Apply Now: Arts Business Incubator (ABI) Program Second Cohort

Apply Now: Arts Business Incubator (ABI) Program Second Cohort

Calling All Creative Startups in New York City

In keeping with NYFA’s mission to help artists and arts-minded entrepreneurs create sustainable careers, we’re opening up applications for the second cohort of the Arts Business Incubator (ABI) Program.

Through the generous support of the Scherman Foundation’s Katherine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund, the Arts Business Incubator (ABI) Program will provide a small cohort of New York City-based arts startup businesses with up to 18 months of custom-tailored support from NYFA’s knowledgeable staff and network of experts, including:

  • Intensive professional development training on the fundamental principles for developing and operating an arts business
  • Group learning with a small community of other arts startups, as well as one-on-one coaching with NYFA staff and consultants
  • Strategic and business planning guidance from mentors at the top of the participant’s field
  • Access to a $15,000 drawdown account for use towards consultant services in fundraising, marketing, real estate, insurance, technology, and any other relevant area
  • For some participants, the opportunity for a technology-based residency at Eyebeam (see details below)

Program & Application Schedule

  • September 8, 2016: Application opens.
  • October 14, 2016: Program applications due. Finalists will be notified by November 7, 2016, if they have been selected for the panelist round.
  • November 28 – December 2, 2016: Panelists conduct interviews with finalists.
  • December 9, 2016: Successful applicants notified of acceptance.
  • January 17 – 27, 2017 (exact dates TBA): Orientation and group training on the fundamental principles of developing and operating a successful arts-based business. Participants are required to attend all sessions, which will be held during this date range between 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM, with some evening and weekend sessions to be scheduled if necessary.


We are seeking businesses that are self-sustaining, innovative, scalable, and beneficial to the cultural community. Teams are strongly encouraged and given priority over solo founders.

Applicants must:

  • Be in the “startup” phase of the enterprise (i.e., within the first 18 months of operation). 
  • Be a for-profit, arts-based enterprise. An arts-based enterprise provides services to artists, employs artists, or has art at the center of its business plan. We welcome applications from any and all artistic disciplines, or any combination thereof.
  • Be based in New York City.
  • Commit to attending all sessions of the program, including monthly meetings with mentors for the duration of the program, which will conclude in June of 2018.

The Eyebeam-ABI Residency: Making Ideas Real

One technology-based arts enterprise may be eligible for a residency at Eyebeam, a nonprofit studio for collaborative experiments with technology toward a more imaginative and just world. The residency will begin immediately following the ABI opening intensive in January, and will last for approximately four months. It includes workspace and technology guidance, but not direct funding. Those applicants who advance to the second round will be provided more information and the opportunity to apply to this residency.

How Do I Apply?

Applicants must complete the application form here. Please see the application for detailed instructions.

Do you have any questions? Visit our website for more details, and please see our “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

Even more questions? Please email [email protected], and be sure to join us for an information session

Image: ABI Workshop with Mark Golden, photo credit: Judy Cai

Amy Aronoff
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