“I’m really prolific on the writing side. Creativity is not my problem. On the business side, I totally suck. This program gave me ideas on how to become more organized,” Pushcart Prize Nominee Patty Kinney said of Artist Trust’s eight-week EDGE Professional Development Program.
The program started in 2003 with the intent of helping artists develop their professional career goals and establish a support system for sustaining their art, whether it be photography, fine art, or literary art. Since it started, 593 artists have graduated from the program. 12 alumnae will read from their new work on May 18 at The Elliott Bay Book Company.
Judith Gille, author of “The View from Casa Chepitos,” admitted that, for her, the business aspect was not the most valuable part since she had been running her own business, City People’s Garden Store, since 1988. While the business side may not have been as pertinent to her, she did find one week of the program particularly helpful.
“There was a legal session, and that was really interesting to know what constitutes infringement, plagiarism, and knowing when you’re libel.”
A local attorney led the class and also offered a one-on-one meeting with students to help them with the legality of their writing.
For Gabriela Frank, the program was as much about learning the business side of art as it was about changing her perception on being an artist.
“It’s made me take my career as a writer very seriously. The program is a reminder that this [art] is not something you don’t take seriously.”
Frank’s short fiction piece “Pas de Deux” will be published this summer in an anthology by the New Lit Salon Press titled “Behind the Yellow Wallpaper: New Tales of Madness.”
The demographics of the 2013 EDGE program for literary artists ran the gamut in terms of age, ranging from 20-somethings to 60-somethings. In terms of gender, it was not as diverse; all of the graduates of the 2013 program were women.
Although the students were all at different stages in their careers as artists, they admit that the cost of the program, $550, was well worth what they gained.
Along with EDGE, Artist Trust offers grants, awards, and residencies to artists in Washington State (including musicians, fine artists, and literary artists). Visiting their website, you’ll find a list of events and workshops, including information on the next EDGE program.
Head over to Elliott Bay on Sunday at 3 p.m. to listen to an array of original work, including poetry, nonfiction, and fiction.
For more information on the EDGE program visit www.artisttrust.org, and for more information on the upcoming reading visit www.elliottbaybook.com/event/edge-reunion-group-reading.