Self Employment in the Arts (SEA)
The mission of SEA is to provide educational resources to help aspiring artists gain the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills needed to establish and maintain a career as an independent artist.
welcome to SEA.
SEA is a program geared towards helping emerging visual, performing, literary, and media artists gain the resources and connections they need to be successful self-employed artists.
Programming includes conferences, workshops, panel discussions, webinars, competitions and more. Within these events there are a variety of activities including keynote presentations, artist-led sessions, one-on-one mentoring, round table discussions, networking events, as well as creative releases such as a gallery reception, create room, and improv.
SEA is housed at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Program support is provided by staff, advisory board members, ambassadors, volunteers, sponsors, and collaborative partners. To learn more about each, click on the category below.
SEA evolved out a need Dr. Gary Ernst saw while he was a marketing and small business instructor at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.
In 2000, Gary worked with several alumni on developing a video series called, The Entrepreneurial Artist. This series featured a variety of artists and focused on key business concepts that helped these artists succeed.
The video was such a big hit and the idea to bring student artists together with successful artist practitioners seemed the next logical step. In 2000, the first SEA Conference was held at Columbia College in Chicago.
Now in its 15th year, SEA continues to hold an annual conference in addition to partnering with several other institutions and organizations to hold regional events throughout the country. In addition, SEA has compiled years of resources to help artists as they follow their artistic passions.
Where are they now? Our goal is to help more emerging artists succeed at what they love to do. So, we wanted to share a few stories with you of those who have attended one or more of our SEA events in the past and are now out there living their dreams.
Fashion Designer – Ping Wu
Want to start a SEA Club on your campus? Or perhaps incorporate SEA focused activities into an already existing arts or entrepreneurship club?