Written by Brenda Dunn, Member of Young Arts Leaders Collective
Workshops can be an amazing way to fund your artistic practice and if you enjoy the process, they can also be an amazing and fun way to get paid to do what you love!
Take some time to think about your practice and if there’s a skill, process, or project that you could compartmentalize and teach to someone. What kind of skill level would they need? What materials would be required? How portable is the project?
If you can segment off a little project and the cost of materials isn’t too prohibitive, you might just have yourself a workshop!
Try approaching community centers, seniors’ residences, and afterschool programs. Think about the groups or populations that might enjoy the activity and cater your outreach. Many of these groups have budgets for recreation and although they’re not working with big numbers, there is often funding available for having people come in and teach! If you’re low on experience, consider volunteering to assist another workshop presenter, or offer a mock-shop to a group and friends so you can get comfortable with the instruction process.
Have pricing worked out before hand! Make sure you know what kind of set up is needed for your workshop. Will it need to be well ventilated? Do things need to dry overnight and be picked up later? What’s the minimum number of participants you can take on and still be in the black? How much would you charge for the workshop?
Remember to take feedback. If your participants are having fun, congratulations, you’re doing a great job. The outcome is often less important than the experience so be open to people taking their own creative take. Ask your participants if they’d like to hear about future workshops and pretty soon you’ll have your own art-based empire. Enjoy!
The Young Arts Leaders Collective (YALC) is an initiative of the AOE Arts Council. YALC's mission is to support the professional development of young emerging artists and arts administrators in Ottawa. In the initial stages this will include a mentorship program, networking opportunities, the dissemination of information, and communication to connect young, emerging artists and arts administrators in Ottawa with each other and with other artists, to help contribute to building a thriving Ottawa arts community.