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Artlink announces new arts incubator

August 17th, 2017

By Megan Knowles | Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

Artlink announced the return of its art incubator concept, with changes, at a press conference Aug. 15.

“The thing we learned is not all artists want to be entrepreneurs – most simply want to create and be paid to create,” Executive Director Matt McClure said. “Instead of focusing on entrepreneurship, we’re now focusing on arts as an economic driver, and as an engine for growth and a creative economy rooted at the individual artist level.”

The former arts incubator focused on arts and entrepreneurship, Matt McClure said.

With an initial class of 212, the new incubator will consist of animation, illustration and interactive artists, the last of which includes creative coders and game designers.

Work in animation, design and cinematography is expected to grow 6 to 11 percent, with creative coding and web development expecting to see growth of upward of 27 percent, according to an Artlink statement.

One of the goals of the program is to see “artists working across these mediums creating here and being paid here and employing others here and serving as small business leaders, project leaders, conduits of other industries that don’t look at Fort Wayne or northeast Indiana as viable right now.”

The program will work by having artists pitch ideas via an application to an advisory board of professional artists in those fields.

Those accepted to join the incubator will have access to one-on-one mentoring with industry professionals on the advisory board, as well as the opportunity to use new studio space in Artlink for work.

The space includes computers, virtual reality equipment, video and photo equipment and more, McClure said.

Artists will give a tax-deductible gift based on the revenue of their project, ranging from 1 to 5 percent, depending on the time commitment for the project.

To fund the equipment costs upfront, Artlink received “generous support” from the Knight Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Ian and Mimi Rolland Foundation, as well as individual sponsors.

More information, including an application for artists, can be found at artlink212.com.