The Connecticut Office of the Arts, MASS MoCA, Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, and Windham Arts have announced a new partnership to offer MASS MoCA’s matched savings grants and professional development workshops to artists in Connecticut. The project is focused on reaching artists in under-served rural areas of the state.

MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program was founded in 2008 with the mission to help artist-entrepreneurs achieve financial stability and business growth. Assets for Artists partners with various cultural organizations to bring its innovative programming to communities throughout the northeast. To date, the program has assisted over 200 artists in investing more than $500,000 in their creative businesses, and has delivered hundreds of hours of artist-focused financial and business training.

With support from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Development Grant program, the partners seek to support artists based in rural Connecticut communities, including the regional partner locations: Windham, Litchfield, and New London Counties.

“We are so pleased to be able to bring the well-honed services of the Assets for Artists program to Connecticut,” said Kristina Newman-Scott, the Connecticut Office of the Arts’ Director of Culture. “It’s exciting to bring together such a broad-based partnership that focuses on supporting artists in areas that typically miss out on opportunities for business training and microenterprise investment.”

For this pilot round of programming, 10 artists will receive grants of $1,000 or $2,000 to invest in the expansion of their creative enterprise, along with professional development training, and individualized support with business planning to make the most effective business investments possible. Assets for Artists’ professional development training series will cover a range of topics including personal finance, goal-setting, marketing and public relations, and overall business planning, and are tailored to the unique needs and concerns of creative entrepreneurs.

Assets for Artists is accepting applications from rural Connecticut artist-entrepreneurs until December 11, 2015. For more information about the program and its guidelines, visit the Assets for Artists website: www.assetsforartists.org.

Connecticut Office of the Arts develops and strengthens the arts in Connecticut and makes artistic experiences widely available to residents and visitors. Through its grant programs, the Office of the Arts invests in Connecticut artists and arts organizations and encourages the public’s participation as creators, learners, supporters, and audience members. Through its programs and services, the Office of the Arts connects people to the arts and helps to build vital communities across the state.

MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.

USDA Rural Development is working with rural communities to create jobs, expand opportunities, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future. The agency currently administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility loan and grant programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and farmers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that serves both the general public and the cultural community in its 25-town service area and surroundings by acting as a hub for all aspects of cultural information and resources to ensure that culture thrives in and around the region.

Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition fosters region-wide economic growth in New London County by optimizing existing and new arts and cultural activities to assure that cultural sector and creative business assets are central to the vitality of the region.

Windham Arts strives to create authentic collaborations between the arts, culture, history, tourism, business and government in northeastern Connecticut.