Pre-Conference Events – Transportation Provided
5PM Open Studio Tour at VCCA

Want to be inspired? To kick off Create Virginia, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), one of the world’s leading working artist retreats in Amherst, will open its doors for a rare look into the studios of writers, visual artists, and composers. Attendees will be welcome to visit the studios of select Fellows in residence, and talk to them about their work and the creative process. An Open Studio event at VCCA is always interesting, and yes, inspiring.

A free shuttle will depart from the Holiday Inn (601 Main Street) at 4:30 PM and return at 7:30 PM. 

6 PM Opening Reception

Stick around after Open Studios to hear welcoming remarks and meet other conference attendees plus VCCA Fellows in an informal setting.

7:30 PM Dine Around

A renaissance is happening in Downtown Lynchburg and it has everyone hungry. Chefs are making the great migration from big cities to set up shop on cozy downtown streets and quiet nooks; and Food Network veterans are suiting up with aprons and pastry brushes to satisfy the city’s sweet tooth. Our city may look unassuming, but walk through the doors of any of our restaurants and you’ll be met with extraordinary flavor and an attention to detail that will make you want to stay for hours (and we want you to, too). 

Friday night dine around updates will be provided to registered attendees. 



9 AM Morning Plenary, The Arts Mean Business in Virginia | Warehouse Theatre

The Arts Mean Business in Virginia! Randy Cohen, VP of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts will speak about arts funding in Virginia, the arts as an economic sector and using the arts to address community development issues.

10 AM From Fear to Action | Art Studio

Creatives have to work past fear to learn to take action for their creative business. Having fear is natural, and we can learn skills to move past it to take action. This workshop will help creatives find strategies get past fear and imposter syndrome to take next steps. Presented by Karena Heyward and Eliza Lamb.

10 AM Competitive Analysis/Social Listening | Warehouse Theatre

Your “brand” is what people say behind your back, but what are they actually saying? Social listening is a crucial way to determine your brand perception and opportunities for improvement. Social listening is key to understanding your buyer is looking for and be able to reach out to the right buyer or audience. Presented by Christina Garnett.

10 AM Pricing | Lippard Room

Pricing – it can be the most challenging decision you make. How do you determine a fair price for your work? What is included in the price for your art? How do you sell your art without selling your soul? Presented by Marc Willson

11 AM Bridging the Communication Gap: Talking to Business People about Your Art | The Art Studio

Sometimes it seems like creatives and business people are speaking two different languages. How can you work better with a maker space, gallery, or any other business? This session will help clear those sometimes muddy waters between art and business. Presented by Elise Spontarelli.

11:00 Historic Theatre Tour | Meet in Warehouse Lobby

This guided tour will allow patrons to explore the entire theatre, and learn the history of the Academy and the Historic Academy of Music Theatre built in 1905.

11 AM Packaging and Display | Lippard Room

When you are setting up to sell in a shop or at a show, how do you display your stuff so that people want to buy it, and so that it shows your work in the best possible light? Get advice from a retail expert on how display, lighting, and presentation can help you make that sale. Presented by Marc Willson.

12 PM Keynote Speaker, Lulu Miller | Warehouse Theatre
1:30 PM Mental Health Check for Creatives | The Art Studio

Working as a creative can be lonely and using your creativity to make art and be emotionally draining. It’s important to keep a check on your mental health, so you can stay productive and active. For this workshop, learn self-care techniques and ways to “check-in” with yourself to keep the creative juices flowing. Presented by Karena Heyward.

1:30 PM Hashtags Instagram | Warehouse Theatre

Join Ariel Lev and Maggie Perrin-Key of the Treehouse Collaborative for a how-to session on Instagram, using hashtags and stories to share your brand. 

1:30 PM Look out for the Tax Man! | Lippard Room

A short walk through your Schedule C, the income tax form most of us file each year for taxes. We’ll discuss what needs to be reported where, how you know where to get the numbers, common business deductions, how your business affects your personal tax situation, self-employment taxes, and more, focused on the work of artists. Presented by Charese Chambers.

2:30 PM Planning a Marketing Calendar | The Art Studio

So many people say just to create a marketing calendar to get started, but they don’t really break it down for you. Understanding your audience and be aware of the content they want and need is perfect to get planning a calendar so your efforts and assets have one central location. A marketing calendar can be your best friend. Attend our workshop and find out how. Presented by Christina Garnett.

2:30 PM Developing a Relationship with the Media | Warehouse Theatre

You know you should write press releases and to ask the news to cover your events, but how do you that? Learn from Virginia journalists about why writing press releases are important for artists and creatives, and how to make them professional and impactful. We’ll chat about what to expect when working with journalists, how to know if you’re “newsworthy”, how to create a media list that is relevant to artists, and other best practices. Presented by Tim Saunders of WDBJ and Josh Jackson of WVTF. 

2:30 PM Crowd Funding: Pitfalls and Strategies | Lippard Room

You’ve heard the media stories about thousands raised on crowd funding sites like Go Fund Me. Can you do that, too? This session will look at the realities of seeking funding through these on-line sources. Presented by Elise Spontarelli.

3:30 PM Time Management/Setting SMART Goals | The Art Studio

How can you physically and emotionally survive all the emails, the phone calls, and never ending requests of your time?  Scot McCarthy, of StyleWise Partners, will provide you with a fun, interactive, and applicable approach to creating an effective day, week, month and year!  Finish up your Create Virginia experience by spending some time finding out how to best use your time going forward!

3:30 PM Business Model Canvas: Creating a One Page Business Plan | Warehouse Theatre

A one-page business “plan” that helps you quickly understand and communicate your creative business idea or concept? Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and lean startup template for developing new or documenting existing business models. A visual chart with elements describing different parts of your idea – it can be helpful for creatives by illustrating potential trade-offs and clarifying activities. Presented by Eric Byrd. 

3:30 PM Look out for the Tax Man! | Lippard Room

A short walk through your Schedule C, the income tax form most of us file each year for taxes. We’ll discuss what needs to be reported where, how you know where to get the numbers, common business deductions, how your business affects your personal tax situation, self-employment taxes, and more, focused on the work of artists. Presented by Charese Chambers.

4:30 PM Drinks and Decompression | Warehouse Lobby

Connect with fellow Create Virginia attendees over drinks and snacks. Refreshments by Purple Door Catering and music by Out of the Weeds. 

7:30 PM Academy Presents: Aquila Theater's Frankenstein | Academy Center of the Arts

Create Virginia Attendees are invited to join the Academy for Aquila Theatre’s Nationally Acclaimed production of Frankenstein in the Historic Academy Theatre on Saturday, March 30, 2019, following the Create Virginia Conference. 

Create Virginia Attendees can use the Promo Code ‘CVFRANK’ for 50% off adult tickets to the show! Purchase your tickets online or call (434) 846-8499 to reserve your tickets today.

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