North Central College - Naperville, IL

SEA Conference helps artists launch successful businesses

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Contact: Ted Slowik, Director of PR and Media Relations, 630-637-5307,

Feb. 5, 2010—College and high school students, educators and adults who aspire to be working artists will gain valuable information about running their own business Feb. 19-20 when North Central College hosts the 10th annual Self Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference.

The SEA Conference provides educational resources to help aspiring artists gain entrepreneurial knowledge and skills needed to establish and maintain careers as independent artists. The conference features performances, workshops, panel discussions and other activities tailored to actors, filmmakers, musicians, painters, sculptors, writers and other artists.

The SEA Conference will be held at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville, 3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle, starting at noon on Friday, Feb. 19, and ending at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20. Registration for students starts at $59 for both days or $40 for one day, and scholarships are available. For more information and to register visit or contact Amy Rogers, SEA director, at 630-637-5468 or

This year’s keynote speaker at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, is Robert Fishbone, author of “Selling the Scream: Tips and Steps to Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur with YOUR Crazy Idea!” Fishbone is a St. Louis-based entrepreneur who has sold more than 500,000 inflatable “Scream” figures based on Edvard Munch’s famous painting. An entertaining speaker, storyteller and musician, Fishbone tells how he started his own business and developed it into a successful company known worldwide for edgy products and excellent customer service. Visit for more information.

The conference features a juried art exhibition, film festival, musical jam session, theater improve and a game about the publishing industry. Sessions focus on such topics as marketing, business plans, web sites and social media. A highlight of the conference is the Business Plan Pitch Competition, which gives selected finalists the opportunity to present an “elevator” or three-minute pitch on their business plan to a panel of judges. Up to three winners will be awarded a $1,000 prize to assist in starting their business. Winners will be announced at the conference.

The SEA Conference is supported by the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Charitable Foundation and the Coleman Foundation. Sponsors, donors and partners include the Hilton Lisle/Naperville, the Colbeth Family, the Ernst Family, College of DuPage, Columbia College, Millikin University, Finlandia University, Beloit College, Minuteman Press and Blick Art Materials.

Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in Naperville, Ill., North Central is recognized as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, which cites it as one of the top six schools in the Midwest for “Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching”; as “a college for high-achieving students” by Peterson’s Competitive Colleges; and as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by Forbes. For more information about North Central College visit