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Business Development Workshop for Artists

August 16, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - December 6, 2018 @ 9:00 pm


Unusual Opportunity for CNMI Artists and Aspiring Artists

The Commonwealth Council of Arts and Culture will be hosting an unusual opportunity for artists on our islands, the “Business Development Workshop for Artists”. It is a 30-hour professional workshop that will begin August 16th with 10 sessions spanning a period of three months. Selected participants will meet most weeks on Thursday evenings from 545pm to 9pm and light refreshments will be available. These meetings will take place at Bridge Capital’s Conference Room which they have graciously made available to CCAC. Mr. Parker Yobei, Director of CCAC, stated, “This will be a great opportunity for our artists who practice their art for more than just their own pleasure and we’re excited to present this workshop series to the art community.”

It’s not uncommon for artists to be passionate about their art. But beyond giving their art to family and friends, there are many who would like the gratification and appreciation coming from others to be in the form of money. But where a formal education in the arts deals with numerous topics, it doesn’t often include an understanding of how to start an art business and how to run the business side. Thus, the reason for providing this workshop and CCAC will launch other efforts in the future building on this workshop.

The workshop sessions will cover a broad variety of topics but in depth. They will include a four-step process in successfully developing and launching the business-side of a person’s art; a close and unusual assessment of the artist’s products and services; the organization and management of the business; marketing your arts effectively; a pragmatic approach to finance including a look at 25 to 30 sources of money (when we normally hear of only one or two sources spoken of in the CNMI); the “how to’s” of operating and controlling the business in concert with the artwork being created; and how an artist might plan for growth. You will gain insight into competitive advantages that will enable you to expand your markets beyond CNMI’s borders. You will learn how to think like an entrepreneur and, in doing so, see the number of your potential customers increase significantly. And you will be given “million dollar principles” that will greatly impact your business and life.

The workshop leader will be Mr. Gary Liddle. Mr. Liddle has lived on Saipan for ten years but began his business career 64 years ago in California at the age of 6 both in starting his first business and in working in his family’s business. When it became too “easy” for him to start and operate businesses successfully in North America, Mr. Liddle shifted his focus to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union while expanding within Western Europe. His work has been within numerous industries but has always incorporated a strong component of artists as he, himself, paid for his first university degree in part by doing commissioned ceramic art work and work as an artistic blacksmith.

His extensive business experience and university work in four areas have been complemented by Fastrac and NxLevel training (he’s the only one in this region and one of only a handful in the US with this training) and 11 years work for the Small Business Development Center Network in Oregon, often either the #1 or #2 network within the national SBDC sphere of operation. He pioneered work for them in “rural settings”, strategies that are now being used throughout the US. He’s also developed outreach within the community of inventors, again, which strategies have been adopted and used by the national network. He’s a down-to-earth, pragmatic coach both in a group setting and individual consultations. He’s intelligent, engaging, humorous (sorta), intense, and you will come away from these sessions and consultations better prepared both as an artist and as a person.

Any artist in the CNMI can apply to participate: CCAC registered artists, artists at large, and aspiring artists. But this is not for the curious but for those committed to their art and want to become more successful. To get an Application, stop by the CCAC Office (front desk, M-F 730 to 430) on Capital Hill next to the Capital Hill Post Office, or Bridge Capital close to American Memorial Park’s tennis courts in Garapan (front desk, 24/7), or the Public Library in Susupe (front desk, M-F 10 to 5, S 9 to 5). But keep in mind that the due date for returning your completed Application is before 3pm 10 August – just a few short days away!

Historically, the cost for this workshop has been around $3,000 per participant. But if selected to participate in this current workshop, your cost will be $0 but requires your full commitment. If you don’t apply, you can’t be considered for participation. You can only participate if you apply – no “first come, first served” or the appointment of friends.

We are seldom offered more than an hour or two of training here in the CNMI, sometimes for free, at other times for a fee. This is an unusual opportunity for twenty or so of our artists so please – don’t procrastinate. Questions? Contact CCAC at 322-9982 or Gary at 989-4400 / liddlega@yahoo.com.


August 16, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
December 6, 2018 @ 9:00 pm


Bridge Capital Conference Room
Caller Box 10007, Ascension Court
Garapan, Saipan, CNMI 96950 Northern Mariana Islands
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Commonwealth Council for Arts & Culture