Tricks of the Trade to present 'The Art of the Schmooze'


NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Berkshire Cultural Resource Center announces the March sessions of its Tricks of the Trade series, "The Art of the Schmooze: Making Networking Work for You," on Tuesday, March 9, Wednesday, March 10, and Thursday, March 11 at locations in North Adams, Pittsfield and Stockbridge.

The sessions are free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is required.

In "The Art of the Schmooze: Making Networking Work for You," gallery owner Leslie Ferrin and freelance writer Bess Hochstein will discuss how to gracefully navigate the scene and work the room.  According to Ferrin, interacting socially with collectors, curators, gallery managers, media professionals and other artists can make a huge difference in an artist's career - if it's done right. 

This program will cover techniques that can help you advance your career in social situations, such as preparing the elevator pitch version of your artist's statement; how to close the conversation (or the deal); the don'ts and do's of the schmooze; why booze and schmooze don't mix; and the virtual schmooze - how to capitalize on social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to expand your circle and create a positive impression. 

Three workshops will be held. The Tuesday, March 9 session will be held at MCLA Gallery 51 in North Adams; the Wednesday, March 10 session will be held at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield; and the Thursday, March 11 session will be held at IS183 Art School in Stockbridge.  All of the workshops will begin at 6:30 p.m.

"Schmoozing is an essential element of the business plan for any successful art-related business, regardless of  'for' or 'not for' profit status," Ferrin said.  "Our simple mission at the gallery is to sell art, and that always involves bringing collectors, professionals, members of the media and artists together.  Managing the 'schmooze' for artists is an essential element of career development." 

Ferin is the director and co-owner with Donald Clark of Ferrin Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. As specialists in contemporary ceramic sculpture and studio pottery, Ferrin and the gallery curate solo and group exhibits and participates in art fairs throughout the country. 

While it specializes in ceramics, the gallery also exhibits mixed media art and sculpture, painting, and photography by both emerging and established regional artists. 

In addition to directing the gallery exhibitions and educational programming, Ferrin is the author of the book "Teapots Transformed: Object to Subject," as well as numerous published articles. 

Hochstein is a freelance feature writer covering health and wellness, yoga and fitness, green resorts, pet-friendly travel, spas and retreats, food and wine, personality profiles, home design and the arts. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Wine Enthusiast, Ceramists Monthly and Berkshire Living. This spring marks her first appearance in Real Simple magazine.

She also is a business writer and consultant with diverse experience in developing and implementing creative marketing strategies, effective promotional campaigns, client communications programs and public relations across all media.

Hochstein has decades of experience in the realm of investment services marketing communications. She is the cultural correspondent for Rural Intelligence.

Tricks of the Trade is a professional development seminar series for artists and creatives.  Started four years ago, the program recently expanded across the county. From November through April, Tricks of the Trade holds 18 seminars - each month one overarching topic is discussed in North, Mid, and South County.

For more information, and/or to register, call Jess Conzo, the program coordinator for MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, at 413.663.5253.

Tricks of the Trade is a program of the MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. The program is produced in collaboration with Berkshire Creative, Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development, and IS183 Art School. For more information, call 413.663.5253, or go to tricksofthetrade .