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Artist Case Studies: Connecting with an Audience + Community of Support

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm

During this panel conversation, we will discuss various approaches to developing meaningful relationships and building your network both online and offline.

In a series of short talks, three artist-organizers will share their experiences and insights into creating a your creative practice to help you reach out to supporters and champions.

  • Jane Beachy on engaging artists + audiences for the long-running community event series, Salonathon
  • Tonika Johnson on reaching out to collaborators + activists for her citywide Folded Map project
  • Anjali Pinto on cultivating clients and partners for her personal and commercial studio practice

In a moderated discussed led by Steven Wang, the artists will delve into the philosophical as well as logistical aspects of developing ways to share your work with a broader audience while remaining authentic to yourself. Focusing on strategic, systematic approaches to growing and sustaining meaningful connections and collaborations, the panel will help you understand how to apply marketing principles to cultural work and creative projects.

This workshop is part of the FIELD/WORK Core Curriculum, a series of FIELD/WORK Residency sessions that are open to the public. CAC welcomes you to join us at 5:30pm for social time with refreshments, with the program beginning promptly at 6:00pm.

Learning Objectives
  • The importance of defining the community building goals that will shape your communication
  • Understanding the “market value” of your work and why it matters to others
  • The value of creating opportunities for yourself and others within a network of peer artists
  • How to identify the audiences and communities you want to reach and tactical ways to get the word out to them
  • Creative ways to use online platforms like websites, social media, and email newsletters that are reflective of you and your practice
Guest Speakers

Jane Beachy is the Founder and Artistic Director of Salonathon (est. July 2011). 

She is also Program Manager for Art at Illinois Humanities, where she spearheads the Elective Studies Series and a myriad of other programs.  She was recently named one of Newcity’s “Players 2017: The Fifty People Who Really Perform For Chicago.”  Through Salonathon, she has produced events, performances, residencies and retreats at and/or with the Steppenwolf Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Chicago (Chicago Performance Lab), Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (OnEdge, SummerDance), Metro Chicago, The Empty Bottle, Thalia Hall, The Promontory, Land and Sea Dept., The Inconvenience, The Neo-Futurists, Columbia College, MAKE Magazine, Printer’s Ball, Bottom Lounge, Berlin Nightclub, Chicago Reader, Slideluck and ACRE Artist Residency, where she was recently a Visiting Artist.  Along with the Salonathon team, she also runs Camp Salondawega, an artist retreat at the acclaimed Camp Wandawega in Wisconsin, and has taught as an artist in residence in the Theater and Performance Studies Department at the University of Chicago.

Tonika Johnson is a visual artist/photographer from Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood.

In 2010, she helped co-found Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) and now she serves as its full-time Program Manager. She was featured in Chicago Magazine as a 2017 Chicagoan of the Year for her photography of Englewood's everyday beauty, countering its pervasive media coverage of poverty and crime. Her Folded Map project was recently on view at Loyola University's Museum of Art in the fall of 2018.

Anjali Pinto is a photographer and writer based in Chicago. She received a BA in photojournalism from the University of Missouri, with special training at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Her work focuses on the following topics:

  • women, body image, feminism, lgbtq+ , poc,
  • education, youth, non-profits, community development
  • immigration, civil rights, human rights, government
  • death, grief, mourning, memory
  • sexuality, love, partnership
  • food, drink and travel

Anjali's clients include: New York Times, BITCH Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Washington Post, Refinery 29, Food & Wine, Food Network, Rolling Stone, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Reader, Chicago Community Trust.

Moderated by Steven Wang, the Executive Director of High Concept Labs. Steven has over seven years of experience within the consumer packaged goods industry, helping Fortune 500 companies develop and grow their store brands. His experience spanned the realms of retail execution, new product development, market research and analytics, and category management for such retailers as Kroger, Office Depot, Safeway, and Kmart. His passion for opera—and the desire to find ways of getting younger generations involved in the artform—influenced him to pursue his MBA at the University of Cambridge in the UK, specializing in Culture and Arts Management. During his studies, Steven produced a modern interpretation of Dido and Aeneas, and worked as a budgeting consultant for the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. After his program, he assisted the Aldeburgh Music in Suffolk on multiple consulting projects, including a revamp of their marketing message to improve their recruitment strategies for the Aldeburgh World Orchestra. 

Steven joined High Concept Labs as the organization's first full-time executive director in 2015 and has helped triple the budget, grow the board of directors, expand staffing to include the organization's first artistic director, and expand the organization's reach on social media. Steven has also served as a panelist with the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Steven is a board member of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) and a founding member of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) MakeWork Council. Steven also holds a B.S. in Marketing (Honors) and Economics from Arizona State University.


Chicago Artists Coalition
2130 W. Fulton Street (look for our dedicated entrance at 2132 W. Fulton Street!)
Chicago, IL


$20 General Public | $10 CAC Artist Members | FREE for BOLT, FIELD/WORK, HATCH, and LAUNCH Residents

Register here