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2017 Artists & Makers Conference Scheduled for April 7

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BELFAST, ME—The fourth annual Artists & Makers Conference will be held on Friday, April 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Hosted by Archipelago and the Island Institute, the one-day event will offer practical tips and strategies to help grow arts businesses and is open to all artists and makers who live and produce work in Maine.

This year’s conference will offer three themed tracks highlighting information for those just starting a business, those looking to take their business to the next level, and those interested in tips for maintaining fulfillment, passion, and inspiration in their business.

New features include: Three tracks throughout the day—Foundational, Transformational, and Inspirational; Opportunities to meet with and have your product reviewed by retail experts; Opportunities to meet with and have your fine art portfolio reviewed by gallery experts; A Pecha Kucha-style event to inspire creativity; A DIY tabletop photography workshop; and More networking opportunities

Guests will be able to focus on one track throughout the day, or they can mix and match from different ones depending upon their areas of interest. Sessions will cover tips for starting a business, approaching stores and galleries, building a website, grants and financial opportunities for artists and makers, marketing and branding trends, social media, and more.

Speakers at this year’s event include James Morin of Flowfold, Bill Laurita of Swan’s Island Company, Sadie Bliss of Maine Craft Association, Dennis Gleason of Gleason Fine Art, Maggie Bokor of Maggie Bokor Jewelry, and more.

General registration is open through Friday, March 31 and costs $35 per person. After April 1, the late registration cost is $45. All tickets include a light breakfast, lunch, fruit and beverages. To register or view a complete agenda, visit http://www.islandinstitute.org/archipelago.

For questions regarding registration or the conference, please contact Archipelago Director Lisa Mossel Vietze at (207) 596-0701.

Archipelago supports and showcases Maine artists and makers whose work reflects and promotes the beauty and endurance of Maine’s islands and coast. Since opening in 2000, it has helped advance the careers of more than 800 Maine artists and become a prominent facet of Maine’s creative economy. Located on Main Street in downtown Rockland, Maine, Archipelago has played a pivotal role in the town’s emergence as a dynamic center of arts and culture, and supports all its artists through commissions on product sales, mentoring and advice, and guidance on product pricing, wholesales, design, and packaging. In its first 15 years, it returned more than $2 million in commission sales to local artists, with nearly $1 million benefitting island artists who traditionally have a difficult time reaching mainland markets. Throughout the year, Archipelago staff also spend more than 400 hours mentoring artists who would like to grow their businesses and increase their economic opportunities, particularly those living year-round on Maine islands. For more information, visit http://www.thearchipelago.net/.

The Island Institute is a 34-year-old nonprofit organization based in Rockland, Maine that works to sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal communities by strengthening community economies, enhancing education and leadership, and sharing solutions. For more information, visit http://www.islandinstitute.org/.