Jacquelyn Ferguson (BA, Creative Writing & Publishing) helped us research and develop curriculum for the Theatre Entrepreneurs’ Networking and Training Program. She transformed that research in a blog series on launching a theatre start up.

A feature image for a blog post about developing a strong personal brand.

Personal Brand

For any artrepreneur thinking about a startup, developing a brand for your company is an important step in the process. Your brand is what sets you apart from the competition; it’s what leaves a lasting impression on your target audience. If it’s strong enough, with an authentic voice and a unique aesthetic, you shouldn’t have a problem attracting attention and sales. But what if I told you, building a personal brand is just as important, if not more? People like connecting with people and by utilizing your personal brand to increase exposure, you can attract a larger audience, bring in more clients, and open up new opportunities. If you’re unsure how to get started, here are a few tips to help you with the development of your personal brand.

A feature image for a blog post on the art of the elevator pitch.

30 Second Sell

Imagine this. You’re on the local subway and you make eye contact with a former acquaintance, someone you haven’t seen in some time. You greet each other. Then they ask you what you’ve been up to, or what you do for work now. Let’s say you begin to tell them, but your thoughts are all over the place. You start rambling about something irrelevant. Or maybe you pause, completely blanking on what to say. Suddenly it’s their stop, and you’ve lost your chance. Maybe if you had something prepared you could’ve kept them interested enough to follow up with you later. Being able to clearly explain what you do, in the amount of time it takes to ride an elevator, is a unique and difficult skill that I think everyone should take the time and try and master. Here are a few tips on how to perfect the skill of the elevator pitch.

A feature image for a blog post on fundraising in the arts sector.


If you’re a creative like, me than it isn’t hard for you to come up with many grand ideas for projects you wish to pursue. The ambition is always there, but the projects that are costly can quickly be derailed due to the lack of funds. Not everyone is able to rely on financing their projects with their own money and often they will have to find creative ways to raise money to achieve their goals.

A feature image for a blog post about grant writing in the arts.

Grant Writing

Like many other creatives, I’ve had my fair share of moments where I needed to come up with some funds for my projects. Despite relying heavily on donations and fundraisers, grants were always on my mind as a possibility. All I knew was that a lot of charities, small business, and art projects relied on grants, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about obtaining one. Here are a few things I learned while looking into how to acquire a grant:

A feature image for a blog post on negotiating better deals.


As a creative and an Artrepreneur, at some point, you’re going to find yourself in a situation where you’re going to have to negotiate. By having the skill of negotiation, you’ll be able to complete projects and/or run your business knowing you haven’t been taken advantage of. The last thing you want to do is come out of a deal feeling like you’ve given too much for so little gain–but that’s what can happen if you enter a negotiation unprepared.

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Get Hype

I could have the most cutting-edge product, or the most exciting premiere show, but if I haven’t gained an audience prior to my company’s launch or opening show, then there’s a pretty good chance that my start-up will fail. According to Entrepreneur, 75% of start-ups fail within the first three years and it’s usually because people think their idea or product will sell itself. The missing ingredient: Buzz. Marketing and publicity are crucial to generate the buzz that establishes your start-up as something worth checking out or investing in. Being able to create buzz leading up to launch day is crucial if you want your start-up to succeed.

The feature image for a blog post on effective leadership.

Effective Leadership

I’ve worked under a variety of managers: many I considered bosses, and only a select few I considered leaders. You might be wondering—well wait a minute, aren’t they the same thing? Isn’t a boss a leader? This might surprise you, but no—they’re not. Bosses and leaders might hold the same title, and perform the same duties, but they are anything but the same.

A feature image for a blog on raising funds in the arts.

Raising Funds

As a creative, you’re probably going to have more than one project and you’re going to have to rely on the generosity of others to accomplish your goals. I’ve been there—numerous times. Because of that, I know how hard it is getting people to contribute to your cause or your project. Then to turn around and encourage them to come back and offer more for your next project can be even harder. Retaining donors is difficult–only 43% of donors gift again the following year and only 27% of first-time donors ever donate again. But I won’t let those numbers deter me—and either should you. There are many ways to persuade donors to give to your project again in the future. Here are a few tips on how to hold onto donors and encourage them to give again:

A feature image for a blog post on database management for fund raising.

Database Management

When I started Savant-Garde, I didn’t take into account the number of submissions the magazine would get, not to mention how my team and I were going to keep track of them all. It wasn’t until I was helping with TENT’s online data management course and was introduced to a web series focused on building databases in excel that I became familiar with the benefits of database management. I then realized it’d be best if I built one to keep track of the magazine’s contributors and once it was complete, I immediately felt more organized and aware of the tasks that needed completed before the first issue could be released.