Artist entrepreneurs Becca Hoback, Rachael Golden, Ashley Hylbert and Catherine Hollo win top awards
The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville is pleased to announce the winners of the 9th annual Periscope Pitch + Artist Entrepreneur Showcase held at OZ Arts Nashville on September 7. The event was the culmination of this year’s Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training, a year-long intensive business development curriculum and mentorship program for local artists of all disciplines.
The evening began with the Artist Entrepreneur Showcase in which artists displayed their work and creative business plans to the public. Attendees browsed artists’ tables, engaged in conversation about their work, and exchanged business cards and contact information opening the door to future collaboration and support. Following the Showcase, eight artists pitched their creative business plans live on stage in the Periscope Pitch, hosted by Marcia Masulla, founder and CEO of Roar Nashville and co-founder of Nashville Fashion Week.
“Investing in artists is central to our long-term vision of a city that works for everyone,” stated Mayor John Cooper in his remarks prior to the Pitch program. He also offered his support for the Arts & Business Council’s work in the Nashville creative community and lauded the accomplishments of this year’s Periscope cohort, “Tonight we are joined by outstanding artists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. The future of Nashville is bright because of our diversity in these fields. What that means for the future should be clear: Nashville’s future success depends on your success.” He was followed by 2021 Periscope Alum and Perfect Pitch Award winner Mimi McCarley, who shared her experience of the program and offered encouragement to the class of 2022.
After each artist’s pitch, a panel of three expert judges asked questions and provided feedback, scoring each of the pitches with regard to business acumen, artistic excellence, and overall presentation effectiveness. This year’s panel included: Lindsey Cox, CEO, Launch Tennessee; visual artist Omari Booker; and Sunny Bray, Founder and CEO, Catalyst Collective. The audience also helped select the winners by voting digitally for both their favorite business pitch and their favorite showcase display. In the end, four artists walked away with more than $7,000 in cash and prizes!
Becca Hoback (drama/theatre/performance art/dance/music) won the Piedmont Natural Gas Pitch Perfect Award, a cash prize of $2,500 and the night’s highest honor. Through her business, Enactor Productions, Becca creates performances and movement workshops that use physicality to process lived experiences and explore what it means to be a human being in relationship with your body.
Rachael Golden (visual art) was awarded the Fifth Third Bank Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award, a $1,750 cash prize. Rachael is a self-described Travel Artist who creates abstract paintings using color palettes from the world’s most beautiful places. Her work is designed specifically for modern travelers, to inspire their wanderlust and celebrate the places and experiences that have shaped their lives.
Ashley Hylbert (visual art), won the Buckingham Foundation Community Choice Award for receiving the most audience votes in support of her business pitch, a $1,750 cash prize. Ashley is launching an online shop for her company, Linebender, which offers collections of art, lifestyle and design products based on her visual art created by hand painting her photography with bold colors and textures to create one-of-a-kind paintings and prints.
Catherine Hollo (visual art) walked away with the Southwest Airlines Best in Showcase Award, a $1,000 cash prize, for her impactful display showcasing her creative business. Catherine’s display presented her intricate, hand-made ceramic wildlife sculptures that she will offer for sale in her online shop. She plans to expand her reach to galleries and art markets and will be launching Art in the Wild, a social media scavenger hunt challenging followers to find miniature versions of her ceramic critters to earn discounts on her creations.
All four winners also received a free round-trip flight from Southwest Airlines to further their creative business.
The entire 2022 Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training cohort was honored at a graduation ceremony to close the event. They are (listed alphabetically by first name): Aaron English (music), Alison Underwood (visual art), Amber Sweeney (music), Amy Harms (visual art), Amy Malinda Hoskins (literary arts/film, community artist), Benno Nelson (film/television), Bonnie Aldcroft-Curran (visual art), Jade Michel Sotelo Carter (visual art), James Jones (visual art), Jamison Taylor (drama/theatre/performance art/dance/music), Kelly McKernan (visual art), Lisa Reed Preston (visual art), Marla Faith (visual art), Patrick Volz (visual art), Sangeetha Ekambaram (drama/theatre/performance art/dance/music), Shea Moore (visual art), Shondell McFall (multidisciplinary/community), Soteria Balmer (music), Steve Wedan (visual art), Trisha Peña (visual art), Victoria Quirk (visual art).
Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training provides a cohort of artists with the tools to see their artistic vision through an entrepreneurial lens including training, exchange, mentorship, and exposure opportunities like the Periscope Pitch + Artist Entrepreneur Showcase. Applications for the class of 2023 open in early January at abcnashville.org/periscope.
*Event Photos by Kelli Dirks