Sell It Tallahassee is an event series created by Qultur, a local nonprofit that works with local artists and businesses to increase public safety. There is one question that we have heard more than any other in our one year of work here in Tallahassee: How can we bridge the gap between art and entrepreneurship? The answer thus far has been to hold community meetings, or panel sessions with entrepreneurs and artists and speak to them at that level. There are a couple issues with this solution. First, artists do not attend panel discussions. Second, the majority of artists do not consider themselves entrepreneurs, so when entrepreneurs are lecturing about that realm, artists feel uncomfortable. The solution that Qultur has come up with is Sell It Tallahassee: a community microfunding initiative to fund local artists, and also help artists hone in on and practice entrepreneurial skills. People pay $5 to get in. The money raised at the door is put into a pot. For example, if 100 people come, the pot would be $500. Three artists take turns “pitching” their art to the crowd. They have to tell the crowd their story, where they’re from, what their art means to them, and so on. By doing this, they are truly honing in on their entrepreneurial, social, and storytelling skills. After the pitches there is time reserved for a Q&A with each artist. After the Q&A the crowd votes on ballots who had the best “pitch.” The ballots are counted and the winning artist earns all the money raised at the door. The first Sell It Tallahassee was on Friday, March 10th 2017. The winning artist, Elton Burgest earned $70 to put towards his own unique clothing line. What makes this event special is that the money raised is thoughtful. People attend because they care. It shows the artists that there are people in this community who are interested in them and their work. Sell It Tallahassee is bridging the gap between art and entrepreneurship, microfunding for local artists, and building community.
Funded by Tallahassee, FL (April 2017)