Empowering artists through community and commerce in Dearborn

When Andrea Bogart moved back home to Michigan, she knew she wanted to get in the world of creative economic development. After volunteering at local galleries, she found her calling.

Headquartered in Dearborn’s City Hall ArtSpace Lofts, Bogart founded Embrace Creatives.

It is, as she puts it, "A LinkedIn for artists."

Through Bogart’s platform, which she launched earlier this summer, Embrace Creatives is a site that connects individual artists with commercial buyers.

"I was volunteering at galleries, doing spackling and all the dirty work, and there was something that I was hearing over and over again," Bogart says.

"I realized this was my 'A-Ha' moment: There has to be an easier way for artists to find buyers. I thought, I’m just going to build it myself."

So she did.

Embrace Creatives has a global audience, she says, with artists as far away as Australia among its users. But Bogart remains focused on the local creative economy, too, helping ArtSpace with part-time project manager work and hosting monthly artist mixers at Galerie Camille in Detroit’s Midtown district. She plans on expanding the mixers to surrounding communities, too.

Building community is an important component of Bogart's mission. While the website was primarily designed to help artists boost their economic and marketing opportunities and skills, she’s also finding that it’s become a place where artists can consult with and learn from one each other.

On Jan. 20 and 21, 2019, Bogart will be taking her show on the road. Bogart, along with a select group of artists, will be attending the Midwest Gift & Lifestyle Show in Des Plaines, Illinois, where she’s been offered a wholesale showroom.

She encourages artists to apply online.

"This is not an opportunity that is readily available," Bogart says.

"Embrace Creatives is all about trying to help and being an advocate for artists."

Learn more about Embrace Creatives online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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