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On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator

If you've been waiting for your sign, this is it.

You know what you do. You make great work. You change the world. But translating those creative concepts into a business plan often poses a challenge. The On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator will support your efforts to gain clarity around your business purpose. And that, of course, will support your business growth and creative growth as well.

The On-Ramp Creative  Entrepreneur Accelerator program includes a three-day intensive entrepreneurship and community engagement workshop and up to $2,000 to put the lessons into action. Cohorts become incredible networks of support and collaboration. Don't be surprised if you leave feeling like you've just met your long-lost family. Read more stories about the On-Ramp community in the "Meet the Cohorts" tab.

The program and workshop were designed by Elaine Grogan Luttrull of Minerva Financial Arts and teaches entrepreneurship to artists and creative professionals by focusing on a portfolio career, a community-engaged artistic practice, and key business concepts, including:

  • Defining value
  • Identifying customers
  • Communicating with customers (marketing strategy)
  • Identifying allies and partners
  • Communicating with allies and partners
  • Identifying key resources
  • Protecting assets and creativity
  • Managing expenses
  • Generating revenue
  • Planning for uncertainty
Participants are assessed three times throughout the accelerator to track how knowledgeable they feel about business areas, how likely they are to take action, how much control they believe they have, and how they see themselves growing. The bottom line: It's not just a "summer camp high."

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  • On-Ramp cohorts experience see massive increases that sustain over time. Even a year after the workshop, they have much more confidence in business skills, are more likely to take action in business, believe they have much more control, and are able to see their own growth.
  • Artists who participated in On-Ramp have been more resilient through the economic pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to artists across the nation.
  • Through their fellowship projects, cohorts make progress on their career goals, secure new or bigger opportunities and expand their reach and deepen their validity as a professional.

This research has been peer-reviewed by academics and received a national award from the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education.

Like most creatives, I have experienced stress relating to financial knowledge, business law, marketing skills, and overall personal confidence in my perceived value in society as a creative. Course leader Elaine Grogan Luttrull’s uniquely specific creative entrepreneur teachings have alleviated those fears. My toolbox was topped off with access to a powerful diverse artist network among my fellow classmates; who mutually vowed to provide future support and accountability. (Olivia Ulch, Fort Wayne, 2019 Cohort)

I can’t express enough, this weekend was life changing and I have so much gratitude because it was exactly what I’ve been looking for. I knew this was the next step in my creative career that I needed to take, but I had NO CLUE how. After this weekend I can say… ‘I empower individuals to find themselves through the art of dancing.’ Moving forward, I have an even bigger vision for myself and I’m so ready to embrace it and tackle it with all the knowledge I have now! (Jacob Drummer, Muncie, 2019 Cohort)

Like finding family.

Regardless of your background or where you are in your career, you quickly realize that an entire group of strangers share the similar fears, insecurities, questions, and dreams as you, and you become a great source of empowerment for one another. (Alicia Dawn Criswell, Lafayette, 2019 Cohort)

In 2021, six different teams across Indiana offered the program. Click here to learn about these teams of instructors and coaches.

Interested in learning more about past On-Ramp participants and their experiences?  PATTERN magazine’s Fall/Winter 2021 issue featured thirteen participants. Learn more about these featured creative entrepreneurs and read the profile.

Applications for the 2022 On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator are now closed.

While any artist or creative that meets the eligibility requirements may apply, early-career or emerging artists who have generated enough works to articulate their own creative voice and practice will get the most out of this experience.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be an individual. Organizations may not apply.
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Must be an Indiana resident and remain a full-time Indiana resident through the end of the fellowship period (August 31, 2022)
  • May not have been a past On-Ramp participant

Selection Priorities

Applications will be reviewed and recommended by an admissions committee of peers and professionals. Applicants that are the best fit for On-Ramp are currently actively working in their creative practice. They have a long-term goal that shows commitment to their creative work. They are confident, excited, and aspirational.

Further, the admissions committee will use these priorities to create a cohort that has:

  • Variety of artistic career experience
  • Statewide representation
  • Variety of creative disciplines
  • Diverse racial/ethnic representation
  • Representation of underserved populations

Timeline

Application available October 2021
Deadline to apply January 6, 2022
Notification of acceptance to the cohort March 11, 2022
Workshop May 11-13, 2022
Fellowship application due June 2, 2022

The On-Ramp Fellowship spotlights you as a motivated creative entrepreneur. To be awarded the fellowship, you must complete the On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Course and successfully propose a fellowship project. Applicants may request up to $2,000 to put the course lessons to use for their creative career development. The fellowship project proposal must fully meet all review criteria (listed in the guidelines below), may not include any ineligible expenses, and must start and end within the project period.

Each fellowship proposal is reviewed by a panel of mentors. They provide feedback and assure that they meet the fellowship guidelines. They may require identify areas that need adjusted before moving forward. These virtual meetings are open to the public for observation. On-Ramp cohorts are encouraged but not required to attend.

Contact Information:

Your fellowship manager can answer all questions related to the fellowship before, during, and after the fellowship. Contact the fellowship manager listed for your cohort.

Greater LafayetteNorthwest IndianaNortheast IndianaMarionSouth Central IndianaFloyd County
Paige Sharp
psharp@iac.in.gov
Sam Love
samuelalove219@gmail.com 
Madison Miller
mm.madison.miller@gmail.com 
Aili McGill
amcgill@nickelplatearts.org 
Amy Oelsner
amy.oelsner@gmail.com 
Aili McGill
amcgill@nickelplatearts.org

Have questions about this program? Please reach out. We're here to help!

Paige Sharp
Deputy Director of Programs
Indiana Arts Commission

psharp@iac.in.gov

317-416-8536

Indiana Arts Commission, Indiana Small Business Development Center, U.S. Small Business Administration, and Minerva Financial Arts logos

On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerators are brought to you by the Indiana Small Business Development Center, a program of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Minerva Financial Arts, and the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC). This initiative is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Please reach out to the team primary contact or contact Paige Sharp at psharp@iac.in.gov to make a request.