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PNC sponsors ‘Mind Your Business’ Seminar for Creative Artists

Stacy M. Brown | 10/27/2017, 6 a.m.
PNC continues to immerse itself into the community as a good neighbor and responsible partner, supporting small businesses and those ...
Franklin McNeil, Vice President and Community Consultant for PNC Bank. Courtesy Photo

PNC continues to immerse itself into the community as a good neighbor and responsible partner, supporting small businesses and those in the arts— particularly business owners who might lack some of the necessary resources of powerful corporate entrepreneurs.

On Saturday, November 4, 2017, PNC will team up with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Maryland Citizens for the Arts to present, “Mind Your Business,” a legal and financial workshop for artists at the Motor House located at 120 W. North Avenue in Baltimore from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm

Presented twice a year around the state, the event is a symposium designed to help those in the creative class to better navigate budgets, contracts, copyright laws, insurance and more.

“The goal is always to make sure that potential small business owners and entrepreneurs come away with the knowledge they need to start their business and to do so properly while avoiding some of the hurdles other artists have not been able to,” said Franklin McNeil, vice president and community consultant for PNC Bank.

The importance of the “Mind Your Business” seminar could not be more profound for artists who may not be aware of copyright laws, according to McNeil, who gave as an example the fight between the Baltimore Ravens and an M&T Bank Stadium employee who created the team’s popular logo.

Frederick Bouchat had said he wanted recognition for his idea for the logo.

Reportedly, the South Baltimore resident first sketched a flying raven clutching a shield with a “B” and faxed it to the Maryland Stadium Authority more than 20 years ago. While Bouchat has won a court case crediting him with creating the Ravens’ first logo, he has never been compensated.

“He didn’t copyright it and they ended up using it and now his logo is on NFL merchandise all over the world. He didn’t protect it,” McNeil said.

It’s that insight officials wish to provide to artists and others at the seminar.

“We’re trying to empower creative professionals to know what it is that’s out there and what their next step will be, because everyone has a next step,” said Adam Holofcener, the executive director of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting Maryland artists’ legal rights through pro bono legal referrals and education.

“It’s not their job to be a lawyer and it’s not their job to be a banker,” said Holofcener, a Baltimore native who also teaches courses on intellectual property and entertainment and sports law at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

“But, it is their job to be as creative a small business as they can and to know when they need help,” he said. “When they know that, it frees them up to do what they do best, which is create and this seminar will help build relationships with other creative folks.”

McNeil says he hopes that those in attendance will see the benefit from the seminar and use it to avoid hurdles that perhaps others have fell victim to.

“We want them to come away with knowledge and to make sure they understand what steps they need to take to protect themselves and their business and, as a bank, we want to make sure that they’re aware of the steps that are needed for funding,” McNeil said.

“Banks can have a reputation of saying ‘no’ to funding, but here’s a way we can say ‘yes’ and help them be best-prepared when it comes to financing.”

For more information and to register for the seminar, visit http://mdarts.org/events/mind-your-business/.