Growing an Economy with Artist Entrepreneurs – Shannon Linker


Shannon Linker is VP of the Arts Council of Indianapolis and is liaison on arts issues with organizations throughout Indianapolis. She also directs the Arts Council’s contemporary fine art Gallery – Gallery 924. In this episode of The Thriving Artist podcast, Shannon helps us understand how art communities are built and economies grow by funding and training the working artist. Topics include:

  • How are arts councils faring with slimmer budgets and fewer galleries
  • The crucial distinction between an art market and an art community
  • How funding individual artists (not just arts organizations) impacts a community
  • How working artists begin to thrive
  • Critical blind spots and needed business skills that challenge working artists
  • The artist as small business owner (accounting, copyright, legal issues, contracts)
  • The stigma behind art as a business
  • How arts councils facilitate collaboration between artists and art industry professionals (as well as the organization itself)
  • For the artist: ingredients of effective art exhibitions & the importance of a cohesive body of work
  • Helping artists create a market for their work and achieving community buy-in
  • Supporting the arts as an ECONOMIC force – how art revitalizes neighborhoods and local economies
  • Being assertive, not passive in marketing yourself as an artist and putting your work out there
  • The needs of the ‘barrista artist’ (the emerging artist with a part-time job)
  • One industry leader’s personal vision and inspiration (plus Heavy Metal!)

Shannon Linker is an incredibly articulate thinker, and it comes across in this substantive and inspiring 41-minute episode. If you’ve ever wondered how it actually works – beyond the rhetoric – how arts tangibly grow an economy and foster entrepreneurship, you’ve GOT to listen to this episode. Do so now, or download and take it with you on your phone or mobile device.

If you’re a working artist, feel free to visit our Grants page. If you’re an arts industry professional, collector, or business specialist, or a working artist who would like to be interviewed, visit our Teach and Learn page. As always, even a modest donation is meaningful; and that page is here.

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Daniel DiGriz
Daniel DiGriz is Director of Audience Development & Educational Programming. He's co-founder of enterprise consulting firm Free Agent Source Inc.. He is Corporate Storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe which provides sales enablement and campaign direction to various firms. His background in Fortune 500 life is in sales, education, and technology. Daniel is a musician, storyteller, and karateka. His personal website is

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