Artists U is a grassroots, artist-run platform that seeks to improve the working conditions of artists through professional development. Artists U helps artists build lives that are balanced, productive, and sustainable through skill-based workshops, publications, lectures, and counseling.
Artists U started in Philadelphia in 2005 and came to Baltimore in 2011. Artists U/Baltimore offers workshops and tools for Baltimore artists to build sustainable lives. The workshop entitled Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist introduces the core practices for sustainability: strategic planning, the artist mission statement, financial clarity, and time management. Another workshop entitled Beyond the Grant looks at leveraging a grant or fellowship into longterm sustainability. Finances for Artsts is an all-day dive into revenue, taxes, savings, credit, debt, and valuing one's time. All Artists U programs are free, artist-run, and open source. They see their work as community organizing, building on artists’ skills, creativity, and connections.
“I’ve attended most of Artists U’s workshops, some of them twice. Everyone benefits from these workshops because the conversation shifts from the romance of starving artists to the power of creating sustainable careers with measureable impact. We practiced clear and captivating language to describe what we do, why we do it, and why it matters. We examined our goals and time management skills. I attribute my journey toward sustainability directly to the Artist U workshops and my willingness to use these teachings as a practice for myself and my students.” – Gina Pierleoni, Artists U Participant
“This workshop was immensely helpful to me as a young, emerging artist and has helped me to more confidently advocate for myself. I feel a real sense of momentum moving forward with my work.” – Kristin McWharter, Artists U Participant