Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training

The 2021 Class of Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training along with the 2021 Pitch Judges and ABC staff. Photo by Tiffany Bessire.

PERISCOPE is a year-long intensive training opportunity that empowers working artists to see their creative practice through an entrepreneurial lens.

Led by highly experienced instructors from within Nashville’s entrepreneurial community along with break-out sessions facilitated by Nashville’s top arts professionals, Periscope is designed to be a transformative experience for each artist, sparking the moment when their career will really start to take off.

Periscope provides:

    • Training: Working artists receive 8 weeks of professional development training.
    • Exchange: Artists share best practices with interdisciplinary peers through small group work.
    • Mentorship: Each artist is paired one-on-one with a high-caliber mentor for 6 months.
    • Exposure: Year-round opportunities to celebrate the work of alumni artists, plus red-letter visibility at the culminating celebration, the Periscope Pitch + Artist Entrepreneur Showcase.

Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training is a program of the Arts & Business Council delivered with our partners:

WHO: The experience is limited to 25 artists, artisans, makers and creative entrepreneurs of all artistic disciplines in the Greater Nashville region.

WHAT: An intensive curriculum that will explore tools to organize, plan, and sustain a creative career, with the goal of developing an individualized business plan to prepare each artist to take their creative endeavors to the next level.

WHEN: Eight consecutive weeks from March-May 2022 followed by six months of one-on-one mentorship culminating in the Periscope Pitch + Artist Entrepreneur Showcase in September.

WHERE: Training sessions are held in person in Nashville and course materials are shared online through Google Classroom.

WEEK 1: Setting Goals & Making Connections
Thurs., March 24 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Get an introduction to goal setting before a fun networking mixer with current class members and Periscope alum.
WEEK 2: What’s Your Idea?
Thurs., March 31 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Analyze your current career position and identify what you need to build the brightest future for your art. 
WEEK 3: Building a Compelling Proposition
Thurs., April 7 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Focus on building a compelling unique selling proposition (USP) by learning from audience evaluations.
WEEK 4: Framing Your Concept
Thurs., April 14 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Understanding your work, audience, and business structure to optimize the potential of your creative business.
WEEK 5: The Basics of Getting to Market
Thurs., April 21 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The essentials of building a marketing plan and promoting your work.
WEEK 6: Business, Not Hobbies
Thurs., April 28 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Walk through the basics of what generates revenue for you, pricing strategies, and long-term business planning.
WEEK 7: Getting Believers
Thurs., May 5 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Discover the process of talking about your work in a way that will gain believers and make use of other people’s talents.

WEEK 8: Making The Ask
Thurs., May 12 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Use what you’ve learned to refine your business plan and next steps, and get comfortable pitching your creative endeavors to your audience.

Periscope Pitch + Artist Entrepreneur Showcase: September 7, 2022

COST: There is no fee to apply. Once accepted, there is a $250 participation fee (includes all materials). The program is valued at $1,750+ and has been generously subsidized by the Arts & Business Council’s funders and our program partners.

In order to keep program tuition fees accessible for all, the Arts & Business Council is seeking additional individual and corporate support for the Periscope Scholarship Fund. Provide a scholarship today!

APPLY: Applications for Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training are due no later than Thursday, February 10 at Noon. Applications received after this time may not be considered. Questions? Watch the information session we recorded in January.

Apply for Periscope today!

NOMINATIONS: We encourage alumni, partners, and community members to nominate local artists for Periscope. If you know an artist who you think would benefit from our intensive entrepreneurial training curriculum, nominate them and we’ll invite them to apply. Nominations are due by February 3 at Noon.

Nominate an artist 

Periscope Health & Safety Guidelines:

Training sessions for Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training will be held on the campus of Belmont University, and all participants will be required to follow the most current health and safety protocols set by the University. Currently, all individuals are required to wear a mask at all times while indoors on Belmont’s campus. In addition, the Arts & Business Council requires that all Periscope participants, staff, group leaders, and instructors provide proof of full vaccination prior to the beginning of the program, or proof of a negative COVID test prior to each weekly training session, taken within 72 hours of the training session. A person is considered fully vaccinated more than two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer and Moderna) or more than 2 weeks after receipt of a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine. Vaccine boosters are encouraged for all who qualify. All participants must also confirm that they have not been exposed and are symptom-free prior to each week’s training session. These guidelines are subject to change based on the most current data. Guidelines for the Periscope Pitch will be set later in the year. All participants agree to abide by all current and future health and safety guidelines set by the Arts & Business Council, its partners, or its representatives.

Hear from Periscope alumni about the experience:

Aaron Grayum, Class of 2018

Headshot Photo by Jeremy Cowart.


“I honestly wish I could go through Periscope every year. It was intense for sure, but I took it seriously and loved every minute of it. Being able to learn about the business of being an artist – from instructors who actually understood an artist’s needs – was enlightening. Yes, I expected to learn about writing business plans, finding the right audience, how to price my work – and we learned all of that. But what I didn’t expect was diving deep into discovering the reason why I do what I do. I’m not just in the business of selling paintings, but of giving people hope and bringing something uplifting into their lives.

