Arts Center and Community Loan Fund team up to train artists

The Arts Center of the Capital Region was established in 1962 to promote the arts. In just three years, they were able to secure a building, to offer classes, studio space, and exhibition space for local artists. The Center quickly became a destination for people from 11 nearby counties – with the largest audience coming from Albany County. “We like to say that while we are rooted in Troy, our tree canopy covers the entire region,” says Elizabeth Reiss, CEO of the Arts Center of the Capital Region.

The canopy was both a space for individuals looking to explore their talents, and also a place for accomplished artists to display their creativity.

Today, that tradition continues.

“Our mission is to connect the community to the arts, and to that end, we invest in the community and in the arts,” says Elizabeth Reiss, CEO of the Arts Center of the Capital Region. The Arts Center of the Capital Region manages 11 media-based studios and provides 400 classes per year to the general public. The organization is housed in six contiguous buildings along River Street. The nonprofit moved to this location in 1995, with assistance from the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region.

The Loan Fund helped the Arts Center with long and short-term loans, to cover construction, equipment, and marketing at the new location, Reiss says. The Loan Fund also provided cash flow assistance to help the organization bridge financing gaps while they waited for state reimbursements.

“We are grateful that we have been able to turn to the Community Loan Fund for our borrowing needs,” says Reiss.

Every year, over 500 artists participate in exhibitions and other projects, again coming from all over the region. Artists also teach at the Center, spreading their skill and inspiring a new crop of creatives.

“We promote the well-being of our artists through business development programs and other events.  This is where the Community Loan Fund comes in,” says Reiss.  The Community Loan Fund offers free classes to artists and creative professionals, in conjunction with the Arts center. Called the Business of Art, this series of workshops covers subjects essential to artists’ professional development and business acumen.

The latest series begins January 29, with a workshop the taxes and record keeping. On February 26, another workshop on copyright and intellectual property will take place. Then, on March 25, the Loan Fund will present a workshop on pricing art; and on April 29, marketing your art.  Each workshop takes place at the Arts Center, 5:30pm-7:30pm.

“These programs provide a valued service to our community, and provide the starting point for our Capital Artist Initiative that is an in-depth training program for artists who want to advance their careers even more,” says Reiss.

“Next on the horizon for us is the development of our upper floors.  We have about 25,000 square feet of available space, that until now, has been too impractical to develop.  Now, with rents rising in Troy, we can predict a reasonable rate of return on our investments, and we are beginning to flesh out our partners and our plan.  I have no doubt CLF will play a role in this project, too!” says Reiss.

For more information about the upcoming Business of Art courses, please visit our calendar. To register, please visit the Arts Center of the Capital Region’s website.