Monday, May 19, 2014

Arts Entrepreneurship Upcoming Blogathon

Good morning.
"And the beat goes on………………"

Note:  Thank you to all of you who submitted names for possible inclusion as invited guests to the Dinner-vention 2.  We hope to announce the guest list within six weeks or so.  

Entrepreneurship and the Arts has been a hot topic over the past couple of years. More university programs in arts administration are including the subject in their curriculum, more training in being entrepreneurial is being offered to working artists, and the topic is increasingly part of the discussion on innovation, being adaptive, and generally as related to survivability.

Most of us think of Silicon Valley when we hear the word "entrepreneur" - the bold, risk-taking people with new ideas behind start ups that sweep our world and make the founders wealthy beyond belief.  Entrepreneurs are the creative and relentlessly hard working people who push the envelope and who succeed in convincing others that their idea's time has come.

In the arts, the same is likely true.  We also think of entrepreneurs as being savvy business people, who use and manage the latest in theories, technology and business applications to succeed in a highly competitive and tough economic environment.

But Arts Entrepreneurship is a big topic, and there are lots of unanswered questions when considering it.

I enlisted the advice and help of Linda Essig to co-chair this effort, and we've invited the following six additional leaders in our field whose work involves facets of arts entrepreneurship and asked them to participate in a week long mini-blogathon on the topic and to share their knowledge and insight into the subject in the hope that we might begin to have a wider understanding of all the nuances and sub-text issues of any discussion about arts entrepreneurship.   Each of the participants has substantial experience about one or more facets of the topic, and each has been significantly involved in one way or another with innovation and cutting edge practices within our field.

Next week, each day, Monday through Friday, all of the panelists will respond to a different single question about the topic - sharing their perspective - including:

  • Defining the current status of the concept within our field - its' principles, processes, and practices.
  • The knowledge areas critical to being an effective entrepreneur, and the state of arts entrepreneurship pedagogy.
  • The challenges to, and opportunities for, advancing arts entrepreneurship.
  • The state of research into the area.
  • The relationship to collaboration, risk taking and bias.

Here are the participants in next week's discussion (a really quite extraordinary assemblage I think):

Linda Essig:  Linda heads the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, which has helped over 30 student teams develop arts-based ventures for Arizona and beyond since its inception in 2005 and publishes the only research journal in the field, Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts.  She was the first director of the ASU School of Theatre and Film, now the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, where she also served as Artistic Director of the school's MainStage Season from 2004–2010. Her current research is on the social value and organizational values of arts venture incubators.   She is the author of articles and book chapters on both arts entrepreneurship and lighting design as well as two books: Lighting and the Design Idea (third edition, January 2012) and The Speed of Light: Dialogues on Lighting Design and Technological Change. She recently competed work as the director of evaluation for "Home in the Desert," an NEA-funded interdisciplinary community arts project. She has served on the boards of directors of the University/Resident Theatre Association, US Institute for Theatre Technology, and the Phoenix Fringe Festival. Prior to joining ASU, she was on the faculty of University of Wisconsin-Madison for sixteen years.  Her blog, covers arts entrepreneurship, arts policy, higher education in the arts and, occasionally, cooking. You can follow her on twitter @LindaInPhoenix

Adam Huttler:  Adam is Fractured Atlas's founder and Executive Director. He has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, an M.B.A. from New York University, and is a self-taught software developer. Since forming Fractured Atlas in 1998, he has grown the organization from a one-man-band housed in an East Harlem studio apartment to a broad-based national service organization with an annual budget of $20 million. Adam serves on a number of boards and steering committees, including those of the Performing Arts Alliance, the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors, and NYC's One Percent for Culture campaign.

Ruby Lerner:  Ruby is the founding President and Executive Director of Creative Capital. Prior to Creative Capital, Lerner served as the Executive Director of the Association of Independent Film and Videomakers (AIVF) and as Publisher of the highly regarded Independent Film and Video Monthly. Having worked regionally in both the performing arts and independent media fields, she served as the Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS, a coalition of Southeastern performing artists, and IMAGE Film/Video Center, both based in Atlanta. In the late 1970s, she was the Audience Development Director at the Manhattan Theatre Club, one of New York's foremost nonprofit theaters.

