Calling all Merrimack Valley Artists!

Are you an artist who wants to launch a small business selling their art or crafts?
Take me to the application page!


The Art-to-Work Incubator is an entrepreneurial program for artists and craftspeople who want to develop their products for a larger mass market and learn how small businesses work. The Art-to-Work Incubator will offer savings match startup funds (between $1000 and $2000) and mentoring for a group of visual artists based in Lowell, Lawrence, Dracut, Haverhill, Chelmsford, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, and the Merrimack Valley. This program is modeled on programs like Assets for Artists in North Adams, E for All, and the Artists Business Council Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship. We are partnering with Lowell’s Community Teamwork and with Assets for Artists.
Please note, you must be 18 or older to participate and you must not be a currently enrolled student.

Area artists may apply with brief product proposals and images. Participants will be selected by a jury based on project viability, artistic skill, and coherent product ideas. Participants need not be affiliated with UMass Lowell. Over the course of 7 months, (November 2017-May 2018) participants will craft a business plan, participate in financial education, save money, prototype and build products, research retail markets and market test on “friends and family.” Participants will develop their pitch and investigate if an accelerator like “E for All” or “We Work” makes sense as a follow on step. The jury is Ellen Wetmore (project leader) Blair Benjamin (Assets for Artists), Terry Ryan (Community Teamwork), Steven Tello (UML Difference Maker), Diana Coluntino (New Vestures)

Application Due: October 20th, 2017
Notification of acceptance: by October 31st.
Course starts the week of November 13th, 2107
We meet two hours once per week in November and December at a time that makes sense for the group. Begin budgeting and marketing plans. Establish individual goals.
January: Begin 1:1 mentoring
February: First Friends and Family pitch to test marketability of products; collect data on friends and family shopping habits. 8-hour financial tune up seminar with Esther Robinson and Blair Benjamin
March: 12-hour business plan writing course
Early April: Second Friends and Family pitch. Second Public Professional Development Panel on Marketing Strategies For Artists.
April 30th: deadline to submit marketing plan, savings match, and business plan.
Mid May: Formal course meetings end. Matching grants dispersed.
Third Public Professional Development Panel.