Our free Upstart program exposes college students to basic arts-related legal and business matters and introduces them to VLAA’s services.
In addition to our featured working artists, we can send speakers to dance, theatre and creative writing classes. And our volunteers are available to address specific topics, such as copyright and taxes. To book a speaker, please complete this form.
These dynamic artists discuss their careers; show samples of their work; and present an overview of copyright, contracts and financial matters. Students receive free copies of our Upstart Essentials publication.
Andrew Cross has been a scenic artist at The Muny since 1984. He has also worked at the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Opera Theatre of St. Louis and as a scenic artist for industrial shows, installations for amusement parks and cruise ships. Andrew has created several indoor and outdoor murals in St. Louis. He is a graduate of the Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training program.
With practice, artists can learn how to communicate more effectively and strengthen important business relationships. Presented in an interactive style by award-winning actor Michelle Hand, the session covers negotiation styles, transforming adversarial interactions into problem-solving collaborations and sharpening negotiation skills through role-playing.
Financial Tips for Artists
Michelle also presents Financial Tips for Artists. Drawing on her personal experience as an actor, she discusses multiple income streams, the “paying yourself first” savings strategy, recordkeeping for taxes and more.
Careers in Arts Administration
Kevin Ginty introduces students to career options in arts administration. He also offers suggestions for landing a first job. Ginty is the former executive director of St. Louis Classical Guitar. He holds degrees in guitar performance and arts administration.