On April 4, I had the opportunity to visit the Creative Chicago Expo at the Chicago Cultural Center—a successful integration of writers, artists, musicians, actors, dancers, and many other creative individuals and organizations that comprise the arts community of greater Chicago.
The 2008 Expo had seen approximately 3,500 visitors, and this year’s Expo was just as successful, literally jam-packed on every floor with guests of similar passions and interests from Chicago, Illinois, and other states.
Over 130 organizations were presented at the Expo including the Society of Midland Authors, Chicago Women in Publishing, Midwest Writers Association, Official School of the Joffrey Ballet, American Indian Association of Illinois, Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago, Organization of Black American Culture Writers Workshop, Chicago Public Library, Refuge: Center for Artist in Recovery, David Leonard Gallery, Tree Studios, Chicago Reader, and the Women in Film of Chicago to name only a few.
The Cultural Center of Chicago offered many different kinds of workshops for artists, actors, and other individuals involved in the arts and creative industries. Some of these insightful presentations and workshops included Business Licensing Basics, Meet Your Arts Service Agencies, Selling Your Work Online, Tips for Successful Grant Applications, and others. The large room was full with attendees all day long, offering a wealth of information to masses of people who were eager to learn.
For those seeking time-tested, good business advices, a Consult-a-Thon was offered for one-on-one meetings with experts in marketing, strategic planning, legal and accounting issues, and career coaching in all of the art disciplines. Most of the experts holding these consultations were booked solid, so it is advisable to sign up in advance for these events.
This was a wonderful opportunity for networking with other artists, writers, learners and entrepreneurs, as well as a chance to represent established and new organizations that benefit the Chicago creative community in remarkable ways.
For more information on The Creative Chicago Expo, visit www.chicagoartistsresource.org, and plan to attend next year with other artistic greater Chicagoans who want to participate in this outstanding program.