Technology-Focused Business Topics for the Arts Sector

If you’re an artist looking to expand your knowledge of technology and how you can apply it to the business side of your art career, then ABLE is for you. The Art Business Learning Exchange (ABLE) is a free, 6-month learning program for 20 artists with a focus on technology.

The program, presented by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC), is funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, with Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board as the lead applicant.

The program will be conducted by local technology entrepreneur Shane Hvizdzak, CEO of Helpified and MBA graduate from St. Bonaventure University, who will be responsible for developing and teaching the curriculum.

Fine artist and professor Debra Eck will serve as the facilitative consultant, moderating the discussion sessions, providing individual consulting, and providing guidance to the program with the goal of optimizing the learning and the mastery of new knowledge and skills gained by participants. The program will also provide the artists with access to St. Bonaventure University professor Todd Palmer for assistance with business plans and integrating technology into work.

The grant is also paying for a three-part arts and business lecture series (open to the public), and is outfitting CCAC’s Art on Main arts gift shop with an e-commerce website, POS system, shelving system, inventory management, business plan, and a hanging system for the gallery wall.

Applications for the ABLE program will be available soon through CCAC. Artists will need to complete an application and submit images. The program will launch in February of 2014 with monthly meetings scheduled through July. All classes will take place at the Arts Council’s Allegany studio.

Planning is still in progress, but if you are interested in being part of a group of artists to learn arts business techniques with a focus on expanding your market through exploring the potentials of e-commerce, please call CCAC at (716) 372-7455 or email