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Professional Development for Creative Practices

Fall 2019

Carnegie Mellon Course Number: 60-350
Meeting Time: Fridays, 1:30pm » 4:20pm
Location: Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry
College of Fine Arts, Room 111 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Instructor: Tom Hughes
Associate Director, Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry
College of Fine Arts, Room 111
Adjunct Professor of Arts Management, CMU School of Art

Contact: [email protected]
Office Hours: By appointment — Click here to schedule an in-person meeting
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Table of Contents

This course has seven units. Each unit is a primer on a different business concept that is essential to running a creative practice

  1. Building Blocks The starting point for every business: who are you and how do you work with others? We'll start with a primer on basic business structures, from sole proprietorships to corporations—examining the benefits and drawbacks of each. The main focus of the unit will be on agency and employment—how do we define our relationships with the people we work with?

  2. Intellectual Property As creative practitioners, we all actively engage in the act of creating, sharing, borrowing and—in some cases—stealing intellectual property. The goal of this unit is to help you understand what intellectual property is, how you can protect it, and how to ethically use and share it.

  3. Legal Agreements Get it in writing! This unit is all about how we make agreements concrete and legally enforceable. We'll start with the standards of legal agreements and then delve into contracts, best practices, negotiation, enforcement and litigation.

  4. Generating Income How do we make that money? In this unit, we'll look at the primary methods for creating income for your business. The unit will start with an overview of basic financial concepts, followed by primers on fundraising and earning an income, and capping off with best practices for budget development and proposal writing.

  5. Managing Finances Now that you have that money, what do you do with it? Successful businesses don't just do well at bringing in funds, they also do well at managing it. In this unit we'll cover the basic concepts of accounting, financial management, and taxes. Understanding the importance of these concepts will lead you to financial stability.

  6. Communication Skills
    Going viral ain't common and it ain't easy. So how do we get our names out there? During this unit, we'll discuss the basics of building a marketing plan, how to work with media, networking and presentation skills.

  7. Business Models All of the subjects covered in prior units are all essential factors in a business, but to run a successful business you will need a plan. In this unit, we'll discuss the concept of business models and business plans—essentially putting all of our units together into one cohesive strategy.