Workbench Sessions    |     2022 Schedule





Capitalization for Grantmakers and Nonprofits GIA January 11 learn
Accessibility Opportunity: Arts + Culture Partnership + Shared Virtual Communities Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities January 20 view recipients
Healthcare is not a Privilege The MetroHealth System March 10 view resources
Fiscal Sponsorship 101 April 14 watch
Business Basics for Creatives SCORE Cleveland May 4 watch
Marketing Basics for Creatives  SCORE Cleveland May 18 watch
Community CORE: The Superhero Project  Lisa Kollins July 21 REGISTER
Legal Help Needed: Better Call VLA and Legal Aid  Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; Legal Aid August 11 REGISTER


Fair Wages for Artists
WAGE offers clear parameters for hiring artists at a fair wage based on the work provided. WAGE offers sessions for artists interested in asking for what they’re worth, and organizations and businesses that want to improve their hiring capacity.

Don’t forget the Contracts 
What am I signing and how do I protect myself and my work? From outlining your goods and services to holding others accountable for payment, contracts and agreements are a necessary part of being a creative worker. In this session, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts will provide a how-to guide and some best practices when it comes to reading and building your own contracts and agreements as a creative.

Engaging New American Artists
Erie Arts & Culture advances opportunities and access to resources for creative and cultural professionals in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Learn more from the EAC team about best practices in building lasting partnerships with artists who are new to the States, particularly from immigrant and refugee communities. Adopt community organizing skills to build and offer resources to better serve BIPOC Creative Workers.

Street Performance Know-How
Destination Cleveland and ListenCLE will demystify the ins and outs of street and public performance, and how you as an artist can do this safely, legally and profitably. City ordinances will be simplified and explained during this session. Musicians and any artist interested in performing in public space will benefit from this dialogue.

Artist Career Consultants
Springboard for the Arts has a team of Artist Career Consultants, working and established artists with experience mentoring and teaching individual artists.


In learning from Cleveland’s arts and culture communities, Assembly has seen the need for practical support, professional development and connections rise to the top as priorities for creative workers – from financial sustainability, accounting and health insurance to accessibility, equity practices and legal assistance.

Assembly worked in partnership with The George Gund Foundation and Grantmakers in the Arts to host an initial workshop focused on financial resiliency and capitalization for both grantmakers and nonprofit organizations.

With that and the observed priorities for creative workers, Assembly has devised Workbench Sessions: Useable Tools for Creative Workers

Who benefits?

The ultimate goal of this program is to boost the professional bandwidth and resiliency of our area creative workers and, in turn, grow the effectiveness of greater Cleveland’s arts and culture sector and creative industries. Stronger arts and culture means thriving residents, vibrant and safer neighborhoods, more effective education and community well-being.

Additionally, the financial impact of COVID on artists and arts groups has been well documented. But even prior to the pandemic, small- and medium-budget nonprofits lacked sufficient financial cushions to do long range planning, weather unexpected emergencies, or beef up for expansion. Assembly is well-positioned to provide support and resources to our creative communities that address these issues.

By hosting this series of programs, Assembly for the Arts will gain more insight into future programming and uncover areas of deep need for the arts community.

Financial Sustainability for Creatives

While the overall Workbench Sessions are intended to address the needs of the full creative community, a specialized, separate track of entrepreneurship coaching will be offered for small to mid-size organizations, artists and small creative businesses. Participation will prioritize BIPOC communities, BIPOC-led organizations, and organizations devoted to development equitable business practices. This work is supported by Huntington Bank’s Entrepreneur In Residence program.

Community CORE: Creatives Offer Resources for Everyone

Community Core Sessions

Assembly recognizes that there are hundreds of untapped experts in our arts communities who are living, working and waiting to share their knowledge. That’s why we’re excited to launch Workbench: Community Core. An extension of the Workbench Sessions, Community Core feature arts community presented topics and conversations. We see the value in creating a flexible, community-centered space and platform for our local artists, business owners, nonprofit professionals and entrepreneurs to Teach, Connect and Provide their knowledge to the public using the virtual webinar format.

Topics can be

  • Knowledge-based; rooted in your expertise as part of the arts community and supportive to others
  • Collaborative in style, seeking the feedback of the community
  • Broad-reaching and beneficial for anyone in the arts community

Topics cannot be

  • Partisan political presentations or lobbying efforts
  • A sales pitch or event promotion
  • A lecture on a personal viewpoint

Submit your idea now!

    All Community Core presentations will be hosted on Assembly’s Zoom platform, supported by staff and promoted in our communications channels. Our regular Workbench Series will continue, with Community Core as a supplement depending on community interest and appetite.