Comrades in Art—Accelerator Fellows Stick Together

Fellowship (/ˈfelōˌSHip/): a group of people who meet to pursue a shared aim; a friendly association.

When we launched our Art-Business Accelerator, we named our participating artists “Fellows.” While we envisioned them working toward the same goal of becoming successful entrepreneurs, we also wanted them to assist each other throughout that process. The results have exceeded our wildest hopes.

Again and again, our Fellows cite their relationships with each other as a highlight of the program. “The other Fellows have become a support group for me,” says Blake Conroy. “I have been more confident about approaching other artists because of my experiences with CHF.” Blake’s classmate Bethany Taylor agrees. The camaraderie “has allowed me to move forward through these two years with confidence that I can be a successful artist and businessperson.”

Nadia Fairlamb & Gregg Chadwick
Nadia Fairlamb & Gregg Chadwick

That sense of fellowship doesn’t end when they graduate. Although our 2018 class completed their terms last December, four of these artists—Gregg Chadwick, Nadia Fairlamb, Kristin LeVier, and Donna Lee Nyzio—are staying on as Accelerator Fellow Advisors, mentoring and guiding our newest group of students as they embark on the intensive year ahead.

Our Fellows socialize with each other when their work takes them on the road—like Nadia’s recent visit to Gregg’s Santa Monica studio (photo above)—and they meet up at our events and those of our partners. Gregg and Juliana Coles served on a panel with CHF Board Member Steve Pruneau at the stARTup Art Fair in Los Angeles; Juliana, Nadia, Bethany, Aaron Laux, and Willy Bo Richardson helped set up our first Fellows group art show in Santa Fe; and various Fellows have taken time out of their busy schedules to attend our Art-Business Conferences, including Blake, Kristin, and Donna, who will participate in a roundtable discussion at our upcoming conference in Maryland this March.

These artists have forged lasting bonds, but the connections they’ve established are not exclusively available to CHF Fellows. All visual artists are encouraged to join them in the Thriving Art Exchange, our online learning community for artists and other industry experts. Become a member of our Digital Learning Portal and start finding your tribe today.

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Sofia Perez
A journalist and writer/editor with more than 25 years of experience, Sofia Perez has written for nearly every type of media and genre--from print and web publications, to TV, nonprofit advocacy, and fiction--and understands firsthand how important it is for creative professionals to learn basic business skills if they are to support their artistic endeavors.

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