Painters, sculptors, musicians and other artists in rural Iowa may be spectacular at their craft yet some may lack the savvy needed to properly market their products.

The Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames is hosting a two-day event this week called the Business of Art Conference. The center’s Rhonda Scott explains the goals.

“We really felt that artists needed a place to come together and learn more entrepreneurial skills and have a way to network better and connect with each other,” Scott says. “We just wanted to provide a place for creative folks to strengthen their skills and make sure they can succeed and grow.”

One segment of the 4th annual event is designed to help artists of all types who don’t live in any of Iowa’s metro areas.

“There are a lot of artists who feel really isolated in their rural spaces,” Scott says. “This panel is about bringing together some of those people who have made a big impact in their community with the arts and helping other rural folks figure out how to do that in their spaces.”

Scott says arts and culture help to drive Iowa’s economy, employing over 25,000 people and contributing $4 billion to the state’s economy. The conference runs Friday and Saturday.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City