The focus is on the business of art. The idea is that more artists will succeed if they have business skills, knowledge, resources and contacts. Led by artists, the mission of the Southern Entrepreneurship in the Arts Conference is to help artists and other creative professionals make a living from their passion.

Hosted by the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC) at UNCG and the university’s Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program, the 5th annual conference will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22. For the past two years, the conference has drawn more than 350 attendees.

“Whether you are a young artist just starting out or someone pursuing a second career in the arts, this conference is something you don’t want to miss,” said Bryan Toney, director of NCEC and conference co-chair. “In one day, you can hear amazing success stories, pick up great tips and techniques, and make valuable connections with other attendees that can lead to new opportunities.”

The conference in Elliott University Center will feature a full day of speakers and collaborative workshops by experts across the visual, performing and literary arts. The theme for the 2014 conference is “Orchestrate Your Creative Future,” with topics including “Traditional Media Goes Social,” “Sharing a Story Through Creative Hands,” “Finding the Passionate Voice,” “No Budget? No Problem!” and “Resourcefulness vs. Resources.”

The opening speakers will be Stephen and Patrece Robinson, professor and adjunct professor of music at Stetson University. The lunch keynote will be Carol Andrews, WFMY News 2 anchor and children’s author. The closing keynote will be Kyle Webster, illustrator, designer and app maker. Other speakers include: Laura Way, executive director and CEO of Greenhill; Eddie Bernard, founder of Wet Dog Glass; Dorothy Clark, former deputy director of operations at the Nasher Museum; Ben Owen III, a third-generation Seagrove potter; and Mark Stolaroff, Los Angeles-based independent film producer and co-founder of Antic Pictures.

The cost of the conference, which includes all sessions, meals and a reception, is $60 for the general public and $40 for students. A limited number of stipends for students are available. Contact NCEC at or 336-256-8649.

Sponsors for the event include Self Employment in the Arts, The Coleman Foundation, PostcardMania, PhotoBiz, Elon University Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, William Mangum Fine Art, Drury Hotels, Secure Designs Inc., Iron Hen, Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing Co., Space Logix, and Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff.

For more information and to register, visit here.