Friday Photo: RISD’s Artrepreneur Starter Kit

(Photo: RISD)

This year’s Rhode Island School of Design commencement ceremony takes place tomorrow afternoon at the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence, and in addition to diplomas and the well-designed wisdom of commencement speaker Bill Moggridge, the 611 graduates will each take home an “artrepreneur kit.” Stocked with tools to help artists and designers present their portfolios, take credit card payments, and market their work online, the practical parting gifts include goodies from companies such as Square, Behance, YouSendIt, and Etsy, which is offering an Etsy RISD Fellowship to the 2011 graduate whose shop on the recently launched RISD Etsy Team Page shows the most promise. “A new kind of art-and-design-led leadership is needed to innovate in the current global economy,” said RISD President John Maeda in a statement issued by the school. “Artists and designers bring their intuitive, creative thinking to a broad array of fields, and with our artrepreneur kit, we are providing them with just a few of the tools and resources that can help launch their work into the public spectrum and help them make a living, in whatever way they choose.”