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Think Rotary for creatives. The Creatives’ Breakfast Club provides creative entrepreneur's professional career development and education.


Up Next...

Saturday, May 18, 2024 

Check In & Networking Opens: 9:30 a.m. 
Session: 9:45 – 11 a.m.

Topic: Traditional Marketing Practices

We're excited to welcome Terrence Thames, CEO & Creative Director of Cocoa Creative Agency, to lead the discussion on traditional marketing practices. Bring your questions and experiences! 

Location: Des Moines Arts Festival / ARTSwork office, located inside Mainframe Studios, 900 Keo Way, Ste. 431, Des Moines. Free parking is available under the building and in the lot directly to the south. 

The Creatives' Breakfast Club is hosted by ARTSwork and
Iowa Center for Economic Success.

Join us for business and career development tips for artists
of all disciplines; plus, you'll get to know your artist neighbors
and we'll be sharing artist opportunities in our community!

Complimentary coffee and pastries will be provided.


All meetings take place the last Saturday of each month (unless noted otherwise due to holidays).

Meetings are scheduled 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and registration is required.

All meeting are held at the ARTSwork office, located inside Mainframe Studios:

900 Keosauqua Way, Studio 431, Des Moines

January 27 // Strategic Business Development

February 24 // Social Media Marketing

March 30 // Dont Do That!

April 27 // Professional Representation for Visual Artists

May 18 // Traditional Marketing Practices

September 28 // Professional Representation for Entertainment, Music & Performing Arts

October 26 // Grant Writing

November 23 // Intellectual Property & the Arts

December 21 // Holiday Gathering/Rapid Fire/Ask Me Anything

(sessions will not be held June - August)

*Topics Subject to Change

About Creatives' Breakfast Club


The Creatives’ Breakfast Club (CBC) in central Iowa is a valuable platform for creative entrepreneurs to connect, network, and advance their careers. By meeting on the last Saturday of each month at Mainframe Studio 431, the CBC offers a consistent and accessible opportunity for artists of all disciplines, fostering a diverse and collaborative environment. The CBC’s sessions include networking time and a featured speaker, with topics specifically chosen to enhance business and networking skills.

One notable aspect of the CBC is its partnership with the Iowa Center for Economic Success. This collaboration demonstrates a commitment to supporting creative entrepreneurs in launching and growing their small businesses. By aligning with an economic development organization, the CBC provides creatives with the necessary resources and guidance to succeed in their artistic endeavors.

The CBC was created by ARTSwork, an organization that supports artists across various disciplines. As the sister organization of the Des Moines Arts Festival, a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to “Impact Lives Through Art,” the CBC is part of a larger ecosystem that aims to enrich the lives of individuals through the power of artistic expression.

What is a creative entrepreneur?

A person who uses their creative abilities to make money. Creative Entrepreneurs take their work and create a business model around selling their work to sustain a living for themselves. This can include artists (painters, ceramicists, designers, writers, illustrators), makers (jewelry, hatters, florists), and movers (dancers, musicians, actors).

Project History

In 2016, Bravo Greater Des Moines commissioned the Central Iowa Regional Cultural Assessment to identify art and culture priorities that best support the Capital Crossroads vision plan catalyst priorities. The assessment identified “Strengthening the Creative Economy by developing the talent and skill sets of creative entrepreneurs and artists” as one of four cultural priorities.

In 2018, Bravo Greater Des Moines and the Des Moines Arts Festival pooled resources and connections to understand further opportunities in strengthening the creative economy in the local artist ecosystem. The organizations hired artist and arts and business strategist Chris Dahlquist to conduct a feasibility study that would lead to an action plan for professional development and capacity-building programs for regional artists of all disciplines. The study engaged local artists through workshops, round table discussions, one-on-one interviews, and an Artist Needs Assessment Survey.

The study results outlined three key strategies:
1. Strengthen cross-discipline artist networking: creative opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, disciplines and career stages to collaborate with and learn from one another.

2. Facilitate communication: establish a virtual resource center to provide information regarding opportunities, available resources/programming, and information on best practices.

3. Provide life-long learning opportunities. Coordinate relevant capacity-building programming for artists, ensuring a variety of access points for artists at all stages of artistic development.

The Des Moines Arts Festival evaluated this data and began to collaborate withthe Iowa Center for Economic Success on the development of the Creatives’ Breakfast Club curriculum.

Creative Economy Initiative Action Plan & Artist Needs Assessment
Regional Cultural Assessment
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Des Moines Music Economy Assessment & Strategy
CBC Resources

Join the Club

Subscribe to this special email with information specific to creative entrepreneurs.

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