Creative Entrepreneurs Series @ Arlington Arts (Arts Enterprise Institute)

March 27, 2019  •  Arlington, VA

Event Summary

WALA Creative Entrepreneurs Series @ Arlington Arts (Arts Enterprise Institute)

(Legal Issues for Creative Entrepreneurs)

WALA’s Creative Entrepreneurs Series is a series for creatives of all kinds who want to take the next step in their professional career by creating their own business. Explore the basics of forming a business for your creative endeavors, from deciding whether to incorporate as a non-profit or for-profit entity, to understanding copyrights and trademarks, to contract and negotiation skills, and finally to taxes and understanding the grants process.

The series is comprised of six (6) sessions to be held on consecutive Wednesdays, starting Wednesday, March 27, 2019 and continuing through Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

All six workshops take place from 7pm - 9pm at Arlington Cultural Affairs’ “Theatre on the Run” located @ 3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA 22206. (*see location details at the end of the workshop session descriptions)

The series is free for WALA members and $20 per workshop for non-members.

**Attendees must Register for each individual session. To do so, select the corresponding session DATE from the list below.

The complete series includes:

• Session #1: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 ~ Tax Strategies
(Select this date to attend this session)

Presentation and Q & A with:
Benjamin Grosz, Benjamin Takis, & Jonathan Holbrook

“Pursuing your art as a business can be daunting, and one of the biggest challenges is understanding the tax laws. Between the many types of federal and state taxes that apply to your business, it is easy to make a mistake that can set back your business for years.”

“Benjamin Takis and Benjamin Grosz, both having active experience in the arts in addition to practicing as tax attorneys, will provide an overview of the federal income tax, a guide to the different business structures you should consider, as well as more advanced federal tax issues relevant to artists in the Washington, DC area.”

Benjamin Takis is the founding attorney of Tax-Exempt Solutions PLLC, a law firm specializing in tax, corporate governance, employment issues and business transactions for non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs. Since beginning his practice in 2006, Ben has devoted his career to representing non-profit organizations and tax-exempt entities. Ben honed his skills as an associate at the premier Washington D.C. labor firm Bredhoff & Kaiser and the leading employee benefits boutique Groom Law Group. At Bredhoff and Groom, Ben represented some of the largest pension funds, health care trusts, and labor organizations in the country, along with public charities, lobbying groups, trade associations, and other non-profit organizations of all types and sizes.

Benjamin Grosz is a partner with Ivins, Phillips & Barker, where he advises clients on a broad range of federal income, estate and gift tax planning matters, as well as employee benefits issues. Before law school, Ben started his own financial planning business. Prior to that he was a business manager at Capital One Financial Corporation, where he developed strategy and analysis for its credit card and banking businesses. His experiences in starting his own financial planning business and developing business strategy for Capital One help him understand the needs of clients ranging from entrepreneurs to large corporations. Although lacking the talent to be a professional artist, Ben spent years singing with various choirs and has had the privilege to sing at the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap, and the good fortune to participate in a singing “tour de France” with one of his college choirs.

Jonathan Holbrook is an associate with Ivins, Phillips & Barker. His practice focuses on federal income taxation, as well as estate planning and employee benefits issues. As a student at Harvard Law School, Jonathan co-founded HLS Effective Altruism, advised low-income taxpayers through Harvard’s Federal Tax Clinic and was a winner of the 61st annual Williston Negotiation Competition.


• Session #2: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 ~ Business Entities Formation
(Select this date to attend this session)

Presentation and Q & A with:
Hardeep Grover

This Session Covers:

• Overview of Business Entities
• Types and Organization
• Management and Control
• Liability Protection
• Tax-Related Issues
• Business Agreements
• Shareholder and Membership Agreements
• Employment and Independent Contractor Agreements
• Non-Disclosure Agreements
• Non-Profit Entities
• Types
• IRS Form 1023 for Tax-Exempt Status
• Common Mistakes for Entrepreneurs

Hardeep Grover is an attorney with Tresquire, a solo practice where he focuses on helping start-ups and small businesses navigate legal hurdles. Hardeep began his practice immersed in the start-up culture of San Francisco, and developed his expertise as counsel to restaurants, theater, and film production companies in New York. Having returned to his hometown of Washington, DC, Hardeep now works with creative entrepreneurs in the technology, entertainment, and food & beverage industries. Barred in CA, NY and DC, he works with clients in all three jurisdictions, striving to help people bring their visions to fruition.

In addition to his role on the education committee of the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, Hardeep is also President-Elect of the South Asian Bar Association of Washington, DC.

Hardeep received his BA in Economics from George Mason University, and his JD from The George Washington University Law School. In his spare time he enjoys playing with wild yeast fermentation, and he dreams of one day owning a Rotovap and a cheese cave.


*** RESCHEDULED to MAY 8 ***

• Session #3: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - Copyright/Trademark Protection & Use - has been rescheduled to May 8, 2019. There will be no session on April 10.


• Session #4 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 ~ Contracts & Licensing
(Select this date to attend this session)

Presentation and Q & A with:
Karl Means

This session covers:

When is a deal a deal?
- Offer
- Acceptance
- Consideration

What can you license?
- Ownership
- Contract considerations
- Royalties

What Happens If Someone Fails?

- Remedies
- Deadlines
- Indemnification
- Governing Law
- Limitations on Remedies

Karl W. Means advises clients on a range of intellectual property-related issues, including working with clients on how to protect and license copyrighted works covering a wide variety of subjects, including publishing, music, computer software and web-based content. Karl also counsels clients on the selection and protection of federally registered trademarks in the U.S., international trademarks, domain names and web-based advertising, and brand development. He also has extensive experience with technology-based transactions involving the commercialization of products and services, brand licensing, technology transfer, software licensing and development agreements.

Before joining Miles & Stockbridge, Karl was a Shareholder in the Intellectual Property practice at the firm of Shulman Rogers. Karl began his legal career with the U.S. Customs Service in Washington, D.C., where he was Senior Attorney in the Intellectual Property Rights Branch. Karl holds an M.B.A. from Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma.

* Session #5: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 ~ Negotiation Strategies
(Select this date to attend this session)

Presentation and Q & A with:

Covered in this session:

“In business and in our personal lives, we are constantly needing to negotiate and collaborate with other people – people whose interests differ from our own.

Success in our lives therefore can hinge on how well we engage in these necessary interactions with others. This program offers attendees tips and tools for being a successful negotiator and collaborator.


• the fundamentals of interest-based negotiations and avoiding the zero-sum game,

• the power of language in negotiations,

• what mediation is…and is not,

• when to consider facilitated negotiations,

• how to facilitate meetings and avoid breakdown and deadlock, and

• how to plan, prepare for, and participate in negotiations.


• Session #6: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 ~Grants
(Select this date to attend this session)

Presentation and Q & A with:
Paul Marengo, Promethean Fundraising - CEO

Covered in this session:

(1) Are you ready for funding?

(2) What kind of questions will they ask me and What do I need to apply?

(3) What kinds of grants are there and where should I look for them?

(4) Once I get funded, what are the requirements and how do I manage my grant?

(5) Additional Resources

Paul Marengo is the CEO of Promethean Fundraising, a small boutique consulting firm that helps grassroots organizations become more competitive fundraisers. Mr. Marengo has 25+ years in non-profit organizational development. In his career, Paul has been the Festival Director for DC Film Alliance, the Asian Pacific American Film Festival as well as the Volunteer Coordinator for DC Independent Film Festival, DC Underground Film Festival, Reel Affirmations, and now FilmFestDC. Further adding to his resume, Paul has been the event manager for organizations such as the Guerilla Film Festival and Reel Affirmations as well as a Theater Manager for the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Lastly, Paul has been a film judge for the NYC Independent Film Festival, The Washington West Film Festival, and Smart Philm Festival.


• Session #3: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - Copyright/Trademark Protection & Use - rescheduled from April 10.

Presentation and Q & A with:
John D. Mason

This session covers:

• Copyright Registration
• Fair Use
• Works Made For Hire
• Trademark
• Rights Management
• Creative Commons
• Licensing
• Protecting your creations

John D. Mason of Copyright Counselors, LLC is an art, entertainment and intellectual property attorney, and literary agent. He is based in the Washington DC/Maryland area. His practice focuses on copyright and trademark transactional matters, litigation, publishing and media issues, contracts, and commercial matters. He works with writers, artists, filmmakers and people and companies in creative industries to protect, promote and exploit their work. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Mason is adjunct faculty teaching Entertainment Law at UDC Law School, past adjunct teaching Art and the Law at George Mason University, Board President of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, and past Advisory Board member of the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington. His email is and his firm website is


Arlington Cultural Affairs a division of Arlington Economic Development, Arlington County Virginia is charged with fostering a creative environment that encourages collaboration, innovation, and community participation. We do this by providing material support to artists, and arts organizations, in the form of grants, facilities, and theater technology; through a commitment to integrating award-winning Public Art into our built environment; and with high quality performing, literary, visual, and new media programs across the County.”

* Cultural Affairs is located between Oakland Street & Nelson Street. Please use the, Cultural Affairs Main Entrance, (closest to Nelson Street) in the BACK of the building. Parking is limited at 3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington VA 22206. Additional parking may be found in Shirlington Village, a 10-minute walk from Cultural Affairs. For more information, visit

Event Details

  • Date

    March 27, 2019

  • Time

    7:00pm - 9:00pm

  • Partner

    Arts Enterprise Institute

  • Venue

    Arlington Cultural Affairs’ “Theatre on the Run”
    3700 S. Four Mile Run Drive
    Arlington, VA 22206

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Non-WALA Member Rate

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Active WALA Members Only