Please join us in Fall 2022 for our next Lecture Series

Artist Accelerator Lecture Series

The Artist Accelerator Program (AAP) is a foundational arts business program designed for art practitioners in the visual, literary, and performing arts. Established and emerging artists from around the region work together in a supportive, collaborative environment, gaining career-building skills that boost confidence, and economic proficiency.

AAP advances The Arts Center’s mission through the support of regional artists with career-building programming, mentorship, and increased opportunities for artists to be visible in the community.

Our artist development lectures are presented through the fall/winter with subjects centered around creating and sustaining an arts-related business.

November 10: Introduction to Creative Business with Bret Carpenter (Live)

We all know art and creative businesses don’t always follow other business sector norms, but many of the same basics apply. Join us for this introduction to business lecture, presented by small business expert Bret Carpenter, where you’ll learn about: Legal Aspects, Business Plans, Financing, Pricing, Customers, and Research.

Bret Carpenter has a passion for helping startups and small businesses, especially businesses that are started by creators. He has extensive experience as a small business coach who adapts his methods to every type of business. Bret is experienced in developing creative business strategy for small businesses and has been a successful consultant in the areas of branding, online marketing, technology integration, and sales. He has mentored business founders at both the OSU Accelerator, Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, The Reinventing Rural Project, The Foundry and the Small Business Development Center. Bret currently teaches entrepreneurship and business foundations at Oregon State University.

November 17: The Art of Selling Your Art with Jill Myer (Live)

In this workshop, you will learn the vital nature of naming and maintaining the value of your art. Learn how storytelling can help you communicate the value of your art to potential customers. Better understand the value of human connection to sell your art, and visualize the decision-making process of a potential customer to see the potential for sales. We will also explore how to utilize clear branding to communicate with your customer before you have an interaction with them. 

Jill Myer is an artist working and living on the Oregon coast, her artwork can be found at the “For Artsake Gallery” in Newport, OR. Jill has been in “sales” for the past 15 years as a fundraiser for various nonprofit organizations. In fundraising, she sells feelings and ideas and spends her time asking for donations in exchange for those feelings. While she has only been selling her own art, she quickly discovered that the principles involved in selling art were the same as fundraising. She uses the same storytelling skills to create a connection with her customer to sell art as she would in creating a relationship with a donor. Just as quickly, she realized the artists around her were not as well versed in sales and set out to help them sell their work to the people who want it.

December 1: Creative Websites for Artists with Jen Hernandez (Live)

Create a dynamic and dazzling website to showcase your creative work and connect with customers. In this workshop, you’ll learn about three major website building platforms and compare them to see what is right for you. We’ll also practice creating a wayfinding structure for your website so that you can share everything that’s amazing about what you do. Plus, learn about integrations with other online tools and platforms so your audience can connect with you directly.

Jen Hernandez is an artist, designer, and educator based in Corvallis, Oregon. She is the designer behind several local business websites, brands, and communication campaigns, including the current website for the Corvallis Arts Walk ( As an educator, Jen has over 18 years of experience with hands-on, curiosity-based education in the arts, sciences, and history, plus practical subjects for creative entrepreneurs and emergent artists. In her artwork, Jen focuses on inclusion and representation through visual media exploring stories in traditions, fantasy, myths, and dreams. See more of Jen’s work at

December 8: TIKTOK Dos & Don’ts with Cullen Vance (Live)

In 2021, Tiktok is where trends begin, and for good reason. No other social media platform provides the kind of creative tools, the ability to respond and react, or the potential for finding an audience as Tiktok does right now. Whether you are an artist or someone who is just curious about this new superpower of social media, knowing what Tiktok is and how it works is key to understanding the creative internet of today. In this lecture, Cullen Vance will talk through what Tiktok is, introduce some of its tools, explain “sounds” and “hashtags”, share some of the discoveries that have brought him success on the platform, and answer your questions.

Cullen Vance is an artist based in Eugene, Oregon. He is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, animator, and game designer. Cullen plays over 30 instruments and records and produces all of his music in his home studio. You can find his music on Spotify and most streaming platforms and at

December 15: Professional Practices for Artists (Pre-recorded)

POSTPONED: Any purchased tickets or full bundles will be valid and accepted. You may continue to purchase tickets for this or all lectures. Recorded versions are/will be available for missed or postponed lectures. This lecture will be available in Spring 2022. Thank you for your patience.

January 5: Finances for Artists with Brooke Benson (Pre-recorded)

Are you stressed about money? Do you feel like we should have been taught how to handle our finances in school? I’ve got you. Money doesn’t have to be boring and confusing – it gets to feel exciting and expansive and full of freedom! In this workshop, I’ll walk you through exactly how to manage your money as a creative; budgeting with an inconsistent income, getting specific about your savings, credit cards & debt, retirement accounts for freelancers, and most importantly, how to make money FUN! Let’s destroy the starving artist trope together, you in?

After graduating with a BFA in Acting, Brooke Benson realized how little the arts industry taught and valued financial wellness; her mission is to destroy the “starving artist” trope once and for all. She is your financial cheerleader, bringing you accessible money education & coaching specifically for creative freelancers and small business owners. Alongside coaching & acting, she loves scrapbooking, margaritas, and exploring Denver with her partner Brady.

This lecture will be emailed to you and is not available via Zoom. If you purchase tickets close to the release date of 1/5/21, please email to make sure that you are on the list of ticket holders. Thank you!

January 12: Manifest Your Creative Desires with Liora Sponko (Pre-recorded)

Do you want to build your art business or take your creativity to the next level, but are feeling stuck? Are lacking direction, motivation, or just feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone and don’t have to figure it out alone!

It’s easy to blame external circumstances for why you don’t have the creative life you want. Through this workshop, we will uncover your path to creative and business success. Liora will help you develop empowering mindset tools to help you focus on your creative practice, build your business, or accomplish the goals you desire.

Liora Sponko is a Motivational Speaker, helping artists and creative professionals build an empowering mindset to manifest their creative desires. Liora works with artists because she believes creativity is at the heart of what it means to be human and has the power to change the world. Liora is a certified life and spiritual coach. She has worked in the personal development industry and the arts for over 10 years. She leads interactive workshops and speaking engagements to entrepreneurs, changemakers, and creative professionals.
Stay Connected: Instagram: @liorasponko, web:

This lecture will be emailed to you and is not available via Zoom. If you purchase tickets close to the release date of 1/5/21, please email to make sure that you are on the list of ticket holders. Thank you!

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