Art Entrepreneurs Set Sail For SEA Conference

More than 150 artists and professionals will join UT this Saturday as they host the first annual Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) Southern Regional Conference.

The conference will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. at the Crescent Club on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center.

The theme of the conference is “From survival to success.”

It is being sponsored by the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, the Bank of America, the Coleman Foundation, the John T. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, Postcard Mania and Teasdale Worldwide.

According to the Chairwoman of the event Dianne Welsh, the event is aimed at educating emerging artists and providing them with the tools needed to survive in the business world.

“We want to educate artists on how to make a living,” she said.

Some of the topics that will be of interest at the conference are “Artist as Entrepreneur: Making your passion your profession”; “Marketing the Art and the Artist”; “Legal Issues for the artists”; and “The Bottom Line: From Survival to Success.”

Along with these sessions, there will also be specialized sessions from three different tracks including literary arts, performing arts and visual arts.

Another highlight of the conference will be the keynote speech which will be given by best selling novelist, memoirist and screenwriter Connie May Fowler.

Fowler is an alumna of UT and has won numerous literary awards for her adapted novel “Before Women Had Wings,” which was adapted to television starring Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Barkin.

Registration for the conference is $36 for students and $46 for all others.

It includes lunch and a ticket to see “The Fantasticks,” a musical comedy that will show in the Falk Theater at 8:00 p.m.

In a welcome letter to the public, Mayor of Tampa Pam Iorio expressed her delight with the conference being held in Tampa.

“The City of Tampa is proud of the partnerships we have with our educational institutions and the various arts organizations in our community,” she said.

“Thanks to their support, Tampa is fast becoming known as a “City of the Arts,” a place known for celebrating the works of artists, writers and performers.

[Tampa] will provide an opportunity for all those attending to both learn from other professionals in their field and also network with fellow artists, making strong connections for the future,” Iorio added.

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