Building a creative business in West Virginia can present challenges. Between accessing our rural communities and competing with economic pressures, we find hurdles in the path to engaging new buyers and bringing unique products to market. Even learning the business of art itself can sometimes feel like a mystery.

We can tackle these challenges by being smart about how we invest time, energy, and dollars – and the team at the foundation has devised this Creative Entrepreneur Speaker Series to help you do just that. Working together, we will learn key business principles from experts in creative industries across America to help fast track the growth of creative careers.

Join us for Accelerate Your Growth: A Creative Entrepreneur Speaker Series to bring home ideas like:

  • Getting savvy about how to best invest your time into marketing and promotion
  • Reaching people across and outside of the state by shifting your efforts to effectively grow an online presence
  • Honing in on the ideal audience for your business – and creating messaging that speaks to them
  • Getting smart about how to present yourself at fairs, festivals, and trade shows
  • Learning when and how to talk to VIPs in the art world

Join Us

All events are available for free to West Virginia artists due to a generous grant from the Benedum Foundation, and all events are being held online to ensure the information is available to as many people as possible.

Each event will include a presentation and an opportunity to ask the speaker questions.

All registrants will be provided with a recording of the presentation after it concludes. If you have an interest in the topic, we encourage you to register for the event even if you will not be able to attend “live” during the presentation.

Sign up for our email list as an “Artist” to be kept up to date on the Speaker Series events, Tamarack Foundation programming, and more opportunities for West Virginian artists.


Bridge the Gap: Bring Your Marketing into the New Century

Plotting Your (Low-fuss) Plan for Digital Marketing
with Carling McManus and Jennifer Susman of 84 Agency
Wednesday, August 17, 12 – 1 pm
Details » Complete!

How to Build a WordPress Website for Artists
with Shaun Dover of MESH Design and Development
Wednesday, August 24, 12 – 1 pm
Details » Complete!

How to Build a Shopify e-Commerce Website for Artists
with Josh Dodd of MESH Design and Development
Wednesday, September 7, 12 – 1 pm
Details » Complete!

Social Media: How to Be Everywhere All the Time
with artist Brad Stevenson and host Matthew Deleget
co-presented with Creative Capital Professional Development Program
Wednesday, September 14, 7 – 8:30 pm
Details » Complete!

Drive Opportunity: Find, Speak & Sell to Your Audience

Find Your Voice: Create Your Unique Business and Find Customers That Will Love to Buy From You
with Marketing Escape Artist Rob Fortier
Thursday, October 6, 12 – 1 pm
Open Q&A: Thursday, October 13, 12 – 12:30 pm
Details » Complete!

How to Price Your Work Profitably
with Carolyn Edlund of the Arts Business Institute
Thursday, October 27, 12 – 1 pm
Details » Complete!

Selling Success: How to Prepare for Fairs, Festivals and Trade Shows
with Marketing Escape Artist Rob Fortier
Tuesday, November 8, 12 – 1 pm
Open Q&A: Tuesday, November 15, 12 – 12:30 pm
Details » Complete!

How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World
with artist Sharon Louden and host Matthew Deleget
co-presented with Creative Capital Professional Development Program
Mondays, November 21, 28; December 5, 12, 7 – 8:30 pm (4-part series)
Details »

Pricing for Fine Artists
with Carolyn Edlund of the Arts Business Institute
Thursday, December 8, 12 – 1 pm
Details + Register »

Meet the Speakers

deleget 2016Matthew Deleget
Topics: Social Media: How to Be Everywhere All the Time and How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World (Host)
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Matthew Deleget is an artist, curator, and arts worker. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including solo and group exhibitions in the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. His work was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial by Michelle Grabner at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. His additional museum exhibitions include MoMA/P.S.1; Bronx Museum of the Arts; Herbert F. Johnson Museum; Bass Museum of Art; and Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2003, Matthew co-founded MINUS SPACE, a gallery based in Brooklyn, NY, specializing in contemporary reductive abstract art, and represents pioneering emerging and established artists and estates from around the world. Since 2006, he has organized more than 60 solo and group exhibitions at both MINUS SPACE’s gallery in Dumbo, Brooklyn, as well as other collaborating venues on the national and international levels, including in Mexico, Belgium, Australia, and New Zealand. Deleget holds an MFA in Painting and an MS in Theory, Criticism and History of Art, Design and Architecture from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. He lives with his wife, artist Rossana Martinez, and son Mateo in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more at and

Josh-DoddJosh Dodd
Topic: How to Build a Shopify e-Commerce Website for Artists
Location: Charleston, WV