Another thing I didn’t expect: the diversity of creatives who were in the class with me. Going into it, I kind of pictured being surrounded by a bunch of painters like me. But instead there were painters, photographers, filmmakers, sculptors, writers, actors, dancers and more … all in our little class of 20.

My favorite aspects of the training were easily the small group sessions and the one-on-one mentorship. I loved being able to connect with others and see my career from their perspective. It was totally eye-opening, and a big factor in the success I’ve had since. I highly recommend Periscope for anybody who wants help figuring out how to un-stick their creative business and take it to the next level.”

Photo courtesy Mimi McCarley

Mimi McCarley, Class of 2021


“Periscope provided me with community – As a business owner and as an entrepreneur…the road can feel very lonely. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who needed the same support that I needed, who were going through similar things, that was an encouragement in and of itself. Regardless of the industry, there are foundational supports that need to be in place for any business owner. So just having access to that information and knowledge was astronomical and impactful for my business.”

Photo courtesy Janelle Faiman

Janelle Faiman, Class of 2021


“The gift of Periscope is that it helped me shape my creative idea into something tangible. The guidance, direction, introductions, and overall business knowledge has transformed my vision into something attainable. I learned so much from the program itself and the mentor relationship that I have built has been truly life changing.”

Periscope offers a network of 170+ alumni:

Class of 2021
Bliss Cortez

Bradley Montesi

Cassis Pitman

Hunter Perschbacher

Jamila (Mimi) McCarley

Jammie Williams

Janelle Faiman

Jenny Petite

Karen Matkosky

Keisha Becerra

Kyshona Armstrong

Lindsy Davis

Lyndy Rutledge

Monya Nikahd

Natalie Jean

Rachel Karr

Rebecca Titus

Reza Filsoofi

Sarah Clinton

Stephcynie Curry

Terrell Johnson

Tosha Pendergrast

Ty Swint

Tyler Champion

Class of 2020
Akil Prince

Alison Brazil

Amanda Danner

Amanda Ewing

Amy Frederick

Annette McNamara

Ayumi Bennett

Brandie Lee

Cameron L. Mitchell

Carolyn Beehler

Eileen Tomson

Elan Kandel

Emma Levitz

Heather LeRoy

Jacquelyn Swift (J.Swift)

Jennifer Deafenbaugh

Jillian Frame

Kayla Jenkins

Mel Ferrer

Nick Drake (Chuck iNDigo)

Nicole Ahima

Patty McAvoy

Rachel Bartek

Sara McCloud

Class of 2019
Carolyn Boutwell

Erin Connally

Alan Fey

Anna Haas

Sadie Hart

Mirrah Johnson

Coretta King

Amber Lelli

John Mahler

Keavy Murphree

Lou Oshay

Kelly Savoca

Mayter Scott

Helen Stackhouse

Emily Tyndall

Dorinda Walker

Lindsay Walker

Roz Welch

Will Winton

Class of 2018
Elaine Slayton Akin

Audry Deal-McEver

Amanda Downs

Michael Ewing

Stephie G

Aaron Grayum

Jesse Hale

Georganna Greene

Erin Hewgley

Melba Williams Kirk

Amanda Lomax

Cailin Manning

Diane Marsella

Regina McCord

Joseph Patrick

Rashad Rayford

Mark Schlicher

Jennie Schut

Sarah Shearer

Thaxton Waters

Class of 2017
Valentine Adams

Rebekah Alexander

Richard Barrow

Chip Boles

Julia Whitney Brown

Danielle Duer

Jordan Holland

Kat Jones

Alysha Malo

Kristin McCalley

Jama Mohammed

Tony Perrin

Colleen Phelps

Susan Prado

Ryan Rowland

Tony Sobota

Brian Somerville

Saran Thompson

Donna Woodley

Class of 2016
Rebecca Allen

James Bard

M. Simone Boyd

Martin Cadieux

Holly Carden

Maryanna Clarke

David Coleman

Amélie Guthrie

David Hellams

Judith Hill

Bethany Langford

Stellasue Lee

Megan Lightell

Yoni Limor

Jennifer Luckett

Mary Mooney

Karen Robb

Elizabeth Ross

Sally Schloss

Alice Shepherd

Class of 2015
Clay Bush

Rachel Cohen

G.C. Denwiddie

Tina Gionis

Stephanie Hardy

Dustin Hedrick

Kelly Kessler

Shana Kohnstamm

Ash-shahid Muhammad

Jason Replogle

Rachel Rogers

Jeri Sager

Liliana Salomon

Pam Simmons

Lisa Spradley

Cheryl Stewart

Tasneem Tewogbola

Tara Thompson

Doris Wasserman

Marilyn Wilkinson

Class of 2014
Edward Belbusti

Danny Broadway

Ben Cooper

Ted Drozdowski

Lolly Durant

Meredith Edmondson

John Fisher

Greg Greene

Rhendi Greenwell

Rebekah Hampton Barger

Lily Hansen

Erin Herb

Beth Inglish

Judy Klich

Steven Knapp

Sharon Kotlick

Merry Beth Myrick

Carly Pearce

Stephanie Pruitt

Randy Purcell

Elizabeth Sanford

Jas Taylor

Celine Thackston

Amanda Valentine

Ryan Wagner

The program culminates with the Periscope Pitch + Artist Entrepreneur Showcase: