The Art-Business Accelerator

CHF's sponsored fellowship / incubator program is an intensive virtual education for artists. Accelerate your career!

Artists are the ultimate entrepreneurs...

...but they lack access to the kinds of incubator and business-development programs that are widely available to technology start-ups and other small enterprises. Art schools rarely teach business skills, but these are essential if artists are to take charge of their careers, and navigate an industry rife with predatory middlemen who are looking to exploit their lack of management experience.

“Art is not a charity,” says CHF Director Elizabeth Hulings, “and artists deserve every opportunity to earn a living from their work. To do this, business expertise is just as vital as creativity and artistic technique.”

Transform your career by joining our Art-Business Accelerator program, a virtual non-residency program that can be seamlessly integrated into your art practice.

Program Benefits

Some of the Opportunities Participants Receive

Business Training

First-year Fellows complete an intensive online business-education program that helps these working artists plan pivotal business projects, create a brand narrative, develop an Investment-Grade Proposal, and acquire a skill set that's designed to serve them throughout their careers.

Customized Learning

Interactive online workshops, labs, electives, and 1:1 consultations provide for a high-degree of individual learner direction. All are designed by business-education experts, in collaboration with working artists, and led by art-industry professionals and business leaders.

PR and Sales Promotion

Fellows receive year-long promotion for their work and events through all of CHF's marketing and PR channels, including a professionally produced web interview and/or media broadcast, as well as customized opportunities, such as event passes and introductions to art-industry experts. CHF also promotes and sells art by the Fellows via group shows and our online Artwork Archive portfolio.

Advanced Fellowship

CHF offers advanced fellowships to selected first-year Fellows, to deepen the scope of their work. This includes honing their skills and viable business objectives, creating investment-grade business plans for entrepreneurial projects, maintaining project accountability, and help with capitalizing their plans.

Program Overview

How it Works

CHF's Art-Business Accelerator Program is a yearlong virtual course of business study for visual artists that's designed to impart the necessary business training to succeed as entrepreneurs and make a complete living through the creation of their art.

Fellows in the program receive customized business training, publicity, network-building opportunities, sales assistance, and one-on-one support to boost their careers and help make their businesses self-sustaining.

The educational program consists of broad strategic workshops and labs delivered by remote technology (a laptop or desktop computer is required!), and provides participants with practical knowledge that’s actionable in the real world, including information about how to develop a business strategy, build a compelling brand narrative, find buyers for their art, negotiate contracts, handle copyrights, communicate more effectively, and manage their finances and taxes.

Each workshop is led by an expert in the pertinent subject matter, and the labs are deep dives that include extensive time for Q&A, allowing our Fellows to obtain feedback on their specific questions and hear the perspectives of their peers.


Fellows Advance in 9 Practice Areas

Career Blueprint

Viable Business Objectives

Brand Story & Marketing

Transmitting an Engaging Narrative

Sales & Selling

Opening Doors & Getting to Yes

Networks & Collaboration

Finding Your Tribe, Hunting in a Pack


Economic Competence & Confidence


Essential Tools to Extend Your Capability

Managing Projects

Ventures that Propel Your Career


From Copyright to Contracts


Nuts & Bolts of Running a Business

Benefits of the Business Accelerator Program

The 20 artists selected for the program will receive full tuition to attend our year-long web-based Business Accelerator workshop course, as well as individualized feedback from the CHF Business Accelerator team. The online course, which consists of broad strategic workshops and deep dives, provides participants with practical knowledge that’s actionable in the real world, including information about how to develop a business strategy, be proactive about marketing, find buyers for their art, negotiate contracts, handle copyrights, communicate more effectively, and manage their finances and taxes. Each workshop is led by an expert in that session’s topic, and the deep dives include extensive time for Q&A, which allows artists to obtain feedback on their specific questions and hear each other’s perspectives.

Although the various educational components form the core of our Business Accelerator Program, participants also gain access to a host of other benefits (see below). Additionally, the fund’s e-learning portal--a considerable archive of art-industry information--is free and accessible to any artist with an Internet connection.

Benefits to Program Participants

  • Full tuition to CHF’s live Business Accelerator web-based workshop course, facilitated by experts in the art industry and critical business disciplines
  • The customized support of CHF’s Business Accelerator team, group Q&As, and powerful individual consultations with experts in the business of art, business growth, and strategy
  • An art-business toolset that includes access to our full media library, including previous Accelerator workshops
  • PR exposure via CHF’s digital media, social/PR channels, and calendar
  • Introductions to industry leaders (e.g., successful artists, gallerists, collectors, etc.); invitations to regional/local events in artists’ spaces (as available); and referrals to CHF’s core stable of vetted professional partners
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other artists in shaping the program so that it addresses the challenges they all face as they grow their art businesses

From among the program's 20 participants, up to ten artists will be selected to receive:

  • A grant to cover targeted business expenses. The amount will vary according to each artist’s business plan and specific needs, but the total funding disbursed by CHF in one year will not exceed $10,000.
  • One-on-one tailored business support and guidance from CHF’s Business Accelerator team to help maximize the impact of the grant. This support can include anything from helping artists with strategy and implementation, to assistance in evaluating bids from vendors to carry out specific tasks, such as designing a website or drawing up a contract.

For information on eligibility requirements and the selection process, please visit our guidelines page.

Application Details

Get Ready to Accelerate Your Career

Following our call for Fellows, a total of up to 20 working artists will be awarded free admission to our Art-Business Accelerator, as well as individualized guidance from the experts on CHF's educational team.

For information on eligibility requirements and the selection process, please visit our guidelines page. For additional background on how the program was developed read this interview with our Director of Education.

In Their Words

Comments from 2018 Art-Business Accelerator Fellows

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