The Business of Art

Individual artists are essential to a vibrant arts and culture ecosystem, but developing a successful creative career has unique challenges. That's why GWCF is teaming up with MASS MoCA's Assets for Artists to offer The Business of Art, a 6-month cohort program providing Worcester artists of color, or those who identify as low to moderate income, with the entrepreneurial support they need to grow and thrive in the post-pandemic cultural sector.

Accepting Applications: Sept. 13 - Nov. 1, 2021

The Business of Art is part of GWCF's Creative Worcester Initiative, a multi-year partnership with the Barr Foundation that is infusing the city of Worcester with knowledge and capital resources to center arts and culture as key components in a healthy, equitable community. With the help of the talented team at MASS MoCA’s Assets for ArtistsThe Business of Art will guide individual creatives in buiding financial and business resiliency through workshops, coaching, and more.

Benefits of the Cohort

Artists accepted to The Business of Art cohort will build a variety of skills to advance their creative careers. They'll have the following resources available to them: 

  • $1,000 mini-grant (upon completion of the program)
  • Priority sign-up for 5 free online workshops — Workshops will be scheduled from December 2021 - January 2022, but exact dates are still to be determined. Workshop descriptions can be found here!
  • Individualized support and guidance from Assets for Artists staff or trainers
  • Social media promotional support for 1-2 projects per artist with GWCF's social media accounts

How It Works

Here's what participants can expect as they take part in this 6-month program:

  • Meet (remotely) one-on-one with an Assets for Artists staff member or trainer to discuss current goals or specific challenges
  • Participate in at least one of The Business of Art cohort's connection events in 2021/2022 (most likely online meet-ups, with the possible in-person cohort activity available later in the program)
  • Envision and share a business plan of their artistic and/or community goals for the next one to two years (Don't worry, we'll guide you in getting that done easily!)

Help Us Spread the Word!

  • Download the Business of Art flyer and share it with creatives you know.
  • Download the Partner Media Kit for tools to help you or our organization spread the word on social media. Thank you!

The Business of Art Workshop Preview!

The Business of Art will include a series of five workshops led by the Assets for Artists team. These workshops will be offered in partnership with the Foundation’s NSCfc, a specialized branch of the Nonprofit Support Center aimed at meeting the unique capacity-building needs of the creative sector. While cohort members will have priority sign-up access to the majority of these workshops, creatives from across Worcester County are welcome to attend. You do not need to be enrolled in The Business of Art to participate!

Workshops will include:


Cohort activities will run from November 2021 – May 2022.


  • Eligible applicants are artists aged 18+ of any discipline (painters, sculptors, installation artists, new media artists, craft artisans, designers, filmmakers, photographers, performers, writers, musicians, thespians, dancers, etc.).
  • Applicants must live OR have a studio address in the City of Worcester. A studio address can include access to shared studio space, such as at an artist collective.
  • Applicants must identify as an artist of color (any income level), or qualify as low-to-moderate income (LMI). LMI in Massachusetts means your income level is under $29,000 for a 1-person family, $38,000 for a 2-person family, $47,000 for a 3-person family, $56,000 for a 4-person family, and $64,000 for a 5-person family. Low-to-moderate income is calculated as 80% of the state’s median income. More data available at:
  • White artists who do not qualify as LMI are welcome to register for The Business of Art workshops and attend as space allows. 

We understand that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted all artists; however, we also recognize that, for many reasons, this moment is especially challenging for lower-income artists and artists of color more broadly. Thank you for understanding why we are reserving this special consideration to those who have been historically marginalized and disproportionately affected by our country's ongoing health and racial epidemics.

To Apply 

Applicants who meet the above criteria should apply online.


Selection Criteria

Fifteen individual artists will be selected for the cohort. Applications will be assessed based on the following:

  • Demonstrated financial need

  • History of creative work (whether emerging or seasoned)
  • Commitment to working with their community

This program promotes equal opportunity and seeks diversity in its applicants and participants. Those who have never received an artist grant are especially encouraged to apply.



For more information about The Business of Art, contact Program Associate Lindiana Semidei a

Share this page

370 Main St. Suite 650, Worcester, MA 01608   (508) 755-0980   Email us   Enews Signup

Give Now   Donor Central