Artlink Unveils Arts Incubator To Support Creative Arts Careers Here

Artlink is pleased to announce the unveiling of 212, an arts incubator designed to provide resources, space and unprecedented connectivity to artists both in Fort Wayne and around the Midwest region. Opening on Feb. 12, 2018, 212 will serve as a platform for individual artists in animation, illustration and interactive art such as creative coding and game design, to refine their ideas, connect one-on-one with a variety of experts in the creative arts and to see their projects to fruition.

“The 212 incubator brings access to knowledge and industry connectivity in the arts without tethers to location or economics,” said Matt McClure, executive director, Artlink. “Talking about creative economy is not enough. The Midwest alone boasts of a population of creatives in the thousands and yet with a handful of exceptions, the majority exist cutoff from the conduits necessary to work as a professional artist.”

The 212 incubator’s success is designed to grow as the artist’s success grows.

“A creative economy requires bridging the gaps between individual artists and both the resources and connectivity necessary to facilitate, refine and bring these ideas into reality,” said McClure.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that average salaries in the creative sector range from approximately $38,000 to upwards of more than $100,000, not including the sale of original, creative intellectual property, residuals, licensing and other distribution potential.

In the digital arts alone, animation, design and cinematography are predicting growth between six to 11 percent. Artists working in creative coding and web development are in an industry with projected growth of upwards of 27 percent. Even those working as artisans and fine artists average annual incomes of around $48,000.

Through 212, artists creating work in a variety of mediums can submit their work for review by an advisory board comprised of professional animators, writers, illustrators, and experts in creative coding and interactive art from across the country.

“Part of what makes 212 unique is its advisory board, which is made up of talented creatives in a variety of fields from all over the nation,” said Laura Hilker, co-chair of 212. “We are grateful to have such a skilled and successful group of mentors who share our mission and are excited to make an impact on the creative community in the region.”

Once approved by the advisory board, artists will be invited to participate in one of two capacities. The first provides an onsite residency program where artists will have access to professional tools, a collaborative space, and a one-on-one mentorship with one or more of the advisory board members for a period of six months. The second option is for individual artists whose projects are approved but who have their own space or prefer to create off-site; they will also receive one-on-one mentoring remotely.