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The Business of Art: Three-Part Workshop Series

November 5 @ 5:30 pm - November 14 @ 7:00 pm

You don’t need to starve to be an artist, but you do need to know how to run a business.

 VLA’s “The Business of Art Series” focuses on some of the most common issues we encounter through working with arts entrepreneurs every day. By learning the foundational topics of different legal business structures, how to strategically manage professional relationships, create budgets and deal with finances, you’ll come away better equipped to make informed decisions at pivotal points in the course of running a small business.

Workshops are taught by industry experts who bring a wealth of experience teaching and counseling artists on a range of legal and financial issues. Although not required, we encourage participants to take all three workshops to get the most from this program (see below under “fees” for links to register for individual workshops). Those who sign up for all three workshops will receive a package discount.

Artists of all disciplines, as well as attorneys advising creatives on their small businesses won’t want to miss this!

All workshops will be held at VLA, located at 1 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.


Part One: Getting Started: Entity Selection and Formation (CLE)
(1.5  Continuing Legal Education Credits)
Tuesday, Nov 5, 2019
5 – 6:30 PM

Understanding your options when it comes to deciding on a business structure can be an overwhelming process, especially when you start to consider the legal implications surrounding different for-profit entities. “Getting Started: Entity Selection and Formation” will provide you with an overview of for-profit business structures and associated legal day-to-day considerations that entrepreneurs (specifically those in artistic fields) should know about. If you’ve ever wondered what is the difference between an LLC and a corporation, when to create an “operating agreement,” or how to pick a business name, this class is for you!

Topics Include:

1. Various types of corporate entities (and their similarities and differences)
2. Contractual issues in structuring a business
3. Tips on picking a business name and its impact

Instructor: Andrew Borsen, partner at Borsen Law and adjunct professor, teaching Business Law.

Note: This workshop is Part One of VLA’s Three-Part Workshop Series: “The Business of Art”. Part Three will build on some of the concepts covered here in Part One and will discuss how financial practices are applied with different entities.

Part Two: Managing Relationships: Contracts 101
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019
5 – 6:30 PM

As an artist and an entrepreneur, contracts are an essential tool for your business. Whether you are creating commissioned work, a musician performing a gig, a filmmaker licensing music, or any artist engaged in any business relationship, you are probably entering into contracts on a regular basis. But do you know how to create a contract or what terms are important? This class will provide you with an overview of contract law, including essential aspects of contract formation and standard contract provisions.

Instructor: Laura Levin-Dando, VLA Staff Attorney.

Part Three: Accounting, Budgeting, & Cash: ABCs of Business Finance
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019
5:30 – 7 PM

This program will cover the financial fundamentals that every artist as a small business owner needs to consider. Attorney and finance expert Jared Graw will take you through the basics of borrowing and budgeting for a small business, financial best practices, and how you can apply these principles with different business entities.

If you have always wanted to learn more about the difference between accrual vs. cash accounting, how to set up a budget or obtain a line of credit (but you have been too afraid to ask!), we look forward to seeing you there.

Instructor: Jared Graw, CFA, and Counsel at BNY Mellon.

Note: Please note that this program begins at 5:30 PM. This workshop is Part Three of VLA’s Three-Part Workshop Series: “The Business of Art”. Part One of this series: “Getting Started: Entity Selection and Formation” will be dedicated to discussing legal business entities for small businesses. Part Three will build on this topic as it relates to the financial skills needed for running a small business.


Those who purchase the package receive a discount off the total price.

$60 Full-Time Student ($15 discount) (must present proof of full-time status with registration)
$60: Artists Over Sixty ($15 discount)
$85: Arts Professional VLA Member ($20 discount)
$135: Arts Professional Non-Member ($30 discount)
$250: Legal Professional VLA Member ($70 discount)
$335: Legal Professional Non-Member ($85 discount)
$190: Young Associate Members (YAM’s) ($50 discount)

For members, please contact 212.319.2787 ext. 10 or registrations@vlany.org to receive your special discount code, which will allow you to access and purchase your discounted ticket.

Please note you are not registered until full payment is received.

To register for individual workshops:

Part One: Getting Started: Entity Selection and Formation (CLE): Register Here.

Part Two: Managing Relationships: Contracts 101: Register Here.

Part Three: Accounting, Budgeting, & Cash: ABCs of Business Finance: Register Here.

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November 5 @ 5:30 pm
November 14 @ 7:00 pm


Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
(212) 319 - 2787


Event type
CLE Class
Event Cate


VLA Auditorium
1 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022 United States
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(212) 319 - 2787