Arts Business Accelerator Pilot

About the Program

In 2023 Tamarack Foundation for the Arts (TFA) piloted the Arts Business Accelerator, a 6-month arts business cohort program. The Arts Business Accelerator pilot, funded by the Truist Foundation, focused on women and BIPOC artists who wanted to start or grow their arts-based business in southern WV. Facilitated by arts business expert Elaine Grogan Luttrull, Minerva Financial Arts, the overarching goal of the program is to build business and financial knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy in women and BIPOC arts business owners while creating community among participants. TFA, in partnership with the WV Hive, recognizes the need to support the development of women and BIPOC-owned small businesses in southern West Virginia.

The Arts Business Accelerator pilot provided 15 women from southern WV with small-business development training, coaching, access to accountants, learning workshops, monetary subsidies to access markets, and networking opportunities over a six-month training period.

Program Impact

Read about the success of the pilot in the Arts Business Accelerator Impact Report

Arts Business Accelerator Program Outcomes

This program is intended for participants to:

    • Build portfolio careers to monetize creativity. (Goal: Increase income by 25% as measured by self-assessment and/or tax returns)
    • Plan for realistic business costs. (Goal: Self-assessed increase in planning ability)
    • Use effective record-keeping systems. (Goal: Self-assessed increase in systems use; expert assessed increase using recordkeeping rubric)
    • Prioritize tax deductions for creative entrepreneurs. (Goal: Self-assessed increase in tax knowledge, expert assessed increase using Schedule C)
    • Increase financial knowledge, habits, and self-efficacy. (Goal: Self-assessed increase in each)
    • Obtain business licenses and sales tax licenses, if appropriate. (Goal: 10 new business license registrants, assessed by asking participants about registrations)
    • Increase access to business education, support, capital, and markets. (Goal: Self-assessed increase in perceived access)
    • Increase networking opportunities with peers. (Goal: Self-assessed increase in networking opportunities)
    • Strengthen the small business ecosystem in their regions. (Goal: Self-assessed increase in perception of ecosystem)

Next Steps

TFA received an Appalachian Regional Commission Power Planning grant to work with communities to develop localized Arts Business Accelerator implementation plans in 7 southern WV counties: Fayette, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Raleigh, and Wayne (West Huntington). 

Please contact Kandi Workman at [email protected] if you’d like to know more about next steps.

Program Impact

Read about the success of the pilot in the Arts Business Accelerator Impact Report


Thank you for supporting the arts in West Virginia.

Appalachian Regional Comission

Truist Foundation