Arts Focus: New Capacity-Building Workshops by Artists, for Artists

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

New Year’s resolutions can be challenging to keep, but resolving to invest in your arts career is a good idea at any time of year.

Building upon the successful fall season (for which many sessions were at capacity), Arlington Arts continues its latest series of skill-building sessions with The Arts Enterprise Institute Spring Classes offered through our Arts Enterprise Institute, which run from Jan. 19 through March 2. (All classes are virtual.)

The Arts Enterprise Institute program exists to provide resources for artists and deepen their skill set to withstand the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Workshops, trainings, seminars and events integrate strong business skills, knowledge, life-long learning and artistic development with peer-to-peer learning and engagement with the community. A cornerstone of these programs is artists teaching artists.

Christine Searle is the instructor for Business Skills for Artists: Record-keeping.

Christine (CIA, CRMA, EA) is an internal audit and tax professional with over 35 years of experience helping nonprofits, businesses and individuals get control over and understand their finances and taxes. Christine specializes in helping entrepreneurs make informed financial and tax decisions and achieve their objectives. Christine started Searle Business Solutions, LLC in 2014. She has lived in Arlington since 2001 and has been engaged in community-based volunteer service for over 20 years.

Sharmila Karamchandani is the instructor for Smartphone Photography: How to Use Your Phone to Take Great Photos and Online Shops — A Dozen Ways to Sell Your Art During the Pandemic.

Sharmila, a local graphic designer and artist-entrepreneur, has a passion for working in arts education and community nonprofits. Sharmila has a bachelor’s degree in advertising and a master’s degree in graphic design. Sharmila is extremely passionate about art and teaching. She teaches graphic design in a private college, and she has been an entrepreneur coach for Empowered Women International for the past 15 years and has taught many women how to start their businesses. She is also a certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach and facilitates visual art workshops for Heard, an Alexandria based nonprofit that works with a vulnerable population.

Sushmita Mazumdar is the instructor for Community Engagement for Artists.

Sushmita is an Arlington-based artist, writer, educator and founder of Studio Pause, her art studio and community space for art and stories, where she invites everyday people to make time to explore creativity and celebrate the art and stories in the community.

After a 15-year career in the advertising industry in India and the U.S., Sushmita taught herself writing and book arts to create unique storybooks about her childhood in India to show her American-born son how different yet wonderful lives can be.

Since 2010 she has participated in programs at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Glen Echo Park’s Popcorn Gallery. She has designed and taught projects for the Smithsonian Institution and its museums, Arlington Arts, DC Public Libraries, National Building Museum and Alexandria Black History Museum. In 2018, Sushmita was awarded Arlington County’s Woman of Vision award for her work at Studio Pause, and in 2019 she was appointed one of 13 Arts Commissioners for Virginia.

Several classes in the fall session were at capacity, so sign up now for the Arts Enterprise Institute Spring Semester, from Jan. 19 through March 2. (Again, all classes are virtual!) The fee is just $20 per class.

Class recap:

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