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arly this year the Arts & Business Council launched Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training, an intensive program that prepares working artists to manage the business aspects of their creative endeavors. Hosted at the Entrepreneur Center (EC), Periscope offers artists access to professional development, entrepreneurial resources, and mentors.

Limited to twenty-five artists, Periscope includes practitioners of all artistic genres from Nashville and its surrounding counties. This month, Nashville Arts Magazine introduces five more members of this year’s Periscope class. For more information on Periscope, visit www.abcnashville.org.


Ben Cooper likes to “wake up in the morning and create something that wasn’t there the day before.” Periscope has equipped him with the strategic knowledge he needed to do just that. Eleven years ago he came to Nashville to study audio engineering and entrepreneurship at Belmont University. He envisioned a career progression that would begin with performing, move into songwriting, and culminate with producing. While things did not go exactly as planned, he is now a full-time producer and songwriter and particularly enjoys working with emerging artists. Ben says, “I’ve enjoyed having cuts with artists like Ricky Skaggs and Olivia Newton John, and I’ve loved getting to be a part of the next generation of musicians rising up in Nashville.” To hear samples of his work, visit www.bencooperonline.com.


Rebekah is the founder and artistic director for FALL, Nashville’s first aerial and contemporary dance company. She has been dancing since she was eight years old and draws inspiration from the space around her, especially the vertical space above her. In addition to collaborating with artists of all genres, Rebekah says, “I am looking forward to a future of creating unique, large scale, site-specific work around the city of Nashville. Finding opportunities to bring performances to the people, instead of the other way around.” On November 1, FALL and the Aerial Fabricators, will perform with the Nashville Symphony as part of the Pied Piper Concert Series. Later in November, FALL will perform with flautist and fellow Periscope artist Celine Thackston at OZ. For more information, visit www.falldance.org.

RYAN WAGNER | VISUAL ART & GRAPHIC DESIGN After working as a graphic designer, art director, and brand manager for a large corporation for several years, Ryan launched his own art and design studio, Foundry 43, in order to devote his career to his passion for art. Because Foundry 43 is still relatively young, he wanted to get into Periscope and focus on the practical aspects of his endeavor. He’s learned a great deal about growing his business and gained valuable business tools. His vision for the future of Foundry 43 is a one-stop, hybrid art studio, gallery, and design firm that not only creates, but also helps connect artists of all different mediums with recipients looking for all types of great, custom, original artwork. For more information, visit www.Foundry43.com.


A poet, an advocate for artists, and a business strategist, Stephanie Pruitt has achieved success with Mind Your Creative Business Consulting, won awards for poetry, and been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. Stephanie has actually helped a lot of artists market their careers but found it a real struggle to do it for herself. That’s why she wanted to get into Periscope. Her big takeaway from Periscope has been “getting to know who my audience is. Periscope helped me to define ‘the who’, which I was afraid to do because I didn’t want that to influence my writing . . . but it has actually been very empowering. Defining ‘the who’ helped me to understand the importance of my writing.” To learn more about Stephanie and her work, visit www.StephaniePruitt.com.

JUDY KLICH | VISUAL ART “I knew that being creative was in my soul and had to be part of my future career. That led me to eighteen years as a commercial designer, all the while continuing to paint and enjoy photography. After painting in watercolor, acrylic, and oil I discovered encaustic during a mixed-media class in grad school, and it became the perfect medium to express my love of nature, abstraction, and geometry all combined into one medium,” says Klich.    Though she did take some business courses as part of her MFA, being at the entrepreneur center with other working artists gave her new energy and excitement. She is approaching her business in a whole new light, redesigning her marketing approach and her website and developing a video biography.  For more information, visit www.judyklichart.com. 108 | October 2014 NashvilleArts.com

Profile for Nashville Arts Magazine

October 2014 Nashville Arts Magazine  

October 2014 Nashville Arts Magazine