384 Dwight Street, Holyoke MA 01040 | (413) 532-0465 | info@HolyokeCAC.org

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Business Development Resources for Creatives

How to Start and Maintain a Successful Business

A ten-workshop series on the logistics and steps it takes to start and maintain your own business. The series entitled is member-taught by successful and knowledgeable community business owners and professionals who strive on expanding business and job growth that Holyoke and the surrounding communities have to offer.  Community members can explore their business ideas under one roof while engaging with business leaders who will not only teach you what they know but can also mentor newer businesses as they work to get a new business up and running, or to increase their customer base and make their business more efficient. These workshops are run by people who are experts in their field and are used to the challenges and joys that opening your own business can bring. The workshops will be kept small so that your questions can be answered. Workshop attendees are welcomed and encouraged to share any struggles, ideas and questions that they have or may have faced along their path to success!

For questions regarding the workshops, or to sign up, please call the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce at (413) 534-3376, or visit www.holyokechamber.com/events.


Artist-in-Business Training

This weekend long intensive is an integration of two trainings offered by UMass-Amherst Arts Extension Service: Artists Marketing and Business Planning for Artists. Artists learn and create elements of both their business and marketing plans and leave with next steps to build their business.

  • Business Planning for Artists – Making a business plan is an essential first step to running an artist business. This workshop will introduce you to the concepts that will enable you to run a successful business. We start with a step-by-step process for developing a business plan by providing a clear and easy-to-use template that enables you to begin – and complete – the business-planning process. Following the workshop, we will provide additional resources to help you at every step along the way.
  • Artists Marketing – Marketing is the most important tool to build awareness of your work as an artist and can help you to reach new audiences and cultivate loyalty in those you already serve. This workshop will introduce you to the fundamentals of arts marketing. You will begin by learning basic marketing concepts, such as the “4 Ps” of marketing (product, place, promotion, and price), how to better understand audiences and build participation in your programs and services. Includes an in-depth examination of new trends and best uses of social media. Discussion will also include how to measure the success of your efforts using analytics tools.

Saturday March 14 & Sunday March 15 from 9AM-5PM at the MGHPCC (100 Bigelow Street)

Registration fee is $40. Preference is given to artists who reside in Holyoke. Space is limited.  (Max capacity: 25 registrants)


Stay tuned for more offerings…


Creative Resource Panels

Creative companies are invited to give a short presentation on their business and the difficulties they face to a panel of professional development experts in fields like finance, marketing, human resources, law and so on. For most of the hour, the group will discuss mitigating those barriers to growth and link participants to other professionals and business development resources to which they haven’t yet been exposed.  Each panel is assembled to tailor the specific needs of the presenting business.

To assemble a Creative Resource Panel please submit a Request Form.

PLUGIN ICONPlug Into the Creative Valley

A monthly event that travels up and down the Pioneer Valley, where local creatives meet, share, learn and connect. Find out who else works around here and what they do! Explore opportunities to connect with other Western Mass artists and entrepreneurs.

Visit the Facebook Page to find news and updates on the next PlugIN event

CE-LogoWestern MA Creative Economy Network

The creative industries include the many interlocking industry sectors that provide creative services or create and promote intellectual property products.  The businesses (for-profit), organizations (not-for-profit) and individuals (sole proprietors) can be divided into the many categories that make up the Creative Economy Network.  This Network has been designated by the Commonwealth to help connect and strengthen creative enterprises in Western Massachusetts.


Marketplace Opportunities for Creatives


HCAC Consignment Shop

The Artery is hosting a permanent marketplace at HCAC to allow artists and crafters to benefit from their talents while also making unique, local artwork available to the community.

All the work is professionally photographed for maximum impact when seen online. There is a 20% commission to cover operational and administrative costs.

If you have artwork and craft items you’d like to sell please contact artery@holyokecac.org to find out how to get your work in the store.

Pioneer Valley Art Box

Local artwork featured online on a deal-of-the-day style website – COMING SOON!

Holiday Holyoke – Art Shop (pop-up) 

A seasonal retail shop filled with local art and unique handcrafted items, run by local artists and community volunteers.  Each year Holiday Holyoke pops up at a different location, activating an unused space. In 2012 the shop occupied a storefront on High Street, in 2013 Holiday Holyoke appeared in an old bank in the Hadley Falls Trust Company Building on Suffolk Street, and in 2014 it popped up at the Holyoke Mall.  

To contact organizers to get involved with Holiday Holyoke in 2015, email HolyokePopUp@holyokecac.org


Holyoke Arts Bazaar

The Holyoke Arts Bazaar is a platform for artists and makers of all varieties to exhibit and sell their creations and wares. We believe in providing accessible and affordable arts space for our community to flourish. We are dedicated to building an ecosphere for the arts that establishes an inclusive environment and promotes free enterprise.

The Bazaar is open to all original produced works of art and …handmade crafts. However, please make sure that your items are appropriate for all ages. Also, this is not a market to sell kitsch, junk or stuff you are just trying to get rid of – this is a place to gather the unique and thoughtful crafts and artwork produced by our community.

Next Stop Holyoke Arts Bazaar – October 2014

Holyoke Arts Bazaar – May 2014



 Creative Industry Classes






The Adams Arts Program is a grant funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), which has been supporting “creative economy initiatives throughout Massachusetts for more than a decade.” The Holyoke Creative Arts Center has been awarded a two-year Adams Grant to support The ARTery project, which will introduce creative industries Training and business development resources to the HCAC in collaboration with the City of Holyoke, the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, the Western MA Council on Economic Development and local artists and businesses. The project will foster creative enterprise in Holyoke by establishing an infrastructure that improves the economic wherewithal for artists and innovators to make a living by providing business and professional resources.

From an economic standpoint, the project seeks to empower creative enterprise and the workforce – creating an infrastructure that makes it increasingly possible for artists and innovators, producers of cultural products and purveyors of creative services, to make a living/career with their craft; and for creative companies to efficiently and effectively manage their businesses and create jobs for an engaged, talented, and vibrant workforce. From a community perspective, The ARTery is designed to nurture our ultimate economic resource – human creativity. It will empower the community to be expressive, innovative, productive and profitable with their ideas and their artistic talents. The ARTery will provide the space, tools, and instruction as well as the business development knowhow and access to the professional resources necessary to produce work, navigate self-employment, manage growth, create jobs, and help drive the Western Mass economy.


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