Greg Shelnutt

Learn to Cover Your A’s

Two September 2017 Training Sessions available in Baltimore + NYC

CERF+ will be offering two sessions of our signature “Cover Your A’s: Art, Assets + Archives” training program in Baltimore at Maryland Institute College of Art on September 13, 2017 and in New York City at the School of Visual Arts on September 28, 2017.

“Artists feel most happy and productive when they’re making art,” says Jenifer Simon, Director of Programs + Outreach. “Sometimes, though, life can have other plans—from the predictable stress of moving to a new studio to the unexpected headache of having to clean out a flooded one; from taxes and insurance to accidents and illness. That’s why it’s vitally important for artists to make preparedness part of their practices, by learning the art of CYA – Cover Your A’s: Art, Assets + Archives.

Courses that teach practical business skills to BFA and MFA students have proliferated over the last decade, with the topic of career protection getting minimal attention. As a result, students generally perceive that basic “defensive” safeguards are not a part of career development or success.

Over the last several years, CERF+ has pioneered new tools and educational opportunities to improve artists’ disaster readiness and resilience at all career levels. CERF+’s CYA Training is a unique educational program with two goals in mind: resilience and sustainability. Originally designed to teach art school faculty and staff, arts professionals, and arts administrators the basics of artist career protection, these tips and tools, are now being made available to all visual artists and craftspeople.

CERF+ will present two CYA Training sessions:

  • Wednesday, September 13 at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (1300 W Mt Royal Ave); and
  • Thursday, September 28 at the School of Visual Arts in New York City (209 E 23rd St).

Participants will receive CERF+’s Studio Protector: The Artists’ Guide to Emergencies, our Business Insurance Guide, and our CYA Teaching Guide. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Why Career Protection Matters
  • Managing Risk + Studio Safety
  • Documentation + Self Storage
  • Business Insurance Coverage
  • Artist Health + Wellness
  • Contracts + Copyright

Each session is limited to ten people, so advance reservations are required. A $50 fee includes lunch and all CYA Training Session materials. Participants can reserve a spot at the September 13 CYA Training session in Baltimore (register by Sept. 2), or for the September 28 Training session in NYC (register by Sept. 12), please visit

Background on Cover Your A’s

In 2012 and 2013, CERF+ began working with a small pilot group of art schools to develop Cover Your A’s (CYA), a curriculum package and faculty training program. Since then, over thirty institutions have participated in CYA Training, including California College of the Arts, the, Otis College of Art and Design, and Rhode Island School of Design

Artists are—and will increasingly need to be—entrepreneurial as they set up Etsy shops, establish non-profit and community based art and design projects, and just plain seek to survive as creative professionals. CERF+’s training, coupled with their willingness to help artists and craftspersons who have suffered disaster, places them at a unique juncture in helping to create a set of ‘road-tested’ sustainable practices for arts agencies and independent creatives of all stripes, no matter what stage they’re at in their careers.

Greg Shelnutt

Professor and Chair of the Department of Art & Design , University of Delaware


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