Periscope class of 2016 set to graduate

Members of the Periscope Class of 2016

Members of the Periscope Class of 2016

After six weeks of hard work and dedicated study and effort, the 2016 Periscope class is ready take the next step toward success through an innovative program designed to be a transformative experience for each artist, sparking the moment when their career will really start to take off. A robust group of over a dozen and half entrepreneurial artists are preparing themselves to succeed in the competitive arena of the business world with their unique products based on their own individual artistic inspiration and perspiration.

Periscope is a six-week intensive training opportunity hosted at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) that empowers working artists to see their vision through an entrepreneurial lens. Led by the EC’s Director of Education, along with break-out sessions facilitated with Nashville’s top arts professionals, PERISCOPE gives artists the perspective and tools to organize, plan, and sustain their creative careers with the goal of preparing each artist to take their career to the next level.

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville is excited to produce its Periscope Artist Entrepreneur Training Class of 2016. Comprised of 20 promising artists, artisans, makers and creative entrepreneurs of artistic genres in varying disciplines, Periscope is a dynamic training program that helps high-level artists take their careers to the next level by looking at their artistic practice through an entrepreneurial lens that bridges the gap between passion and profession.

This year, the selection process was particularly competitive, with nearly 50 applicants vying for just 20 spots. Applicants were scored by panels of high-level community reviewers including leading curators and critics in Nashville’s arts scene such as Mark Scala of the Frist Center, Evans Donnell of the Nashville Arts Critic, Jamaal Sheats of Fisk University, and Paul Polycarpou of Nashville Arts Magazine.

“We are proud that this year’s Periscope class represents great diversity in all respects as well as a range of artistic practices from literature to visual art to theatre, said Casey Summar, executive director of the Arts & Business Council. “Periscope is unique in its ability to foster cross-genre conversations and sharing of diverse perspectives among artists of divergent backgrounds.”

The class boasts several notable Nashvillians. You may have enjoyed the rustic, industrial designs of class member Martin Cadieux at hip east Nashville venues such as Barista Parlor, Fat Bottom Brewery, and Treehouse. Maryanna Clarke is the founder of the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project, which has made a name for itself as a leading voice for gender equality in the Nashville theatre scene. And you might recognize the aesthetics of Periscope visual artists such as Amélie Guthrie (featured in the March issue of Nashville Arts Magazine), Mary Mooney (who has exhibited at Oz and Red Arrow Gallery among others), and David Hellams (currently showing an interactive photography exhibit at Seed Space). Periscope is quickly becoming known as the capstone experience for Nashville’s most elite artists on the rise.

The members of 2016 Periscope class are (alphabetically): Rebecca Allen (multi-disciplinary), James Bard (visual art), M. Simone Boyd (literature), Martin Cadieux (multi-disciplinary), Holly Carden (visual art), Maryanna Clarke (drama), David Coleman (music), Amélie Guthrie (visual art), David Hellams (visual art), Judith Hill (visual art), Bethany Langford (drama), Stellasue Lee (literature), Megan Lightell (visual art), Yoni Limor (visual art), Jennifer Luckett (jewelry), Mary Mooney (visual art), Karen Robb (music), Elizabeth Ross (multi-disciplinary), Sally Schloss (literature), and Alice Shepherd (visual art).

Periscope is a partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (training and host partner), Metro Nashville Arts Commission (artist mentorship partner), Nashville Area Chamber Of Commerce (promotional partner), and the Mayor’s Office of Economic & Community Development and Southwest Airlines (opportunity partners).

The class started on June 2 and continues through July 7, meeting once weekly. The curriculum consists of: What’s Your Idea? – analyze your current career position and identify what you need to think about, now, to build the brightest future for your art; Building a Compelling Proposition – focus on building a compelling unique selling proposition (USP) by learning from audience evaluations; Framing Your Concept – understanding your work, audience, and basic business structure to optimize the potential of your creative business; The Basics of Getting to Market – the basics of building a marketing plan and promoting your work; Business not Hobbies – walk through the basics of what generates revenue for you, pricing strategies, and planning long-term with a business model; and Getting Believers – discover the process of talking about your work in a way that will gain believers and make use of other people’s talents.

Following the formal group training portion, consisting of 6 weeks of professional development training for working artists, the artists are matched 1-on-1 with mentors to help them prepare for the Periscope Pitch on Sept. 6 and further develop their business strategies. There is a special opportunity at the Periscope graduation on July 7 for credentialed members of the press to meet the artists and hear from each of the partners. For more information on Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training, visit or contact 615-460-8274.

The Arts & Business council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that leverages and unites the unique resources of the arts and business communities to create a thriving, sustainable creative culture in Nashville. To deliver its mission, ABC offers four core programs: Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts, Education for the Creative Community, Arts Board Matching, and WorkCREATIVE. More information is available at