chips and vegan dessert; Gluten-Free dessert upon request.


Introduction to Critical Response
with Lynn Speaker
Saturday, March 7 | 2 – 3:30 pm

Enjoy learning about the Critical Response Critique method that allows artists to ask questions about their work in a non-judgmental setting and nurtures the development of artistic works through a facilitated dialogue between artists, peers, and audiences. Instead of giving feedback about artwork, participants will learn the process by evaluating Lynn’s famous chocolate chip sea salt cookies. 


Funding Resources and Grant Writing
with Drew Digby
Saturday, March 7 | 2 – 3:30 pm  

Learn how to think creatively about diversifying your funding streams by exploring traditional and new models for generating value, resources, and revenue. We will also cover the basics of grant writing using materials from the Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists professional development curriculum developed by Springboard for the Arts.


Happy Hour Table Discussions
Saturday, March 7 | 4:30 – 6 pm

More details to be announced!


Craft a Positive Creative Mindset to Do Your Best Work Yet
with Kathleen Durbin
Sunday, March 8 | 9 – 10:30 am 

Don’t believe everything you think. Artists and makers can spend years internalizing unhelpful mindsets that stop them from doing the creative work they were meant to do. Come identify and challenge your own unhelpful narratives and inner critic. Leave with a greater understanding of the internal barriers you create and the start of a new, powerful, and positive story about yourself, creativity, and craft that helps you do your best work yet.


Career Planning
with Drew Digby
Sunday, March 8 | 9 – 10:30 am 

Where do you want to be both artistically and professionally? Learn how to define your values, identify key choices, and develop a plan to achieve your career goals. This session is part of the Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists Curriculum developed by Springboard for the Arts. 


Public Art Opportunities and Challenges
with Paul LaJeunesse and Greg Mueller
Sunday, March 8 | 10:45 – 12:15 pm

Public artwork is receiving more support than it has in decades, and with this comes many new opportunities for artists to expand their discipline.  However, for most practicing artists, how to delve into this forum is unclear. We will discuss the various display venues and ways in which works are funded.  We will also discuss the unique challenges that come from working with multiple institutions, including design and content, government agencies, applications and committees, logistics, costs, contracts, safety regulations, and much more. 


Recordkeeping & Pricing
with Lynn Speaker 
Sunday, March 8 | 10:45 am – 12:15 pm 

Good record keeping habits are important to your career as an artist. There are many formats available to track your income and expenditures, but the most useful system is the one you will actually use. Hand-in-hand with recordkeeping is how you choose to price your work. Explore simple options for recordkeeping, pricing, and more. 

  • For the Love of it!
    March 6, 2020 - March 8, 2020
    7:00 pm - 12:15 pm
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