The College of Creative Arts has established a new West Virginia University Center for Arts Professionals, created to better enable artists and professionals in the West Virginia region to integrate into the professional world and to further educational opportunities for students and the community.

The Center will offer several one- or two-day seminars at the WVU Creative Arts Center this summer, including: “Creating and Managing Your Personal Brand” (July 21); “Marketing & Career Planning for Singers” (Aug. 3); “Performance Anxiety for Creative Performers” (Aug. 4); “Making Friends and Raising Money” (Aug. 8); “Art Studio Management and Self-Marketing” (Aug. 17); and “The Business of Acting” (Aug. 25-26).

Instructors for the seminars include College of Creative Arts alumni who have achieved success in their fields: School of Theatre & Dance alumna Jennifer Wiley-Stockton, theatrical agent and owner of JWS Entertainment, a bi-coastal talent management company; School of Music alumna Kristina Driskill, who is on the faculty at Chapman University in Calif.; and School of Art & Design alumnus Jacob Lewis, director of Pace Prints in New York City.

Other instructors include Martin Ashby, executive producer of MCG Jazz; Joyce Ice, director of the Art Museum of WVU and Glenn Rosswurm, director of development in the College of Creative Arts.

“We are pleased to be able to create a program enhancing educational offerings to arts professionals around the region,” said College of Creative Arts Dean Paul Kreider. “It is important for artists to continue to develop the tools necessary to succeed in the arts world. We hope our first summer of offerings will in some way assist artists in realization of their goals.”

All of the summer courses offered by the Center for Arts Professionals will be hosted through WVU Continuing & Professional Education. They include:

Saturday, July 21 – “Creating and Managing Your Personal Brand,” by Martin Ashby, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In today’s environment, artists of all kinds need to view themselves as a “Brand.” This seminar will explore the various ways individuals can create, manage and market themselves as a unique product, to differentiate them from the cluttered marketplace. Specific techniques for use of the Web, printed materials, conferences, and audio/video materials will be discussed. An extensive resource guide will be provided to all attendees. Time will be left at the end of the class for individual one-on-one consultations. Cost: $350.

Friday, Aug. 3 – “Marketing and Career Planning for Singers,” by Kristina Driskill, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This seminar is designed to give participants an introduction to marketing: what it is, how it works, and how it applies to them as singers. The necessity of discovering one’s individual strengths and unique qualities will be discussed, as well as how to set goals based on that information. The materials needed to market oneself as a singer and the branding of those materials will be discussed, including headshot, resume, biography (short and long), recording, website, online profile page, and social media presence. Examples of industry standards and common misconceptions are shown through a PowerPoint presentation, followed by an open question-and-answer session. The seminar is interactive throughout; participants gain a clear understanding of what is necessary to produce quality marketing materials, as well as how to apply the information learned. Cost: $200.

Saturday, Aug. 4 – “Performance Anxiety for Creative Performers,” by Kristina Driskill, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is an interactive seminar where participants discuss the common symptoms of performance anxiety and learn why they occur, followed by a discussion on some of the possible causes and an explanation of how the brain’s perception affects our ability to cope with performance anxiety. A discussion about available coping strategies follows. Participants are then given a chance to engage in anxiety-reducing activities, including relaxation exercises and cognitive activities designed to challenge common thought patterns that lead to unproductive reasoning and behavior. This seminar can be pertinent to creative performers in any field. Cost: $250.

Wednesday, Aug. 8 – “Making Friends and Raising Money,” by Joyce Ice and Glenn Rosswurm, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A half-day workshop, including working lunch, for arts professionals and/or people who work in non-profit organizations who want to learn more about development. Topics will include: giving trends in the United States; how to build successful and sustainable fund-raising programs that are appropriate and in keeping with an organization’s mission; making a case for your programs; how to build support and demonstrate value; planned giving; annual fund initiatives; enlisting volunteers in development activities; stewardship for the long haul; and things to consider before launching into a membership program. Cost: $350.

Friday, Aug. 17 – “Art Studio Management and Self-Marketing: What it takes to run and start a studio in the current market,” by Jacob Lewis, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. What does a gallery do for an artist? This seminar, which includes a working lunch, teaches what galleries can offer an artist and what to expect from a gallery once you get the chance to be shown. Learn and discuss the hierarchy in the gallery world and how to move up the ladder, versus being loyal to one dealer. Also learn examples of how the studios are run as a business. Learn about product license contracts and how to make product lines that are sold directly out of the studio and in stores and galleries. Gain knowledge and help about how you can make a living as an artist. Cost: $300.

Saturday & Sunday, August 25-26 – “The Business of Acting,” by Jennifer Wiley-Stockton, two full days, for a total of 12-13 hours. *Based in New York City, Wiley-Stockton has more than 16 years of experience representing actors in film, television, and theatre. Among her clients are Tony-, Emmy-, and Oscar-nominated actors who have appeared on shows such as “The Office,” “Deadwood,” “The Sopranos,” “Army Wives,” “Mad Men, “Ringer,” “Pan Am,” “The Wire,” and “The L Word,” among many others. She will be answering questions, debunking myths, and bringing some exciting industry guests from New York and Los Angeles, both in person and via live Skype sessions. This seminar is interactive throughout, as all registrants will have the opportunity to participate in the Q&As and also to perform a scene for a panel of distinguished guests. Cost: $350.

To register for the seminars online, visit the WVU Continuing & Professional Education website at and find “Center for Arts Professionals at WVU” listed under the “Creative Arts” category. Follow the easy instructions for registration listed on the site.

For more information, contact the College of Creative Arts Dean’s office at (304) 293-4360.


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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