Josh Dodd co-founded MESH: Design and Development to bring his knowledge of web technologies to the small business and nonprofit world. He is a graduate of West Virginia University with a BS in Computer Science and an avid WVU fan. His belief both in clean coding and usability enhances every aspect of the user experiences cerated by MESH, where he leads all UI/UX decisions. He has extensive experience developing websites and carries his knowledge of large-scale multi-brand web systems when approaching every MESH project. Josh also manages all internal arteries of MESH and leads the team in constantly increasing usability and maximizing efficiency in every project. When not on the computer, Josh is building something hands-on, whether it’s brewing beer, utilizing his carpentry skills, or rehabbing old structures. In 2011, he was recognized by the Preservation Alliance for his historical restoration work on the original MESH studio. Learn more at

Shaun DoverShaun Dover
Topic: How to Build a WordPress Website for Artists
Location: Charleston, WV

Shaun Dover, MESH’s web developer, graduated with distinction in creativity from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a BS in New Media and a concentration in Interactive Design. He has experience in web design, animation, video, and web development, including HTML(5), CSS(3), and Javascript. Previously, Shaun was a web developer in higher education, responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining web and brand presence. He enjoys combining design and development to create immersive experiences that engage users. Learn more at

Carolyn headshot thumbnail 2015Carolyn Edlund
Topics: How to Price Your Work Profitably and Pricing for Fine Artists
Location: Rotonda West, Florida

Carolyn Edlund is the Executive Director of The Arts Business Institute and the founder of She owned a successful production ceramic studio for twenty years, and has worked as a sales rep for art publishers and gift companies. Carolyn frequently writes articles on the business of art and has authored several e-courses, including Pricing Strategies for Artists & Makers and How to Wholesale: A Step-by-Step Guide for the Creative Entrepreneur. She frequently works individually with artists in personalized consultations. Learn more at and

Rob Fortier_2016_rectangleRob Fortier
Topics: Find Your Voice: Create Your Unique Business and Find Customers That Will Love to Buy From You and Selling Success: How to Prepare for Fairs, Festivals and Trade Shows
Location: New York, NY

Rob Fortier, the Marketing Escape Artist, has shown hundreds of entrepreneurs the path to profitable businesses they love – exactly the way they want them! While most entrepreneurs waste months or even years trying tactics and tricks that just don’t fit, Rob shows them how to use their strengths to tap into the massive money that surrounds them right now. Better yet, his one-of-a-kind Magic Money Roadmap Method reveals a path to profit doing what they love (instead of what they can’t stand!). Rob has revealed his powerful methods for his private clients, and on stages all over the country, including the Be the Change Event and The National Stationery Show. He is based in New York, NY. Learn more at

sharonlouden1Sharon Louden
Topic: How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World (Speaker)
Location: New York, NY and Minneapolis, MN

Sharon Louden was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1964. She holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Drawing Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Weisman Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Louden’s work is held in major public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Arkansas Arts Center, Yale University Art Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. Her work has also been written about in the New York Times, Art in America, Washington Post, Sculpture Magazine, ARTnews and the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as other publications. In addition, Sharon Louden is a Senior Critic at the New York Academy of Art and the editor of Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists. Louden is currently working on a second book entitled, The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, which will be published in early 2017 by Intellect Books and distributed by the University of Chicago Press. Learn more at

Carling McManus Jennifer SusmanCarling McManus and Jen Susman
Topic: Plotting Your (Low-fuss) Plan for Digital Marketing
Location: Charleston, WV

Carling McManus and Jen Susman are the co-founders of 84 Agency, a media and communications firm that specializes in providing creative solutions for nonprofits. Jen and Carling spend most of their working time creating viral content, developing campaigns, managing social media presences, producing video and design materials, and offering communications support for nonprofits both regionally and nationally. Jen and Carling both have MFA degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute and reside in Charleston, West Virginia. Learn more at

stephensonBrad Stephenson
Topic: Social Media: How to Be Everywhere All the Time (Speaker)
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Brad Stephenson, based in Pittsburgh, PA, is the director of marketing for Carnegie Museum of Art. He previously served as director of strategic accounts for online advertising agency Level Interactive. Prior to that, Brad was with Carnegie Mellon University, where he was director of projects and marketing for the University’s Center for Arts Management and Technology (CAMT) and, later, director of online strategy for CMU’s H. John Heinz III College. While at CAMT, Brad co-founded Technology in the Arts, which investigates the intersection of arts management and technology through blog posts, webinars, lectures, podcasts and social media. Brad developed and taught technology planning for CMU’s arts management and entertainment industry management graduate programs. He is actively involved as a performer and producer in the Pittsburgh comedy community. Brad was a stand-up comedian in New York City for several years, sharing the stage with artists like Jim Gaffigan and Ed Helms. He currently produces and performs in a popular monthly Dungeons & Dragons-based live comedy show and podcast called Knights of the Arcade. Brad has a BFA in acting from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Arts Management from CMU. He also has a beautiful, hilarious 7-year-old daughter named Sadie. Learn more at



Please direct questions to Program Director Emma Pepper at [email protected]

The series is organized as part of Tamarack Foundation U, the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts’ business training program.