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What is a side hustle? We hear this word all the time and we basically know what it means. You got your day job and you’re running your art on the side. Well… did you know that the National Endowment for the Arts tracks that? Uh yeah, and they say there’s right around half a million people in the US. Half a milly who make their main paycheck outside of culture and then have some side income in the art & cultural industries. The NEA calls them “moonlighters”, but I call them side-hustlers.

But there are many who want to keep our art as a side piece. But there are some of us who find a way to weave our day job and our creative pursuit into one identity. The story of Paola Ferrer & Jim Grace show are included as case studies in the 1st Workbook on Identity.


Actress Paola Ferrer is the Chief of Staff for the Department of Children and Families for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts AND she was also an attorney. But despite these high pressure jobs, she never, ever, gave up her acting. Why? Because standing in front of the jury is a performance? Tons of rehearsal, memorizing the lines, and then you’ve got one shot to perform your heart out, win the audience. Advocating for children and families at the state house? Have you seen politics lately? Turn on C-span, you’re watching theater.


Starting as an author, Jim Grace literally wrote “the book on spooning”. I’ve known Jim for years and this guy has some of the deepest knowledge on arts entrepreneurship in the country. And he knows first hand what it’s like to build a business in the arts… because well… his first major book ended up in an international legal settlement.

Jim folded that experience into what he does in his day job. Jim wrote many how-to’s and guide books, and today he is the “how to” guru for creators as the Executive Director of Arts & Business Council of Boston and the Boston chapter of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.