top of page
Art of Entrepreneurship - Photographed by Jules Iradukunda 155-DSC01554.jpg
CAAC_Support Local Creatives_Primary.png
Local creatives impact the economy and livability of our community.

​Our vibrant arts community attracts visitors, generates revenue for local businesses, and creates an attractive environment for potential residents and businesses. These factors significantly impact the city's cultural, social, and economic fabric.

CAAC provides support and resources to local artists through various initiatives. These include professional development opportunities, such as mentorship programs, workshops, and access to grant funding.


Business training for artists and creative entrepreneurs.


Do you have a great idea or are you feeling stuck? We're here to help.

2023 On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator

In partnership with the Indiana Arts Commission, the On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program includes a three-day intensive entrepreneurship and community engagement workshop and the chance to apply for up to $2,000 to put the lessons into action. 

May 2023 in Downtown Columbus


CAAC hosted the state-wide conference to provide business training to artists and creative entrepreneurs. Over 40 artists and creative entrepreneurs stayed in downtown Columbus in May 2023.

On-Ramp was a conference that covered a wide range of topics, including business planning, marketing and branding, financial management, legal and accounting issues, and more. Participants, who were selected through an application process, had the opportunity to attend workshops led by experts in the field, participate in panel discussions, and connect with other artists and creatives from across the state.

As artists and creative entrepreneurs built successful businesses, they contributed to the economic and cultural vitality of our community. We proudly welcomed the 2023 IAC On-Ramp cohort!


Columbus Area Arts Council and Velocities’ Dan Nash partnered for a day of learning and networking to accelerate business of artists and creative entrepreneurs! This free workshop helped individuals brainstorm, plan, and jumpstart their creative business!

The Format

Dan Nash presented on key business topics to help creatives develop their small business, grow their audience, and move up to the Next Level:

  • Using the "Build–Measure–Learn" framework, shared perspectives on the why, how, and what of business, and create guiding questions to shape thier journey throughout the day.


  • Created a 1-page visual business plan to guide business' growth and practiced pitching ideas to peers for helpful feedback.

  • Considered customer discovery, validation, and growth, then used the "Build–Measure–Learn" framework to refine business plans. 

  • Learned about options available as business grows—consulting, brick & mortar, lifestyle—and how these opportunities fit into the life and company participants want to build.

CAAC-EntrepreneurshipInTheArts-Branding-Social_Social-FacebookEventCover copy.png
CAAC-EntrepreneurshipInTheArts-Branding-Social_Social-FacebookEventCover copy.png

The day also featured a panel organized by the Columbus Design Institute, where creative entrepreneurs and practitioners discussed experiences in the field and shared practical advice for success. The conversation explored entrepreneurs' journeys to find their customers, solve problems, and evolve their solutions. 



Aja Essex, co-founder of Cicada Cinema, a pop-up cinema that provides high-quality screenings of underrepresented cinema — the old, the new, and the locally created. She is also a co-host, editor, producer, and contributor for Indiana University Cinema. Aja is based in Bloomington.


Polina Osherov, Editor and Creative Director of PATTERN magazine, an award-winning publication about fashion, culture, and art in the midwest; she is also the owner of Polina Osherov Photography. Polina is based in Indianapolis.


Tony Vasquez, an artist and owner of Vasquez Photography, which features images in a wide variety of areas, including architecture & design, bands, and wedding photography. Tony is based in Columbus.



Dan Nash is Startup Ecosystem Manager at Velocities, which accelerates innovation and develops entrepreneurship-minded culture and infrastructure in south central Indiana. Dan is based in Columbus.

Next Level Creative Entrepreneur Trainings are brought to you by the Indiana Small Business Development Center, a program of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and the Indiana Arts Commission. This initiative is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

bottom of page