Christi Martin, Patron of the Arts | Chalk This Way | How to Create an Arts Organization | Podcast #22

Christi Martin is the director and founder of the Lakeside Arts Foundation, a nonprofit arts support organization serving the greater Lewisville and The Colony area. Its’ mission is to support and promote artists, arts organizations and bring fine arts to the Dallas, Texas suburban community through community projects such as “Chalk This Way” sidewalk chalk art festival and the Kaleidoscapes Public Art Project.  She also offers support to new start-up arts organizations.

Chalk This Way

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“Chalk This Way” Sidewalk Chalk Festival is held each May in Old Town Lewisville, Texas

Favorite Song?
Don’t have one. I love lots of songs. Lots of genres.

Favorite Color?
Red

Favorite Super hero?
Daenerys Targaryen

Fast food or home cooked meal?
Home cooked

What is your biggest quirk?
I serve on 5 different nonprofit boards…all volunteer.

What is the one thing that annoys you the most?
Flaky people and liars.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Make coffee.

Where would you go if you were invisible?
City Council closed executive sessions.

What’s your motto?
When in doubt, act with love.

Why did you choose to start your business – do what you do?
I saw a real need for the arts in our community. Lots of people, especially children, had none or few artistic outlets. There were no arts organizations here. I started 3 and helped start 3 more.

Who inspires you?
My friends.

What makes you different from other people in your industry?
I bridge all dimensions of the arts and bring them together.

Why should someone purchase from you instead of your competition?
I don’t have any competition in the area.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Watch my child fail without intervening.

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Talked to Mike Modano and didn’t recognize him.

What is your biggest challenge or obstacle?
Not reacting negatively to people who disrespect me or what I do.

What will it take to overcome your biggest challenge or obstacle?
More therapy and better drugs?

What are some of your favorite books?
DaVinci Code, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter

Define your style?
Bohemian

Tell me about your typical day.
Get up, answer emails, make and take calls, attend meetings – often in 2 different cities, attend a reception or show, have dinner and drinks with friends, go to sleep on the couch in front of the TV.

How do you juggle work and family?
I try to involve my family in my various arts events. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?
Learn to research and write grant requests, hire humble but very talented people, expect and deliver excellence.

What’s the best way to market your particular business?
Online. About 90% of my advertising is free or very low cost “guerilla marketing” strategies through social media and online forums.

How have you grown as a person since starting your company?
I have learned to appreciate people of differing talents and abilities, have learned patience, and gained confidence and self-esteem.

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Christi Martin, Director & Founder of Lakeside Arts Foundation

If you could travel back in time and speak to your 18 year old self, what would you say?
Take business classes too and don’t listen to the naysayers.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Having my own Talent Agency.

For whom are you thankful?  Who do you appreciate?
My family and friends for their patience and support, the city of Lewisville staff for their tremendous help, support and encouragement, and above all God, for His grace and love.

What else would you like to add?
Anyone who would like to find out more about Lakeside Arts Foundation or our Chalk This Way sidewalk chalk art festival can find more info on the website: lakesidearts.org.

Connect with Christi Martin & Lakeside Arts Foundation

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