Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training

The 2023 Class of Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training – 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 Presenting Sponsor

Periscope Award Sponsors

Periscope Supporting Sponsors

Periscope is a program of the Arts & Business Council developed with the following 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 2023 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 28 | 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., April 4 | 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 11 | 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 18 | 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 25 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The essentials of building a marketing plan and promoting your work.
WEEK 6: Business, Not Hobbies
Thurs., May 2 | 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 9 | 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 16 | 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 2024

APPLY: Applications for the 2024 Class of Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training are now closed. Applications for the 2025 class will open January 2025.

NOMINATIONS: We encourage alumni, partners, and community members to nominate Nashville area artists for Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training. 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. The nomination deadline is March 30, 2025 at Noon CST (1 p.m. EST).

Nominate an Artist

COST: There is no fee to apply. If accepted, the program participation fee is on a sliding scale based on income. The program is valued at $2,000+ per participant and has been generously subsidized by the Arts & Business Council’s funders and program partners to be accessible. Program participation fee tiers* are:

  • Tier C: $500 per person (More than $45,425 annual gross household income**)
  • Tier B: $250 per person (Between $27,255 and $45,424 annual gross household income**)
  • Tier A: $50 per person ($27,254 or less annual gross household income**)

*Payment plans are available at all tiers.
**Additional $4,500 adjustment for spouse and each dependent.

Hear from our alumni about their Periscope 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 200+ alumni:

Class of 2023
Alexa Lipman

Ariel Bui

Asia Pyron

Beth Barnard

Brooke Hoffert

Bryson Finney

Cassy Laessig

Dalia Garcia

Darius Montgomery

Gina Sicilia

Grace Chee

Kayleigh Walder

Kristin Keyes

Leroy Ramon Dawson

Lisa Jennings

Martha Morales Purucker

Princella Smith

Renea Weston

Sam Drapeaux

Sharita Henderson

Stephanie Graves

Susan Thornton

Thalia Ewing

Tree Lily Butcher

Yamil Conga

Class of 2022
Aaron English

Alison Underwood

Amber Sweeney

Amy Harms

Amy Malinda Hoskins

Ashley Hylbert

Becca Hoback

Benno Nelson

Bonnie Aldcroft-Curran

Catherine Hollo

Jade Sotelo Carter

James Jones

Jamison Taylor

Kelly McKernan

Lisa Reed Preston

Marla Faith

Patrick Volz

Rachael Golden

Sangeetha Ekambaram

Shea Moore

Shondell McFall

Soteria Balmer

Steve Wedan

Trisha Peña

Victoria Quirk

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: