2018 Secret Knowledge Conference

Event Info

2018 Secret Knowledge Conference - Register Now

Talent Alone Isn't Enough. Join us for a day of community connection, utterly useful training & creative empowerment. This year we're making the conference FREE to those who register.

Saturday, November 17th 10:30am - 6:00pm

Jupiter Hotel
800 E Burnside St

It's been two years since the last Secret Knowledge Conference, and the world has changed.

Being a creative person hasn't gotten any easier. This Secret Knowledge Conference is focused on bringing the creative community together to find the support and wisdom we need on the road ahead. We're bringing back instructors and classic workshops from past conferences. We'll be joined by a local creative leader, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, an ally for the arts in City Hall.

This year the conference is sponsored by Regional Arts & Culture Council and by Oregon Arts Commission. Grants from these agencies made it possible to offer this conference for free for the first time ever. In previous years this conference has cost $99 - $249 per person. We're looking forward to seeing you there. Space is limited. Register.

What the Secret Knowledge Conference is:

It’s a full day of utterly useful professional training and community connection for artists, musicians, and other creative-types.

Let’s face it, turning your creative talent into a working livelihood is challenging. Talent alone isn’t enough. The Secret Knowledge Conference is about sharing real creative business wisdom you can actually use.

You’ll learn from people who understand the challenges independent artists & musicians face.

You’ll go home knowing exactly what you need to grow your creative career.

(main conference overview)

Explore The Conference Schedule

2018 Keynote Speaker: Portland City Commissioner, Chloe Eudaly

Secret Knowledge is proud to announce Commissioner Chloe Eudaly will be the keynote speaker for the 2018 Secret Knowledge Conference. Commissioner Eudaly attributes her decision to run for Portland City Council to conversations she had with attendees at the very first Secret Knowledge Conference, in 2015. Chloe Eudaly was a featured presenter in 2015 on the topic of Crowdfunding. We're excited to have her join us for a discussion about making Portland a place where Artists can continue to live and work. 

2018 Conference Workshops

Join us for these expert workshops & for our big uncoference session where attendees pick topics and engage in peer exchange. We have a few more to announce in coming weeks, so watch this space. 

Secret Knowledge Exchange Sessions 

Secret Knowledge Exchange

For many past attendees this is the heart of The Secret Knowledge Conference, a chance for you to connect with creative people and swap insight, share resources, and support each other. That means if you want to know about something and it didn't make it into the main conference schedule, you can learn what you need by bringing it up at an exchange session. Secret Knowledge staff & volunteers will be on hand to help broker knowledge sharing at these sessions, so you can focus on getting what you need & sharing what you know. Everyone has secret knowledge worth sharing. Simple insights help in such surprising ways. Presented by you & everyone else. 

Demystifying Music Licensing

 A central maven of Portland's entertainment industry, Peter Vaughan Shaver, Esq. of Sound Advice LLC is privy to a hidden world where catchy tunes and copyright conspire across media to generate royalties and licensing revenue for musicians & composers. We've asked him to distill what he knows into some basic advice emerging & established musicians can follow to protect their rights and diversify their sources of income.

The War of Art 

Making it as a creative person is a struggle. What are the weapons and strategies we, as creative people, can use as we battle to create working livelihoods from our creative talents ? This workshop offers a practical approach to business growth based on what you can do right now with the resources you really have.  Drawing from decades of experience as a museum curator, art gallery owner, and small business advisor Bonnie Kahn shares her insights into starting and growing your arts business one step at a time.

Secret Knowledge of Pricing & Selling

One subject artists and musicians really struggle with is selling their work and deciding how much to charge. Secret Knowledge of Pricing & Selling will show attendees how to price work, create effective table displays, ensure people tip when performing for tips, and offer advice on increasing sales. Join Noah Kleiman, Secrret Knowledge's founder, for a relentlessly practical look at how artists, musicians, and creative entrepreneurs make money. It's a classic Secret Knowledge workshop.

Tips to Unfuck your Marketing Efforts

Whether you're building an audience for your music, cultivating customers for your services, or getting your creations out in front of the folks that buy them marketing is what matters. Promoting what you do can be a real head spinner. Sierra Haager of Public Display PR shares the tips and guidelines that will keep you from running off the rails. 






Evangeline LaRoque on the 2015 Secret Knowledge Conference

I loved this conference! I came away with some wonderfully useful information and strategies which I have now very successfully integrated into my business. I also really enjoyed connecting with so many different creative people and came away feeling inspired and excited about what I do and the path I'm on.

- Evangeline LaRoque, Music & Video Producer



Rebecca Van Damm on the 2015 Secret Knowledge Conference

Rebecca Van Damm and Joel Barker chat during a Secret Knowledge Exchange Session

I signed up for The 2015 Secret Knowledge Conference because it seemed like a safe bet that I would learn at least one useful insight to help me with my music career; I figured I'd make some good connections, too.

The Secret Knowledge Conference really delivered.

I got a lot out of the workshops but the real "secret" of the conference, for me, was what I learned from talking with the other attendees. It was super helpful to connect with other creative people who have had some success and were willing to share some keen wisdom around building career momentum and cultivating a following. I took notes voraciously.

After the conference, I went home and turned my notes into a 2016 music release, tour, and promotion plan for my band, Major Love Event. Applying what I learned at the conference made planning the next year so much easier. I finally know what my next steps are and how to go about taking them. I hope Secret Knowledge offers the conference again next year, when it comes time to start planning for 2017. I'll be there.

- Rebecca Van Damm, Musician



An up-and-coming designer meets a CEO at The Secret Knowledge Conference

While I was unable to attend the entire conference, I was there long enough to see real value in the presentations, and see a number of "Ah ha" moments occur during those same presentations.

-Dave Boeckel, CEO at William Henry Studio

The Secret Knowledge conference is a great opportunity to interact and engage with individuals that are keen to develop business skills for their creative endeavors. One of the greatest advantages of the conference is that people of all skill levels and skill sets can find opportunities to grow through either the lectures provided or interactions with other people attending events. 

The Secret Knowledge conference creates a learning environment both through conventional methods of the classroom and through open discussion and personal success stories; artists, musicians, and craftspeople come together to share personal success stories as well as challenges in an effort to allow artists to do what they do best in the modern world.

-Connor Ebbinghouse, Designer

Connor Ebbinghouse and Dave Boeckel meet at The 2015 Secret Knowledge Conference

Connor Ebbinghouse (right) meets with Dave Boeckel (left) at the 2015 Secret Knowledge Conference



Testimonial from Anna Fritz

Ihave been working in the music industry for more than 15 years and people have tried numerous times to explain the complicated minutiae of music licensing to me. Finally understanding this stuff was worth every penny of the registration fee. Thanks for the dose of clarity and empowerment, Secret Knowledge!

- Anna Fritz, folksinger/cellist



Press Clippings

Articles about the 2015 Secret Knowledge Conference

As our town grows into the 21st century, artists and creative types will need to grow with it. For those still struggling to get by in the city, a bit of Secret Knowledge may just be what they need.

The Oregonian 11/11/15- "How can artists survive in Portland ? One man offers some 'secret knowledge'"

Noah Kleiman can see the future for artists in Portland.

Portland Tribune 11/5/15- "Making creativity pay."

For a city filled with creative hopefuls, the Secret Knowledge Conference promises a goldmine of much-needed training how-tos, from pricing your paintings to licensing your music.

Portland Monthly Magazine 11/12/15- "Top things to do this weekend, Nov. 12 - 15"

The first-ever Secret Knowledge Conference will fill the Jupiter Hotel with tips from creative types.

Willamette Week 11/13/15 - The Secret to Not Starving as an Artist

Secret Knowledge - Teaching Artists