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 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. If you have questions or would like to learn more about Periscope, join us for an online information session on January 20 at 6 p.m. CST.

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:

“Being part of the Periscope group has broadened my circle of friends and colleagues and given me courage to continue the work I do.” – Doris Wasserman, Visual Artist

I really enjoyed being part of the program two years ago, and I think my biggest take-away was a greater ability to focus on core practical goals and distill what I do in a manner that made it more accessible, or at least understandable, for others while at the same time defining my art and myself as unique. 2015 has been a wonderful year so far, and I feel that Periscope has been an important part of it, lending me thrust and perspective. Ted Drozdowski, Musician

“Being accepted to Periscope has given me a new level of confidence about my creative practice. So many doors have been opened since the completion of the course, and I now see my work as something of value for which I should be paid a living wage. My audience has expanded drastically and I’m collaborating with new partners that I never knew would want to work with me. The word “transformative” is hokey, but I really don’t know any other way to describe the benefits of being included in this class.”


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: