A new MICA initiative is looking to help creative entrepreneurs across the city - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jul. 14, 2017 10:46 am

A new MICA initiative is looking to help creative entrepreneurs across the city

The Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network will provide business resources for artists. Maggie Villegas will begin as executive director on August 1.

Inside Open Works.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

With a startup competition and new kinds of degree programs, MICA is making a push to spur entrepreneurship among current and recently-graduated students.

A new initiative from the arts college is seeking to spread that business prowess to artists in the city who aren’t directly affiliated with MICA.

The newly-launched Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (B/CAN) is designed to provide resources that can help creative businesses grow in the city, said Maggie Villegas, who will start as the executive director of B/CAN on August 1.

“It’s really a citywide program that’s trying to help meet people where they are and build up the capacity of our creative community,” said Villegas, a cofounder of EMP Collective who also worked on community arts initiatives at Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

Along with the creative-minded startups that are forming with more frequency, Villegas pointed out that many artists and makers in the city are also entrepreneurs.

“When you’re an artist or a designer, you are your own business,” she said.

In seeking to serve the entire city, the program will also address the disparities in resources that exist throughout the Baltimore community.

Maggie Villegas (Courtesy photo)

Maggie Villegas (Courtesy photo)

“B/CAN aims to build a networked system to support Baltimore’s creatives across socioeconomic, gender, generational, geographic and disciplinary boundaries,” MICA President Samuel Hoi said in a statement.

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The 10-year initiative will formally get off the ground this fall. While specific programs have yet to be announced, B/CAN will have an incubation program for creative entrepreneurs, and access to business and legal assistance, according to MICA.

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