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CCCC Chatham SBC receives arts business grant

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11.28.2007Arts & Entertainment

PITTSBORO — Central Carolina Community College’s Chatham SmallrnBusiness Center has been awarded a $6,000 grant to expand and enhancernsmall businesses involved in the arts.

Therngrant, from the North Carolina Community College System’s SmallrnBusiness Center Network, provides full funding for “Artist Up andrnAway,” a program to support emerging artists in the Siler City area.

“ArtistrnUp and Away” is a joint effort of the Chatham SBC and the NC ArtsrnIncubator in Siler City. It will provide training and coaching inrnbusiness skills for approximately 36 emerging artists to help themrnconvert their hobby into a business.

Therngrant proposal was co-authored by Gary Kibler, director of the ChathamrnSBC, and by Carol Hewitt, art business consultant and co-owner of thernW.M. Hewitt Pottery in Pittsboro.
“The Incubator is viewed by manyrnas an important, potential engine of growth and vitality for SilerrnCity,” said Kibler. “This compounds the importance of helping it andrnits tenants to become successful.”
rnThe training for the artists will include a series of 11 seminars on arnvariety of business topics, one-on-one sessions with a businessrncounselor at the SBC, and biweekly group discussions among the artists,rnled by a facilitator, to build upon the newly developed skills andrnimprove the chances of success of their art businesses.

“Tornbe successful in their art career, even the most talented artist mustrnnot only create beautiful art, but also have the skills needed to run arnthriving small business,” said Hewitt. “While most artists lovernproducing art, they have received little or no training on how torneffectively market their work and manage a business. By teaching thesernand other crucial small business skills, by providing ongoing coaching,rnand by facilitating communication and collaboration with other artists,rnthis project can greatly increase the level of success of thernparticipants in setting up and sustaining thriving art businesses.”

ThernSmall Business Center Network provides grants to help strengthen thernentrepreneurial base throughout the state. According to a 2004 EconomicrnImpact Study conducted for the NC Arts Council, art is big business inrnNorth Carolina. It generates about $723 million in annual staternrevenues, $32 million in federal and state taxes, and employs aboutrn6,700 full-time workers.

The “Artist Uprnand Away” grant was one of five Program Enhancement and two InnovativernProject grants, totaling $40,000, approved for fiscal year 2007-08 atrnthe NCCCS’s Nov. 16 board meeting in Raleigh. Twenty-one SBCs submittedrngrant applications totaling $132,729. Seven awardees, including thernChatham SBC, were selected from among them.

Other colleges receiving awards were:
rnInnovative Project — Brunswick Community College, $5,000 for “Marketingrnto Small Businesses,” and Wake Technical Community College, $5,000, forrn“Informed Business Decisions, A Strategic Alliance with SageWorks, Inc.rnand the NCCCS Small Business Center Network.”

ProgramrnEnhancement — Cleveland Community College, $1,500 for “Cleveland CountyrnSmall Business & Small Industry: SBC’s Consultative Role”; MitchellrnCommunity College, $10,000, for “Motorsports Industry EnhancementrnProject”; Southeastern Community College, $10,000, for “Hispanic SmallrnBusiness Program”; and, Wayne Community College, $2,500, “ContractrnSupport Training Program.”