Sunday October 14, 2012

Too many people think that making art is just playing around. But those who actually create it know differently. And those trying to support their work -- and themselves -- know what a struggle it can be.

Assets for Artists, a partnership led by Mass MoCA, the Midas Collaborative, ArtHome, and other organizations, was founded in the Berkshires in 2008 to help artists turn their creative work into a sustainable businesses.

The partnership offers training in financial and business planning; incentives to save and invest; and bank accounts with matching funds.

So far, according to its website -- www.assetsforartists .com -- the partnership has worked with over 40 artists
in the Berkshires (and a total of 70 artists across the state) to help them grow their
businesses.

Last year, they enrolled 35 artists, plan to enroll 70 more by the end of 2012, and are looking for at least 80 in 2013.

"Artist" in this sense includes visual artists, performers, de signers, photographers, film-makers and artisans, according to the website.

Each applicant can get up to $2,000 as a savings match to grow their creative business.

Assets for Artists also provides free training sessions on personal finance and business management for artists. The sessions are in Lowell, Pitts field and Boston, with dates to be announced.


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The fall grant application deadline has already passed, but to find out more about the partnership, its programs and its fundraising efforts, visit www.assetsforartists.com

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PET FOOD NEEDED: The Pet Food Pantry at the Berkshire Humane Society has run out of food.

"The pantry is bare." said Executive Director John Per reault in an email.

"We have been helping to feed the pets of over 700 families throughout Berkshire County, and our supply level is depleted," he said.

The shelter will accept any brand of dry cat and dog food, as long as they are still sealed.

Donations can be made at the 214 Barker Road shelter in Pittsfield Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.; Thursdays 5 to 8 p.m. and at Purradise cat adop tion center at 301 Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington.

To reach Charles Bonenti:
cbonenti@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6211.
On Twitter: @BE_Lifestyles