Local artists are invited to tap into their inner entrepreneur and turn their passion into business

Western Downs Regional Council, in partnership with Flying Arts Alliance, is hosting Makers’ Shopfront, a two-day workshop in Chinchilla next month, for local creatives to develop their business and promotional skills and take their talent from hobby to hustle.

Makers’ Shopfront grew out of a desire by Founder Shelley Pisani to help her fellow creatives to develop their business skills and promote regional art.

Council Spokesperson for Community and Cultural Development Councillor Kaye Maguire said the workshops were an excellent way for local creatives to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

“It is the creative talents of our people that make the Western Downs such a vibrant region, but it can be challenging to translate creative talent into a viable business,” Cr Maguire said.

“This initiative is a fantastic opportunity for our local creatives to learn from practicing artists who have a wealth of knowledge in running small creative businesses.

“We all benefit when we shop and buy locally. Supporting our region’s artists doesn’t just make our homes brighter, it also helps to make our communities more active, vibrant places to live and do business. Council is very proud to be involved in making opportunities like this available to our residents.”

Since its inception in 2019, The project has grown, with hundreds of artists and makers around the state benefiting from the guidance and experience of Shelley Pisani and Associate Producer Katie Whyte.

Makers’ Shopfront Facilitator Shelly Pisani said the workshops would explore product development and distribution, as well as building a brand through marketing and storytelling.

“We hope that workshop participants will walk away with new ideas for their business and are able to develop marketing strategies that are right for them,” Mrs. Pisani said.

“There is no one size fits all when it comes to creative business. Being in the room with fellow creatives whilst having this discussion can really help you to think outside the square and find the right solutions for your business.”

Shelly Pisani has 26 years of experience in the arts industry in roles ranging from studio artist to gallery director, curator and consultant. She is passionate about supporting communities and mentoring regional artists to reach their full potential.

Associate Producer of The Makers’ Shopfront, Katie Whyte, is a highly recognised artist from Toowoomba who draws from her own experience to empower other creatives to develop strategic thinking and explore collaboration and product potential in their arts practice.

The event will be held in Chinchilla over the 26th and 27th of March from 9am to 4pm. Please note that this workshop is a covid safe event and attendees are required to provide their proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

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