Stephanie Pruitt Gaines

Creatively powering our professional and personal lives

Topics include:

  • Marketing / Branding / PR

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Arts Engagement

  • Mental health self-care and community-care

Available for:

  • Keynote Address

  • Panelist

  • Trainer

  • Emcee

  • Breakout session

  • Workshop Facilitator


Stephanie Pruitt Gaines is a published poet, social practice artist, and ARTrepreneur on a mission to banish starving artist syndrome & create a better culture of mental health self and community-care.

She has taught arts education and creative writing at Vanderbilt University, Sewanee: Young Writers' Conference, and as a visiting artist in over a hundred academic and community settings. In addition to books and literary journals, Stephanie has published poems on sidewalks, building walls, in vending machines, and as a 10,000 square foot interactive poem visitors could touch, taste, smell, see, and hear. Essence Magazine named her one of their 40 Favorite Poets.

The ARTrepreneur and TEDx speaker curates Poems & Pancakes as well as The Nia Collection. Stephanie leads Mind Your Creative Business workshops and coaching sessions for organizations, artists, and thought leaders incorporating creativity as a professional strategy. She is a Mentor-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University's Wond'ry.

The native Nashvillian has been an active part of her local community previously serving as a Commissioner for the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, as well as the board of directors for the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville.

In addition to her arts-related work, Stephanie founded 3-2-1 SHiFT, a digital self-care resource. Having  experienced depression and anxiety herself, she’s committed to culturally relevant, effective community and self-care practices.

When at home, the mother of Nia and wife of Al can often be found with a 60lb furkid in her lap.

Why She Is Your Speaker

“Wow!!! After hearing Stephanie speak, I’m excited to revise my whole way of handling my business as an artist. My parents will be relieved to know that I’m minding my money AND living my genuine artist best life.”

Roderick H., Muralist

“I get so tired of the self care craze propped up by companies wanting you to buy their indulgent products. I’d call what Stephanie shared SOUL CARE. Her talk was all about practical, everyday skills I’ll actually use. Refreshing and powerful!”

Carmen J.

"Thoughtful. Honest. Stephanie’s a skilled artist, effective change-maker, and advocate for all artists. She’s a wonderful public speaker. If you have an opportunity to work with her directly or hear one of her dynamic talks, DO IT."

Jennifer Cole, Executive Director, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

"Stephanie draws on her combined expertise as an artist, educator, and entrepreneur. She gets people thinking in new ways. I highly recommend Stephanie if you’re ready to delve deep and come away with a clear picture for your (or your organization's) plan for growth."

Jacob Weiss, PhD, Founder & Director, Creativity Moves

Most Requested Talks

No Starving Artists Allowed

Why do the arts and individual artists matter in our society and how (why) do we need to banish the starving artist mentality? Develop a thriving creative community that adds to the quality of life of all citizens and supports an economically sustainable practice. Stephanie shares practical artist-friendly business skills as well as arts advocacy approaches.

The New C-Suite

Corporations, Institutions, and Communities around the world are adjusting to new normals that require innovative, people-centered approaches. The new "C" in c-suite stands for "creativity" and Stephanie Pruitt Gaines will show you what every thriving organization can learn from working artists to stimulate growth, impact, and effective organizational culture.

Free Yourself From Working For Free

What can EVERY entrepreneur, freelancer, and budding business learn from an artist? to navigate a world of requests for freebies or projects that undervalue your expertise! Learn pricing, marketing, and communication strategies that helped Stephanie Pruitt Gaines operate as a full-time working artist for over a decade. If poetry paid her bills, you better believe she can help you free yourself from working for free!

Real-world Self-Care During Complicated Times

We're experiencing wild times! In the news, at work, at home, in our relationships -- there's plenty to throw us off our center and have us stressed to the maximum. Prioritize your mental and emotional health with these innovative approaches to self-care. The truth is that most traumas don't occur in a bubble. They're not going to be solved alone either. Beyond the stereotypical ideas of a spa day or burning scented candles, Stephanie Pruitt Gaines offers insight into concepts of "community-care" and personal growth that will help you relax, relate, release, and THRIVE during hectic times. Leave this talk empowered to:

- Set better boundaries -- Guilt-free No's & True-to-you Yes's

- Delegate With Ease

- Have a go-to resource list of actions to help you regulate overwhelming emotions

- ...and much more