Economic development agency Whanganui and Partners is set to launch Making It, a professional development programme for local creatives.
Making It aims to connect local artists to a team of specialists who can help them gain professional and commercial knowledge for the creative sector.
The specialist sessions, featuring Sarah Williams from Space gallery, business advisor Niki Vernon, and Sarjeant Gallery curator Greg Donson, are free for participants.
Whanganui and Partners' Emma Bugden said that while there were opportunities for creatives to get support and mentorship when it came to their craft, there were fewer opportunities to help them think about "art as a business".
"For me, an artist's passion should go alongside sustainability and resilience, and if those things can go hand in hand then we'll have artists, musicians and makers who stick around," Bugden said.
"They can have a sustainable, long term career. Most creatives start off as part-timers, and my hope is to increase the number of full-timers."
Making It was a way for creatives developing their careers to learn from more established artists and business people, Bugden said.
"There is so much up-and-coming talent in Whanganui, and so many people with established careers in the arts, it seems natural to connect the two for the benefit of the sector.
"I want the programme to help our creatives feel more confident in their ambition and understand the next steps in realising their goals."
The programme currently has seven different providers offering sessions on topics like developing relationships with art dealers and applying for public funding.
Bugden said that several of the programme's sessions would be useful to "most creative businesses", while some were specific to the visual arts.
"I'd like to grow the offering to include experts in other forms of art, like musicians and writers, and I'll be listening to feedback from participants about additional areas they're needing support in.
"Having a career in the arts can be more than just a hobby, it can be a profession that pays your wage and sustains you and your family.
"You don't have to move to Auckland or Melbourne or Berlin to do it either, you can do it right here in Whanganui."
More information is available at whanganuiandpartners.nz/makeit or by emailing Emma Bugden at email@example.com