Community News

Artists Unpacked: growing creative business skills in the Clarence

The Grafton Regional Gallery has launched a series of workshops to develop the business skills of arts workers in the Clarence Valley.

Aimed at all creative practitioners, these workshops will help people build a business within the creative arts.  Whether that career is in design, music or performance or visual arts, these courses are tailored to creative success.

Gallery director, Niomi Sands, said the community should not underestimate the importance of supporting our local creative industry in order to help it grow and thrive. 

“The gallery is committed to providing opportunities for local creatives to learn from the best in the business and is thrilled to present this workshop series in the Clarence Valley,” she said.

“Cultural and creative activity has increased in value in Australia over the past 10 years by more than 30% and it is important we encourage this growth in our region.” (Source: Bureau of Communications and Arts Research Media Release October 2018)

The workshop series will be launched at a free networking evening at the gallery on Wednesday, April 3, and workshop costs have been subsidised by the gallery, Create NSW and Arts Northern Rivers.  

Workshop content includes:

·  networking opportunities to encourage creative people to get to know each other and expand their partnerships and contacts;
· business administrative skills and grant seeking;
· creating a portfolio and showcasing work professionally;
· time management for creative, and;
·  marketing to increase sales.

Workshop facilitators have been sourced from a range of organisations and will share their knowledge and information with Clarence Valley residents. 

Presenters include: 

·  Monica Davidson: is a writer and film maker from the Creative Plus Business Group.  Monica has mentored more than 900 people through the process of starting and building their creative business.  She is a published author including ‘Freelancing for Dummies’ for Wiley.  In 2018 she was a finalist in the City of Sydney Business Awards for Outstanding Business Leader.

· Peter Wood: is Arts Northern Rivers executive director and has 25 years experience in the arts and creative industries including the Sydney Opera House, Company B Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare Company and Historic Houses Trust NSW.  Peter was Assembly Theatre in Edinburgh communications director and Melbourne International Comedy Festival marketing and sponsorship director.

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]Cher Breeze: has more than 25 years art industry experience in a wide range or artistic fields.  She has worked as a commercial photographer for independent record companies and as a curator and arts centre coordinator in Grafton, the Tiwi Islands and the East Kimberleys.  Cher runs a successful framing business in the Clarence Valley.

·  Wesley Shaw: Yuin/Dharawal/Ngarigo is an emerging cultural leader with a Bachelor of Art Education and is undertaking a Masters of Curating and Cultural Leadership.  He is the assistant programs producer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and will be presenting on behalf of the National Association for the Visual Arts.

·  Christina Giorgio: is an arts business and creative life consultant based in Byron Bay. Her business, Creative Consultancies, specialises in self-managed artists and creative businesses with a focus on creative potential and support. She has 20 years experience working in the arts at a grassroots, business and strategic level and facilitates workshops, hosts retreats and does strategic cultural planning with creative people and businesses.  She is also a singer/songwriter, and web and graphic designer.

Workshop and events schedule:

I Hate Networking with Arts Northern Rivers: 5.30pm, March 13 (Grafton Regional Gallery).

#ClarenceCreatives Networking Launch: 5.30pm, April 3 (Grafton Regional Gallery).

Arts Grants with Arts Northern Rivers: 5.30pm, April 10 (Blanc Space Yamba).

Art Business Basics with NAVA: 5.30pm, April 17 (Grafton Regional Gallery).

Showcasing Your Work: 5.30pm, April 24 (Grafton Regional Gallery).

Daily Life Design – time management: 9am, April 27 (Grafton Regional Gallery).

Marketing 101 for creatives: 1pm, April 27 (Grafton Regional Gallery).

Tickets for all events are available on Eventbrite or via the links at and

The Artists Unpacked workshop series will be complemented by a Museums Unpacked program for people interested in preserving history and memorabilia and a workshop series for Aboriginal artists in the lead up to the Clarence Valley Indigenous Art Award in June.