This article is part of a series which is being expanded into a publication. The primary focus is Maximum Good, the changes we make that improve creativity, quality of life, and community. Follow along at sidearts.com/blog.
Welcome to Maximum Good! This series is about professional development through community engagement. Specifically, how to use your skills and talents to best benefit yourself while helping your community at the same time.
My name is Todd Hestand and I am the founder of Side Arts, a content management service for visual artists and arts organizations. I am also a business management consultant specializing in marketing, operations, and supply chains for consumer goods and industrial manufacturing. In my role as the Manager for the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, a Philadelphia-area non-profit, I work directly with artists of all kinds – disciplines, experiences, nationalities, gender identities, and ages – to help them realize their creative visions.
This series will review topics that many artists encounter as they learn how to market their skills and build their businesses. I have addressed these concepts frequently with my own clients. Together we have created solutions that benefit them, their bottom line, and their craft. Hard skills will include marketing, budgets, and contracts. Soft skills will focus on personal goal setting and understanding why you do what you do, and how you can move past personal roadblocks. Importantly, each of these skills will be tied to how you can improve your community for maximum good.
Themes throughout Maximum Good
- Change the defaults: what are the smallest possible changes you can make to your creative process that will have the largest impact
- Identify innovation: what unique characteristics do you have that will help you engage with your audience and improve your community
- Build positive habits: what systems can you build that, by automating the smallest possible tasks, can make risk so much easier to address
- Architect choice: how can you give your audience and community the maximum number of options of engaging with you so that they feel empowered
- Understand privilege: identifying what privilege is and how it impacts your work, show empathy, and act accordingly to address issues positively in your community
Things to keep in mind
I will be giving you tools that you can use and try out at your discretion. Some will be activities and worksheets, others will be thought experiments and case studies to review. All of which should be designed to be easily approachable. Keep in mind that one size does not fit all. Some activities may not be applicable to you. There is no set order to participate. You should feel that you can jump in anywhere that interests you.
None of these topics are presented perfectly. There is always room for improvement. Feedback and suggestions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Todd Hestand is the Founder of Side Arts, as well as a classically-trained musician, singer, and artist. For over eight years, he has been the Manager of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy in Philadelphia. The Center provides professional development support in the form of grants, courses, lectures, and individual consulting for creatives. For over eight years, he has developed programming and taught programs at The University of the Arts, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University, the Business Resource and Innovation Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and several Philadelphia area non-profit arts and community development organizations.
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