Artisan Entrepreneurship Program

Main Street Morgantown and the MAC are teaming up with Bridgeway Capital to launch the first Artisan Entrepreneurship Program in Morgantown.

Artists, makers, designers, and craftspeople use sophisticated skills in their creative practice, but their entrepreneurship often remains underdeveloped.

Bridgeway Capital's Alliance for Creative Rural Economies (ACRE) program coupled with the MAC's and Main Street Morgantown's local connections make this an irresistible opportunity.

ACRE Morgantown

Through its ACRE program, Bridgeway Capital provides participating creative entrepreneurs with the foundations to become confident creative business owners ready to professionalize their passion. ACRE will guide the participants through a yearlong, three-phase journey to learn, plan, and thrive. Each phase walks through the elements of a business plan to help participants graduate with clear financial goals and a plan in place with the resources to achieve them.

Bridgeway Capital's Alliance for Creative Rural Economies (ACRE) course offers a rigorous four-month business curriculum to help each entrepreneur strategize for lasting business success and stability. The ACRE program, which has been successfully adopted in four regions in West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania, has engaged a local business coach to work one-on-one with each cohort member to build a sustainable business plan, recommend best marketing practices, and offer financial and legal assistance.

2024 ACRE Cohort

Twenty-two creative entrepreneurs have been selected by Main Street Morgantown, the Monongalia Arts Center (MAC) and Bridgeway Capital as participants in a new program to help grow their businesses, access studio and retail space, and build relationships in the community.

Chosen from a competitive pool of nearly 50 applicants, the inaugural cohort for Monongalia County’s first Artisan Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) will spend a year developing a business plan, setting financial goals, meeting with business coaches, and utilizing spaces to design, showcase and sell their work, all while making local connections. Participants range in specialties from ceramicists, textile artists, printmakers, and sellers of natural products and other creative works.

J.M.Bocan John Bocan
Bixby Studios LLC Chad Sine
Burnt Cabin Press/Liz Prints Elizabeth Urse
CJ Sews Carolyn (CJ) Helenski
Curated Wonder LLC Terran Quinlan
Hill & Holler Herbal Company Caroline Nicholas
Jen Allen Ceramics LLC Jennifer Allen
Lock House Studio LLC Lisa Giuliani
Nampara Sculpture and Arts Jamie Lester
Shalya Marsh Studios Shalya Marsh
Spring Fox Studios, LLC Elisha Rush
Reclaimed Threads Kelly Dlugos
ACJ Studio LLC Andre Joseph
Acute Peach Art Elizabeth Hannah
Chasing Happy, LLC/DBA Moonlight Market Pascha Adamo
Deerjerk Bryn Perrott
Heather Lepp Ceramics Heather Lepp
Icelandic Ponies Danielle Martin
Mon Valley Mushrooms Lucas and Jamie Sieber and Brown
Mountain Creek Glass Sarah Hoblitzell
Wild Indigo Wares Samantha McCreery
YNST Media LLC (dba YNST Magazine) Adam Payne

Downtown Retail Lab

In partnership with WVU’s Community Engagement Lab, Main Street Morgantown hopes to win funding in 2024 to transform its former office on High Street into a retail lab accelerator to give cohort members, students, and community creatives opportunities to sell their work on consignment and receive specific feedback on their products. In true community collaboration, The Retail Lab’s highly visible space will be curated and run by students in WVU’s Fashion, Design and Merchandising Program, allowing University students to garner real-life experience in retail, sales, merchandising and buying.

Monongalia Arts Center Studio Space

In partnership with the Monongalia Arts Center, ACRE participants can request to display their work public studio space tours, share their trade through classes and events, and access low-cost studio space as a place to create their work.