The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) has announced the 2021 launch of The Business of Arts Networking Series, a quarterly virtual program aimed at supporting emerging artists and creatives in Baltimore City by providing professional development, networking, performance and showcasing opportunities, and, technical support grants (available annually depending on funding).

The first round of programming and performances takes places on Thursday, January 28, and Friday, January 29, 2021, and is focused on The Art of Branding and Marketing Yourself Successfully, with sessions hosted by Baltimore artists Shae Li, Jazmin Washington, and Abdu Ali, and a performance from Brandon Kanion.

The Business of Arts Networking Series is sponsored in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) and Bank of America.

The Business of Arts Networking Series also offers Professional Development Mini-Grants, designed to support individual artists/creatives across various disciplines in pursuit of deepening their knowledge and strengthening their professional practice. The Professional Development Mini-Grants application is available HERE and applications are due by Sunday, January 31, 2021. Funding for the BOA Networking Series Mini-Grants is made possible by the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). Learn more by attending The Business of Arts Networking Series on January 28 & 29, 2021.

Additionally, the Business of Arts Networking Series offers Artist Showcases, performance opportunities for artists/creatives to showcase their talent with a BOPA produced mini-concert. Mini concerts will be shot and performed live, edited, and promoted for rebroadcast across all of our social media. Artists will be compensated for a small stipend for their participation. The Artist Showcase application is available HERE and applications are due by Friday, February 12, 2021.

The Business of Arts Networking Series January 2021:
The Art of Branding and Marketing Yourself Successfully
Join Baltimore artists for the launch of The Business of Arts Networking series, focused on branding and marketing for artists and creatives.

Mastering THE LOOK and Defining Your Personal Style as an Artist
Thursday, January 28, 2021, 5:30 – 6:30 PM (led by Shae Li)
Register Here 

Building Your Personal Brand Successfully on Social Media
Thursday, January 28, 2021, 6:30 – 7:30 PM (led by Jazmin Washington)
Register Here

Where: Defining a Space and Agency for Marginalized Artists:
Friday, January 29, 2021, 6:30 – 7:30 PM (led by Abdu Ali)
Register Here

Mini Casual Concert Series:
Friday, January 29, 2021, 8:00-8:30 PM (performance by Brandon Kanion)
Watch on BOPA’s Facebook and Youtube

Artist Bios

Shae Li is a lifestyle brander and content creator based in the Baltimore area. She has been involved in blogging, branding, and influencer marketing since 2014, with an educational background in public relations and communication. She has an additional 10+ years of experience in fashion retail and personal styling. Li believes in creating social media content with purpose and value through the lens of care for one’s self and the many forms self-care takes. She is a non-Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor, plant and dog mom, craft cocktail enthusiast, lover of all things fashion/style, and organic skincare devotee. She has been highlighted in the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Style Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, MaryJane of Maryland Magazine, and was most recently featured in Visit Baltimore’s new tourism campaign on billboards and advertisements along the East Coast.

Jazmin Washington is a digital strategist and content creator with over seven years of experience in social media management, digital marketing, event planning, and television and film production. She is passionate about using social media to highlight underrepresented communities, stories, and topics. She began her career at ABFF Ventures (American Black Film Festival), where she built the social media footprint to be a platform for black artists to be noticed by millions of people. Her expertise in digital strategy led her to the Mayor’s Office of Baltimore City where she created content to shine a light on the people and culture of a vibrant city that is often plagued by negative news coverage. Jazmin is a summa cum laude graduate from Howard University and is currently a consultant working with companies and organizations to build and enhance their digital presence.

Abdu Ali is an American avant-garde musician, writer, and cultural worker. Their music is an idiosyncratic blend of punk, jazz, Baltimore club music, and rap that has graced stages across the U.S. and Europe. Through their energetic visceral performances, spiritualizing audiences, they have been anointed as a cosmic, punk, and soulful tempest on stage. Ali has performed at MoMA Ps1, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Kennedy Center, and Red Bull Music Festival. Ali has been highlighted by the NY Times, NPR, Les InRocks, and Tracks Arte TV. Ali has been a recipient of The Contemporary: Grit Fund 2; a 2018 Ruby Artist Grant; 2019 Best Artist Award by The LGBTQ Commission of Baltimore City, Baltimore Magazine 2019 Best Artist, was invited to the Black Artists Retreat 2019, and have held residencies at 2018 Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp & 2018 Pioneer Works.

Brandon Kanion is an Artist from Baltimore, Maryland. Kanion is a child of God primarily, so naturally, he’s different. Kanion started singing Gospel in the church as a kid, and throughout middle school and well into high school he found a passion for R&B, Rock, Country, and Pop music. As a theatre geek, it is important for Kanion to incorporate life into his songs. Kanion writes his own music and believes in writing from authentic places. His EP Trilogy “Nine Thirteen” was a way of expressing that. In the EP Trilogy “Nine Thirteen”, Kanion spoke of his struggles with Race, Fear, Sexuality, Love, and he believes he introduced himself in an impactful way. Kanion wants to help God heal the world. He wants to help people live, and not just survive. Kanion wishes for anyone who hears his music to have the Best Life possible. The world can be such a dark place, Kanion wants to be a beacon of light, that encourages others to shine bright as well. Kanion prays music does that, and so many more positive things, to the world.

About The Business of Arts Networking Series
The Networking Series features opportunities for professional development, networking, and performance, and will occur quarterly throughout the year with a rotating roster of participating artists and creatives. The Business of Arts Networking Series will tentatively continue in April, August, and November 2021.

Professional Development
The virtual sessions are led by industry professionals and designed to give in-depth practical information applicable across various disciplines. Although this program is designed for emerging artists, the sessions will provide useful information for individuals who are changing careers or who simply seek to gain more knowledge and insight into how to take their craft to the next level, no matter where you are in your professional trajectory. These sessions will also feature local organizations that have free professional development and grant opportunities for artists and creatives.

While the speakers of the virtual sessions will be able to give guidance and insight to program participants, these sessions will also provide a space where artists and creatives can dialogue with one another, networking while creating lasting connections and growing their professional peer circles.

The Business of Arts Networking Series will showcase artists/creatives throughout the year in high-quality video production that will be broadcast live across all of BOPA’s social media platforms. Artists interested in being featured during a mini-concert/showcase will need to apply. Applications can be found here.

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