Nevada County Arts hosts The Business of Art symposium on February 29

Nevada County Arts Council is offering the creative community an unparalleled professional development opportunity in the form of an all-day symposium on Saturday, February 29.

The Business of Art is a day of illuminating plenaries, panels and participatory workshops led by thought leaders and influencers from the field. Marketing and media workshops, business planning, partnerships, legal advice, and mentoring will be offered at this multi-partner event, with expert speakers, panelists, workshops leaders and facilitators selected both locally and from across California.

The symposium will feature three keynote speakers, whose professional lives span music, performance, film, photography and the visual arts more broadly. Peter Blachley was a music video pioneer at Capitol Records/EMI before founding his legendary Morrison Hotel Gallery, based in New York, Los Angeles and Maui.

The celebrated photographer, designer and filmmaker, Norman Seeff, will arrive from Los Angeles with his producer, Charles Hannah. Seeff was Art Director at United Artists Records, later forming his own studios to work with hundreds of artists and innovators, including Ray Charles, The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Ike & Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Martin Scorsese, John Huston and Billy Wilder, Steve Jobs,, Alicia Keys, and many more.

Says Peter Blachley, “One of the themes I hope to touch on is the concept that you have to work local, but think global. It’s very important that you try to choose the widest possible audience for your art no matter what that is. You really have no idea how it’s going to reach someone a thousand miles or ten thousand miles away.”

“Local leaders will also play an important role on the day”, says Eliza Tudor, executive director at Nevada County Arts Council, “Whether through leading workshops on emergency preparedness; or how to comply with the new employment laws resulting from AB5; or how to second guess a curator in preparing to show your work.”

Leaders from Eastern Nevada County will also be in attendance to represent Truckee Cultural District. Karyn Stanley from Truckee Roundhouse Makerspace and Liam Ellerby, founder of The Curious Forge will share insights into California’s fast pace maker movement, while Mikail Graham will facilitate a music panel with Grammy award-winning musician, Oz Fritz, musician Rita Hosking, and sound engineer and musician, Greg Cameron.

From further afield will be Jody Prunier, associate director of California Lawyers for the Arts, and Roberta McClellan, executive director of Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento. Patrick Storm from The Lemon Tree Agency, and Donn Harris from California Arts Council will join Julie Baker from Californians for the Arts, gallery owner LeeAnn Brook and artists Ruth Chase, Sheila Cameron, Cynthia Levesque and Michael and Heather Llewellyn, among many others.

Key opportunities for engagement with Nevada County’s coveted California Cultural Districts will be shared on the day. Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District’s new month long festival, Spring into Art, is now in production for April. Says Jesse Locks, its chair, “Spring into Art will be a perfect marriage between our creative, business and tourism communities – all working as one. Through this concept we hope to generate some energy, with fresh ideas coming from our artists as a result of The Business of Art.”

Jude Bischoff, a co-producer for the symposium, says: “The Business of Art is about engaging in discussions around pressing cultural, artistic and professional issues and opportunities. Attendees will participate in sessions exploring the top trends and challenges in our field and a special vibe for a gathering creatives won’t want to miss.”

“It doesn’t matter if you are an emerging or mid-career professional, or simply need some serious networking and peer-to-peer time as a late-career, fully-fledged professional, we believe everyone will take away new, fresh inspiration and knowledge, and that everyone has something to give.”

The California Arts Council has selected 14 districts to serve as California’s inaugural state-designated Cultural Districts. Nevada County is home to two of them – Grass Valley-Nevada City and Truckee. Nevada County Arts Council’s role, as State-Local Partner with California Arts Council – and ranked by the state among California’s top local arts agencies – is to foster cultural development on the local level and to encourage partnerships through which leadership, professional development, information exchange, and technical assistance can be offered to our creative community.

For a more information on The Business of Art visit

Know and Go:

WHAT: The Business of Art | A professional development symposium
WHEN: Saturday February 29 at 8.30am–5.30pm
WHERE: Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning, 505 Main Street, Nevada City, CA
ADMISSION: $40 / $30 (members) / $20 (scholarships)

—Jesse Locks

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