Mural and installation by local artist Reyes Padilla at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona. Image courtesy of artist.

Ascent: Business Skills for Creatives

Applications are closed for 2019’s Ascent: Business Skills for Creatives program. All applicants will be notified by July 15thThis program of the Downtown Arts & Cultural District provides business skill development for 10 local artists annually, such as financial literacy, mentorship, and business plans to increase earning potential through their business or creative practice.

How does it work? The District will create customized professional development plans for selected participants by utilizing existing resources in Albuquerque, such as incubator programs, small business workshops, and fabrication labs. These include but are not limited to: WESST’s Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Workshop, South Valley Economic Development Center’s Business Incubation Program, UNM’s Continuing Education Classes, and Creative Startups’ Accelerator Program.  Creatives will each receive up to $1,000 each for the trainings and workshops they choose. Participants will meet periodically with District staff throughout the process to evaluate their progress, share resources, and meet with mentors. 

  • Applications are due June 2, 2019 at 5pm MST.
  • If selected, program participants will be notified by July 15th.
  • Participants will be expected to attend an opening and closing meeting, in addition to 3 monthly cohort meetings in downtown Albuquerque during the months of September, October, and November 2019, 1-2 hours each. These meetings will assess progress, share resources, and learn about your experiences.
  • Program is open to those who live and/or work in Bernalillo County.
  • This program will cover training and workshop costs up to $1,000 and will provide additional participation stipends. Preference will be given to professional development opportunities in the Albuquerque area (as opposed to online). 
  • The application is hosted on Google Forms, but you do not need a Google account to fill it out. If you’d like to review the application ahead of filling it out, you can reference the PDF here. If you have questions or need assistance with the application, please contact Erin De Rosa at


This program is in partnership with the City of Albuquerque’s Tipping Points Program and is made possible by a grant from New Mexico Gas/Emera.