Friday, October 15, 2010

Flight School, For Pittsburgh Area Artists

Flight School

A Career Development Fellowship for Pittsburgh Artists

Guidelines (Website here.)

Flight School is an eight-week professional development program for artists of all disciplines that is an opportunity for each participant to focus intensely on developing his or her artistic career. The fellowship acts as professional springboard, launching artists that are at a pivotal moment in their careers into the next phase.

Flight School includes an intensive retreat in February followed by a series of weekly workshops in March and April. During the workshops, artists will have access to a broad range of professional artists and arts professionals who will help participants build business skill sets. By the end of the retreat, artists will have developed a plan for the next phase of their careers.

This isn’t a fellowship to sit back, take in some information, and leave. The program has been designed to be a life changing experience, one that participants will someday look at as a point of departure in their artistic careers. If you are interested in becoming a self-sustaining artist and believe Pittsburgh is a place where you can make a living as an artist, Flight School can help.


Creative Capital is a prestigious, national organization based in NYC that pioneered the approach to combine funding, counsel and career development services to enable an artist’s success and foster sustainable practices. A team of arts consultants who are trained in the Creative Capital curriculum lead their retreats. Creative Capital is a national model and a benchmark for artists and their careers. For more information, please visit Creative Capital.

Creative Capital will kick off the Flight School Fellowship in February 2011 with an intensive and inspirational weekend retreat. The retreat will dive into marketing and public relations, fundraising and strategic planning for artists.

Retreat Timeframe: February 25-27, 2011 @ Pittsburgh Filmmakers

Friday 5:30-9pm

Saturday 8:30am-6:30pm

Sunday 8:30am-5pm.

A series of local workshops, led by Pittsburgh artists, will follow the Creative Capital retreat. The workshops will dial down into more specific areas of expertise and will allow you to integrate all the information over the course of 8 weeks. Topics covered will include: goal setting, marketing, budgeting, and raising capital, legal issues, business planning, technology, presenting and small group mentoring.

Local Workshop Timeframes:

March 7 – April 25, 2011 @ Pittsburgh Filmmakers

Mondays 6-9pm


Flight School is open to artists working in all discipines, such as writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, multi-media artists, filmmakers, and theatremakers. Applicants must be generative artists (i.e., artists who create original works of art) Applicants should be practicing / professional artists who have been working professionally for at least 5 years.

For this application process, a practicing/professional artist is defined as a person who creates, on an ongoing basis, original works of art within an artistic discipline, and is pursuing this work as a means of livelihood, or a way to achieve the highest level of professional recognition.

All applicants must reside in the Pennsylvania counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, or Westmoreland counties.

Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Artists currently enrolled in a degree-granting program (through September 2011), have commercial gallery representation, have a literary agent, or are signed to a label are not eligible.


Up to 20 applicants will be invited to attend the weekend retreat. A peer panel according to the criteria outlined below will make selections. PF/PCA staff determines eligibility. Diversity will be cultivated to strengthen the program.

Emphasis will be placed on selecting artists who:

  • Are highly motivated
  • Are actively participating in their artistic career
  • Are in need of career and professional development skills
  • Appear poised to transition to a new phase of professionalism in his/her artistic career
  • Would benefit from setting professional goals and building upon marketing, fundraising, and financial management skills
  • Would benefit from a new network of professional contacts.

There are more worthy artists than there are spaces in the program. Not being invited to participate should not be viewed as a verdict on your work or your suitability.

Artists invited to participate in the fellowship will be required to attend all and fully engage in the Fellowship at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


There is no cost to artists to participate in the program. Artists will receive a stipend of $350 upon completion of the Flight School Fellowship. Actual cost of attendance, including meals, and stipend is estimated to total more than $1,500 per participant and is supported by The Fine Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Creative Capital.


An information session will be held Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 @ 6pm at Pittsburgh Filmmakers.

All applications must be completed online. The online application will be available starting October 19, 2010.

Application questions will include:

1. Describe your work and how you are actively participating in your artistic career. (maximum of 2,500 characters)

2. What do you want your artistic career to look like in 5 years? (maximum of 2,000 characters)

3. What do you see as the central challenges to your career and how do you think this opportunity will help you to advance as a professional artist? (maximum 2,000 characters)

4. How do you hope to have the Flight School Fellowship impact your artistic career? Please be as specific as possible.

5. Attach a resume that highlights your artistic training and accomplishments over the past two years. (2 pages maximum)


Samples of work should be completed in the last 2 years.

A work sample list will be included in the online application. See below for details. All work samples have to be mailed in or delivered in hard copy by December 20th, 2010 @ 5pm to Flight School, c/o Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 477 Melwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

For visual artists:
Please select five digital images that best represent your work. The quality of the work samples is very important. Number them with your last name and the numbers 1 through 5 and save as jpeg files (sized between approximately 500 KB and 2 MB).

The work sample list should contain the following information on each work: your name, title, date, medium, and size. You can add one sentence describing each work if you choose.

For literary artists:
Please send up to a chapter of a book or selections from your work.

The work sample list should contain the following about your work: your name, the title of the work, the length of the work, whether or not it has been published, and date of completion.

For performing, sound, and film/video artists:
Please send up to three pieces of your work cued for review. Please understand that the panel may only review 10 minutes.

The work sample list should include your name, title, date of completion, and two sentences describing the works and any specific instructions about cuing up the selections to be reviewed.


The Pittsburgh Art Blog

The Pittsburgh Art Blog features selected pittsburgh artists and upcoming exhibits with photos from the artists and galleries. since the major press outlets do not go beyond a directory listing of exhibits, blogs are needed to promote pittsburgh artists and their work. the blog also calls attention to the inferiority complex of pittsburgh art and how it's perpetuated by the major players in town. Started on August 20, 2007.pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site

the blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and pittsburgh artist advocate rick byerly,