NEW YORK & FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Institute of Financial Wellness for the Arts (IFWA), a new financial wellness company catering specifically to career professionals in the arts and entertainment industries, is proud to announce its official nationwide debut. The company offers one-on-one coaching, financial wellness in the workplace programs and workshops, and engaging, original financial education content online all designed to help career artists and arts professionals become more financially successful.
The IFWA is the brainchild of Darren Sussman, an established entrepreneur, musician and Broadway theater producer, and his brother Erik Sussman, who brings over 25 years of expertise in the financial services industry. Prior to founding IFWA, Darren co-founded TheaterMania, an online theater information and ticketing platform, and later OvationTix, a cloud-based ticketing, CRM, and fundraising platform for more than 600 theater and arts organizations nationwide. He also co-produced the two-time Tony-award winning Broadway show The Great Comet, in addition to producing the Opening Concert of The Olympic Village for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, among other festivals and concerts.
The IFWA’s advisory board includes Emmy and Tony-award-winning actress/singer Kristin Chenoweth, award-winning playwright and activist David Bar Katz, and actor and three-time NAACP Image Award Winner Malik Yoba, among others.
“According to recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the arts and cultural sector generated 4.3 percent of U.S. GDP, and contributed more than $804.3 billion to the economy, all while employing roughly 5 million people,” says Darren Sussman. “Yet, the industry is woefully underserved in the financial services arena. Our goal is to close the financial education and access gap, and in so doing, help make the arts as a whole more sustainable.”
“We believe that every arts professional, actor, writer, director, dancer or musician deserves to have a well-planned and sustainable financial life,” he adds.
“There’s a general misconception that, with few exceptions, most people in the industry are struggling financially,” says Erik Sussman. “While like any industry, arts and entertainment deals with broad disparities in compensation, a Broadway actor or working musician often makes a very good living, well into six figures and beyond. The challenge is that many professionals are self-employed, or their incomes fluctuate, so they often lack the resources to develop and sustain a long-term financial plan or achieve goals like buying a home. They may not have access to company-sponsored retirement or insurance plans and often don’t understand their union pension plans either. There are a number of scenarios which are unique to this community that the IFWA understands and can address.”
The IFWA works with a hand-selected team of accredited financial coaches nationwide, each affiliated with a Fortune 500 financial services firm and uniquely trained to address every stage of an artist or arts professional’s financial life.
For individuals, the IFWA offers an initial complimentary and confidential consultation with a coach to develop and implement a strategic plan to help them achieve their goals.
For organizations, the IFWA provides ongoing financial education and wellness workshops, along with access to viable savings and protection benefit programs for the entire staff.
Consultations and financial education workshops are available by appointment. Visit www.theifwa.com.
About the IFWA
The Institute of Financial Wellness for the Arts (IFWA) provides financial education and planning solutions to the arts and entertainment industry. Created in 2018 by Darren and Erik Sussman, the IFWA helps artists and arts professionals achieve and maintain financial success through high-quality curriculum, coaching and services. Our goal is to ensure that every artist and arts professional nationwide has the chance to make informed choices and decisions that result in financial well-being. Visit www.theifwa.com.