Fall is in full swing here in Oxford, and as Thanksgiving approaches, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council is hosting another free Arts Incubator workshop for the benefit of the L-O-U community.
The professional development event occurs Tuesday, November 10 at 5 p.m. at the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and will feature Ed Meek as a speaker in a roundtable discussion for small business owners: strategic planning and social media marketing.
“It’s a chance for artists to hear from one of the most successful Oxonians about best practices for small businesses in a roundtable discussion. Artists can connect with peers and mentors in the field of arts—whether fine or folk arts in a conversational way,” said Wayne Andrews, director of the arts council.
The workshop will be an opportunity for artists to ask questions, network, and gain a foothold on the role of technology and social media, an ever-changing landscape. Participants will also be eligible for a raffle for business cards from DocuMart and enjoy light refreshments.
“You, as an artist, have a chance to speak face-to-face with leaders in the community, learn about what works and what doesn’t before you implement strategies in your own business. Why reinvent the wheel, when there is someone out there who has faced similar challenges?” said Meghan Gallagher, AmeriCorps VISTA coordinating the workshops, on the advantages of attending the workshops.
The arts council launched the Arts Incubator in 2009 as a way for artists in the area to gain the small business skills necessary to turn a hobby into a sustainable business. The free workshops became a quarterly series in 2014 and have included partners like the University of Mississippi Small Business Development Center and Swetland Cook, in addition to the chamber of commerce.
The creative economy is one of the few sectors to have steady growth in Mississippi over the last decade.
The workshops provide repeated access to a network of experts and an avenue for networking and professional development to ensure success for small start-ups. Anyone can benefit from the conversations and body of knowledge provided by experts like Ed Meek, but the conversation will revolve around the creative arts industry.
In February, the arts council will host the Oxford Artists’ Retreat, an opportunity for artists to attend Q & A sessions with regional gallery owners and network with each other. November’s workshop occurs at the Chamber of Commerce at 299 West Jackson Ave. Participants can register for the free event at oxfordarts.com or by calling 662-236-6429.