MARSHALL - Nicole DeBoer of Marshall has taken on a role that will benefit those who want to make a career from art.
DeBoer recently became an artist career counselor through a collaboration of Springboard for the Arts and Minnesota's Regional Arts Councils.
DeBoer is the program assistant for Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council, where she has been for the last year and a half.
Springboard's mission, according to a news release is to "cultivate a vibrant arts community by connecting artists to the skills, contacts, information and services they need to make a living and a life." This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.
Springboard for the Arts works with each of the 11 regional arts councils, which includes SMAHC, in Minnesota, DeBoer said. The organization asked for a list of some recommendations as to who in each region would be a good representative to have the year-long contract.
DeBoer had gone through all the training to be an arts career counselor of sorts because of SMAHC.
"We figured it was a good fit for this region because it is so big," DeBoer said. Some of the regional arts councils cover only three counties, SMAHC has 18 counties it serves, she said. "This contractual obligation helps both SMAHC and Springboard."
DeBoer said she went through an interview process for the position. She also had to bring pieces of her art to show. DeBoer does painting and photography.
"They (Springboard) want to know about your art," she said.
DeBoer got to meet with her fellow artist career counselors this past May.
"There's a lot of really talented people who are career counselors," DeBoer said.
DeBoer said her job consists of supporting artists in their career.
"I'm available for artists who are serious about developing the professional presentation of their work and finding new audiences," she said. "We would talk about what their work consists of, what their goals are or problems they're having."
Most of what DeBoer does is to help artists "grow their work." Springboard for the Arts has several resources, such as marketing, connections to legal resources, benefit resources and how to spruce up an artist portfolio.
"Basically just how to become more professional," DeBoer said.
The first step for an artist in using Springboard's resources, DeBoer said, is to sign up online: www.springboardforthearts.org.