“Don't pursue a career in the Arts unless you love the Arts truly, madly, deeply. And do not have any delusions about what awaits you both in educational settings, and in the job market. …If you think you're gonna get a break because you have a disability, think again. …You better be the best you can be at what you do, and do not allow yourself to use your disability as an excuse NOT to work continually and consistently towards total professionalism and high standards of quality.”
-- Jaehn Clare, professional theatre artist, from "A Career as an Artist Ain't an Easy Row to Hoe," keynote address for The Art of Employment: Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities on March 25 & 26, 2002 at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN.
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Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Eligible persons can receive services and assistance for employment-related needs, including those involved in starting a business.
Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana: Helps people create and develop their own small businesses. The program assists people who may lack the money, know-how, mentoring, or the confidence to start their own business.
SCORE: A program of the U.S. Small Business Administration offering free and confidential small business advice. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors, and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.
Indiana Small Business Development Centers: Free or low-cost information, training, counseling, research and other assistance. Funded by the Small Business Administration, local centers throughout Indiana provide technical assistance to new business start-ups and expansion of existing businesses.
Discussion Group on Issues of Self-Employment for People with Disabilities: Established by Diversity World as a networking forum for entrepreneurs with disabilities and individuals or organizations who have a role in this arena.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities: Offers experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management. Veterans with a post-9/11 military service connected disability and a passion for starting their own business are eligible. Successful applicants have all their expenses paid.
The Blind Entrepreneurial Alliance: A coalition of organizations working to provide protection and advocacy for blind business owners.
Fact Sheet: Self-Employment for Artists with Disabilities: From the Job Accommodation Network.
Griffin-Hammis Associates: Lots of excellent resources on self-employment.
The Institute For Arts Entrepreneurship: A post-graduate certificate program that "fosters leadership strength and entrepreneurial vision" needed to create viable arts based enterprises. The Institute has a blog: Entrepreneur the Arts.
Making Self-Employment Work For People with Disabilities: Answers to questions facing individuals and families considering self-employment as a vocational choice, such as "If a person cannot read or write, how can they possibly be expected to operate a profitable business?" and "The business community, and business-related agencies such as SBDCs, is not always welcoming to people with disabilities. How can we get them to help?" (A minor portion of the information is applicable only to Hawaii.)
Rural Issues and Self-Employment: Resource page from Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities, University of Montana.
Self Employment in the Arts: Provides educational resources to help aspiring artists gain the knowledge and skills needed to establish and maintain a career as an independent artist. Sponsors conferences and provides online resources. The Entrepreneurial Artist video series is available on DVD free of charge.
Self-Employment & Entrepreneurship Resources: Compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy.
START-UP USA: Self-employment technical assistance, resources, and training. A partnership of Virginia Commonwealth University and Griffin-Hammis & Associates. Live and archived webcast series, online courses.
The Actors Fund Artists Health Insurance Resource Center: An "up-to-date, comprehensive and unbiased database of health care resources for artists, performers, freelancers and the self-employed."
The Future of Music Coalition Health Insurance Navigation Tool: Offers informative articles and telephone appointments to get free and confidential personal advice from health insurance experts who are also musicians.
Every Artist Insured: Understanding Health Care Reform
Fractured Atlas: An artist membership organization offering free online guides The Artists' Guide to Health Insurance and The Artists' Guide to Health Reform, as well as Health Proponent, a membership service that provides personalized assistance to help resolve a range of healthcare and insurance-related issues. Get access to eHealthInsurance, an online one-stop shop for health insurance, and HealthCare.gov, a database of insurance options, searchable by state.
National Association for the Self-Employed: Membership benefits include access to health insurance.
See the Benefits and Entitlements page on this website.
See The Business of Art page for information about Taxes and Legal Issues.
See profiles of a few of the many accomplished individuals working in diverse fields of the arts who also have a disability.
Go to People in the Arts
Gina Soo Golden is a painter from Indianapolis, Indiana. “I like to mix realism and surrealism.” “I aim to give a visual definition of feelings one could never quite describe with words,” she has written in her artist statement. Pictured above: The Gray Room.
read more about Gina Golden
Nicolas Lyford-Pike is an artist from Columbus, Indiana. Pictured above: Toyota Avalon.
read more about Nicolas Lyford-Pike
Warren Miller is an artist from Indianapolis, Indiana. Pictured above: Rub-a-Dub.
Wug Laku is an artist from Indianapolis, Indiana. "My art is about ideas and finding the purest, simplest ways of expressing them," he says. Pictured above: Earth Poems.
read more about Wug Laku
Stu Johnson specializes in Central Indiana subjects, from black and white shots
of architectural landmarks, to picture-postcard fall landscapes, to
prints of trucks and buses digitally enhanced with tie-dye colors.. Pictured above: The Ruins.
read more about Stu Johnson
Louisville, KY artist Susan Gorsen has exhibited her art in New Albany and served as Artist-Facilitator for ArtsWORK New Albany. Pictured above: Blue Moon.