VLA Education

VLA plays an important role in educating individual artists, arts professionals within arts and cultural institutions, attorneys, students and the general public about legal and business issues that affect artistic and creative endeavors.

Each year, VLA reaches more than 5,000 people through in-house workshops; speaking engagements in the five boroughs and around the state; appearances at national conferences; radio and television appearances; VLA’s in-office resource library; teaching engagements at local colleges and law schools; and a Speakers Bureau that assists arts and cultural organizations to secure experienced legal speakers for their own events. VLA also offers private Law School Application Mentoring for VLA member artists.

Check out our upcoming workshops and classes!

Popular VLA Programs:

VLA Workshops

CLE Credit for Attorneys


For Artists and Arts Professionals:

VLA Current Classes

Statewide Service Initiative


Lectures & Workshops:

Our Department of Education offers a wide variety of discipline-specific and general educational programs, both at its office and privately on location for law firms and art, cultural and service organizations. VLA is also certified by the New York State Bar Continuing Legal Education Board as an accredited provider of Continuing Legal Education courses and programs. Accordingly, VLA provides CLE classes at its office, and privately for law firms at their offices. VLA also custom designs courses, including CLE classes, upon request.

To arrange for VLA to present educational programming to your constituents, members or employees, please contact VLA's Interim Executive Director, Kathryn E. Wagner, Esq., at 212.319.2787, ext. 25.

The following topics can be presented as lectures or workshops, and can take place at the VLA offices or your location, during lunchtime, evening, or weekends:

• Art and The First Amendment: Free Speech, Defamation, Privacy, Right of Publicity
• Choosing the Right Corporate Structure For Your Arts Business: Sole-proprietorship, partnership, LLC or Corporation
• Common Ethical Issues in Nonprofits
• Contract Essentials for Visual and Performing Artists
• Employment Issues: Employee and Independent Contractor Status
• Film School for Attorneys: Produce, Write & Direct Independent Feature Films
• Fiscal Sponsorships: Fundraising for Artistic Projects
• Institutional Advancement and Grant-Writing for Nonprofit Arts Organizations
• Intellectual Property Basics (copyrights, trademarks, VARA)
• Legal & Ethical Issues in Film Making
• Legal & Ethical Issues in the Music Industry
• Legal Ethics Through Law and Film: CLE
• Legal Issues in Contemporary Art
• Legal Issues in Dance (including ownership of choreography)
• Legal Issues Interactive Media (video gaming, blogs, websites)
• Managers and Agents in the Performing & Entertainment Industry
• Nonprofit Incorporation and Tax-exempt Status
• Nonprofit Boards: Legal and Fiduciary Duties
• Taxes and Financial Planning for Artists
• Visual Culture and Law (advertising, architecture, film, design, visual art)

Law School Application Mentoring for Artists

Believe it or not a number of artists also have a viable legal practice. In fact, an increasing number of visual and performing artists are attending law school and working in both law-related and non-law-related fields, not only as a way of furthering their social and artistic beliefs, but also as a means of supporting their own artistic practices.

If you’re a visual or performing artist and have thought about attending law school and becoming a lawyer, VLA offers mentoring and advising sessions to help you with this decision as well as help you organize your application strategies. The mentoring will be conducted by VLA's Interim Executive Director, Kathryn E. Wagner, Esq. This mentoring program is open to all visual and performing artists who are current VLA Members.

For more information, please contact Kathryn E. Wagner, Esq., at 212.319.2787, ext. 25.

VLA Library & Bookstore

VLA has a small but in-depth book library containing a wealth of materials and resources for artists, arts organizations, and legal professionals. Our books and materials cover diverse areas such as nonprofits, fiscal sponsorships, visual art, music, theater, dance, writing, film, internet, and digital media, all in relation to intellectual property, contracts, licensing, legal entities, free speech, employment law, and grantwriting.

Access to VLA's library is free and is open to the public Monday through Friday, 12 to 6pm.

Along with providing individuals and organizations with access to the VLA's Library, VLA makes available a wide variety of books for all arts disciplines and organizations. For a list of our publications and books available for sale, please visit our list.

For book prices and shipping fees, please contact VLA at our ArtLawLine at 212.319.2787, x1.

Selected locations where VLA has presented lectures, classes, panels, or VLA Bootcamps™:

Arts Council of Rockland County
Art in Odd Places
Bronx Museum
Bronx Museum AIM Program
Brooklyn Arts Council
Brooklyn Law School
Buffalo Arts Council
College Art Association
Columbia Law School
Columbia University School of the Arts
Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Free 103.9
Fordham Law School
Harlem Arts Alliance
Harvard Law School
Hofstra University, Department of Department of Fine Arts, Art History and Humanities
Independent Press Association
International Center for Photography
Jack the Pelican Presents Gallery

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Department of Art, Music & Philosophy
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
New Art Dealers Alliance
New York Foundation for the Arts
New York Public Library
New York State Bar Association, Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Section
New York University
Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA)
Parsons The New School for Design
Polytechnic University/NYU
Pratt Institute
Queensborough Community College-CUNY
School of Visual Arts
Six Points Fellowship
South by Southwest
Staten Island Arts Council
The Juilliard School
Theater Resources Unlimited (NYC)
Westport Country Playhouse
Yale School of Management