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.
“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.
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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