North Central College receives $170,000 grant from the Coleman Foundation

kkmurphy | Thu Nov 1, 2018

North Central is a place where students who have an affinity for art can transform their passions into a profession. With the support of a two-year $170,000 grant from the Coleman Foundation, the College empowers students to take their careers into their own hands by opening doors to networking opportunities and professional development.

The Coleman Foundation, which promotes and supports entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship as a field of study, will fund the continued development of North Central’s Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) Program. This organization helps emerging visual, performing, literary and media artists gain resources and connections to be successful self-employed artists.

"The Coleman Foundation's support of the SEA program has allowed us to continue to provide an ecosystem through the Annual SEA Conference, where we can bring together emerging creatives with successful professionals all in the hopes of providing the resources, knowledge, and network for more artists to succeed at what they love to do. SEA would not be here today without their support," said Amy Rogers, director of SEA.

Since 2000, the Coleman Foundation has awarded a one-year grant to SEA, funding their largest event: an annual conference bringing students, emerging artists and industry experts from across the country together for a two-day event.

This year, the Coleman Foundation provided a two-year grant, which gives the SEA Conference the freedom to move to Chicago this year, bringing it to a larger audience than ever before.

“The students that attend are able to gain insight into being a creative professional; network with other students and successful artists from across the country; learn important business concepts and strategies and understand that making a living in the arts is possible,” said Rogers.

The event draws students from over 40 different schools, with North Central students and alumni making up one of the largest groups each year. It isn’t just for college students though, and anyone from high school students to community artists of any age can attend.

“This will be my 12th year at the SEA conference, and every year I gain a wealth of knowledge connecting with other artistic souls who want to make money doing what they love,” said Catherine Borzym ’11, founder and CEO of design company Kiwi Avenue. “I leave with new tips and tricks from industry experts and a few years ago I found a mentor. I wouldn't want to run my business without it.”

The Coleman Foundation’s grant also provides aid to subsidize the cost of attending the weekend conference for students in the form of a $100 scholarship. In addition, the grant helps fund competitions for students to win prizes in a juried art competition.

For the more entrepreneurial creatives, a pitch competition at the conference allows students to receive funding for specific business proposals. Last year’s competition awarded $3,000 to kick-start students’ ideas.

For more information or to sign up for the 2019 conference, visit the SEA website.