Symposium Focuses on Art as a Business

If you’re hoping to market your skills as an artist, it doesn’t hurt to have an understanding of the field of business.

That was the idea behind the Nanette Philibert Business of Art Symposium, held Oct. 23 at Missouri Southern.

Presented by the Small Business Development Center and the Art Department, the annual event offers expert insight into the business side of the arts. Presenters included representatives from Connect2Culture and the Joplin Regional Artist Coalition, as well as a trio of Missouri Southern graduates: Khalief Steele, ’15, a graphic designer for Little Bird Marketing; Michael Steddum, ’15, an artist who has attended festivals around the country; and Michael Barnhart, ’98, a regional artist who lives in Arkansas.

Steele spoke about the value of becoming involved in arts organizations and competitions. “The business side is really important, whether you want it to be or not,” he said. “You’re getting a degree in art to make money. Even if that’s not your main focus, it’s important to know about everything that goes with it.”

This was the fifth year for the event. Formerly known as the Art as Business Symposium, the event was renamed in honor of Dr. Nanette Philibert, the former chair of the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business who passed away earlier this year.

“She was the person ultimately responsible for this symposium’s existence,” said Ken Surbrugg, a consultant with the Small Business Development Center. “It was inspired by a class project she started and it grew over the years from her support and interest in the subject.”

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