We have an ambitious goal: no student majoring in an arts discipline at a St. Louis area university or college graduates without exposure to basic arts-related legal and business matters. By providing guest speakers, easy-to-understand guides and workshops in negotiation skills, we are helping students make the transition from the academic environment to their artistic careers.

Our teaching artists are available to speak to university and college classes throughout the bi-state metropolitan area. The artists discuss their experiences and careers, show samples of their work, provide a basic introduction to copyright, contracts and financial matters and describe our services. Students receive free copies of Copyright Basics, Anatomy of a Contract and Artist as Bookkeeper.

To book a free speaker, call (314) 863-6930 or contact us.

Visual Artists
Andy Cross, Timothy J. HykesBen KielTom Moore, Christina “Steenz” Stewart and Carlie Trosclair


Dee Coleman, Gabe Mueller and Dawn Weber


Doveed Linder and Dan Parris

Negotiation Skills
Hand,MichellewebWith practice, artists can learn how to communicate more effectively and strengthen important business relationships. Presented in an interactive style by actor Michelle Hand, our session covers negotiation styles; transforming adversarial interactions into problem-solving collaborations; and sharpening negotiation skills through role playing.


Lawyers and Accountants
Our volunteers address specific topics, such as copyright and taxes.


“VLAA and its Upstart initiative are a huge benefit to the St. Louis community. I can’t imagine not inviting them to my classes.”
Bill Barrett
Webster University