Technology-Focused Program Explores e-Commerce

The Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC) has just received approval for a new program for artists called ABLE (Art Business Learning Exchange).

Funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, with Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board as the lead applicant, ABLE will establish a (FREE!) 6-month learning program for 20 artists with a focus on technology 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 experience for participants, 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 will also pay for a three-part arts and business lecture series (open to the public), and will fully outfit 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.

Some of you may remember a little program CCAC ran in 2011 called SAVI. The program guided a group of 20 artists though a curriculum of business topics to better enable them to run a creative-based business. The program was one of the most comprehensive professional development programs in the region, and this has been modeled as “Part 2.”

2011 SAVI participants will be grandfathered in. New artists will need to complete an application and submit images. Details coming soon.

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