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Certification Information


What is MAP Certification?

Montana Artrepreneur Program (MAP) helps visual artists develop a sustainable business in art both by learning more about the art of entrepreneurship and by obtaining a Certification of Market Readiness. MAP is based on the idea that learning should be accessible, affordable, flexible, collaborative, and useful. It is not just a theoretical exercise, but the opportunity to actually develop the tools needed to build a sustainable business by:


  • Offering training specifically geared to visual artists.
  • Offering special topic professional development workshops.
  • Encouraging a variety of informal learning opportunities such as mentorships and peer- to-peer learning.
  • Encouraging self-directed learning and studio-based work towards completion of Market-Ready Certification.
  • Nurturing the growth of Montana’s networks of artists.
  • Providing Market-Ready Certification upon successful completion of all items in the Artepreneur’s Toolbox©.



What are the benefits of MAP Certification?

MAP has been designed to help build a network of artists ready to compete in the larger marketplace. We know, from having surveyed artists in the program, that MAP Certified artists have a higher likelihood of success in business. In a survey conducted by Decision Support Partners, Inc., MAP participants from through 2016 who had not yet certified reported a 654% increase in net art sales and a 183% increase in gross art sales on average since participating in the program. 



What does Market-Ready Certification involve?

Certification is available to artists who have participated in a MAP cohort, have an inventory of artwork ready to sell, and have collected the physical proof of the each of the 35 items in the Artrepreneur’s Toolbox©. Once a MAP artist feels ready to be evaluated, they will need to:


  • contact the Montana Artrepreneur program Director or their coach for more specific directions to prepare certification review,
  • have a coach or another MAP Certified Artist do an informal pre-review of their materials prior to submission,
  • present a completed toolbox: file container with 35 folders (one for each tool) each labeled with the name of the tool contained within the file, and
  • submit one sample of your work that illustrates the quality of what you create.


How and when is Certification decided?

Certification is a review process conducted by jurors and coaches. Jurors evaluate work according to program standards. Those standards are reviewed by coaches and program staff to maintain relevance and purpose. Because teaching tools and business standards

constantly evolve, an individual’s course experience may have offered very slight variations to the expectations in place at the time the artist chooses to submit their tools for certification review. Careful planning is recommended to ensure a successful outcome.

Toolboxes are reviewed for certification once yearly, generally in late spring, by two to three MAP coaches according to a point system. Artists can pass; receive a “conditional pass," meaning that they are given a provision to make recommended adjustments to their materials by a certain date; fail; or pass with “distinction," meaning the jurors could find no room for improvement.

The next deadline for submission of a completed toolbox will be in the spring of 2021. Please check back in the fall for a specific due date.



Montana Arts Council | 830 N. Warren Street, Helena, MT 59601 | P.O. Box 202201, Helena, MT 59620-2201 | P: (406) 444-6430 | F: (406) 444-6548 | mac@mt.gov

"State of the Arts" Newspaper | eNews | Montana's Arts Calendar | Montana's Cultural Treasures Guide

The Montana Arts Council is funded by the State of Montana and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
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