Lerner has written and lectured extensively, including at Harvard Business School (in conjunction with a Harvard Business School case study on Creative Capital) and for the University of North Carolina’s Entrepreneurship Program. She regularly presents on arts issues at conferences and summits, including the Grantmakers for the Arts conference, the National Innovation Summit for Arts & Culture, IdeaFestival in Louisville and the Independent Sector National Conference. Lerner was a 30th Annniversary ArtTable Honoree (2011) and recipient of the John L. Haber Award from the University of North Carolina (2009), the Catalyst Award from the National Association of Artists Organizations (2007), the BAXten Award from the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (2007), a Creative Leadership Award from the Alliance of Artists Communities (2005), the Artist Advocate Award from the Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations (2003) and a Special Citation from Artists Space for her support of individual artists (2003). Ms. Lerner currently serves on the Headlands Center for the Arts Advisory Council; the Goucher College Committee of Visitors; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Innovation Circle; the National Advisory Board of the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC; and the National Advisory Board of the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Russell Willis Taylor:  Russell - President and CEO of National Arts Strategies since January 2001 - has extensive senior experience in strategic business planning, financial analysis and planning, and all areas of operational management. Educated in England and America, she served as director of development for the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to England in 1984 at the invitation of the English National Opera (ENO) to establish the Company's first fund-raising department. During this time, she also lectured extensively at graduate programs of arts and business management throughout Britain. From 1997 to 2001, she rejoined the ENO as executive director.

Russell has held a wide range of managerial and Board posts in the commercial and nonprofit sectors including the advertising agency DMBB; head of corporate relations at Stoll Moss; director of The Arts Foundation; special advisor to the Heritage Board, Singapore; chief executive of Year of Opera and Music Theatre (1997); judge for Creative Britons and lecturer on business issues and arts administration. She received the Garrett Award for an outstanding contribution to the arts in Britain, the only American to be recognized in this way, and has served on the boards of A&B (Arts and Business), Cambridge Arts Theatre, Arts Research Digest and the Society of London Theatre. She currently serves on the advisory boards of The University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, Salzburg Global Seminar, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Charlottesville and the Arts Management program at American University, on the British Council's Arts & Creative Economy Advisory Group and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2013, Russell was honored with the International Citation of Merit by the International Society for the Performing Arts, presented in recognition of her lifetime achievement and her distinguished service to the performing arts.

Anthony Radich:  Anthony has served as the executive director of WESTAF since August of 1996. In that capacity he is responsible for providing leadership to the thirteen-state regional arts organizations’ programs and special initiatives. He oversees WESTAF’s work in the areas of research, advocacy, and online systems development designed to benefit the cultural community. Prior to accepting his position at WESTAF, Radich served as the executive director of the Missouri Arts Council for eight years. There he led the successful effort to create a state cultural trust fund supported by a stream of dedicated state funding. Preceding his work in Missouri, Radich was the senior project manager for the Arts, Tourism, and Cultural Resources Committee of the National Conference of State legislatures (NCSL). As senior project manager, he worked with state legislators from across the country to develop state-level legislation and policy concerned with the arts, tourism, and historic preservation. While working for the NCSL, Radich was appointed by Denver Mayor Federico Peña to chair the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, the city’s arts agency.

Radich earned a bachelor's degree in physical anthropology and a master's degree in art education from the University of Oregon. He also earned a doctorate from the Graduate School of Public Affairs of the University of Colorado Denver.

Richard Evans:  Richard directs EmcArts programs and strategic partnerships. Richard’s recent research, program design, and facilitation places particular emphasis on innovation, adaptive organizational change, and effective ways that the arts and culture field can respond to the demands of a new era for the sector.

His studies on innovation and capacity building led to his design for the Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts. An expansion of EmcArts’ successful pilot Lab for American orchestras, the Lab launched in Fall 2008. Fall 2011 saw the launch of a second national lab – the Innovation Lab for Museums. Richard also leads the design and implementation of the New Pathways for the Arts Initiative, a series of community-based innovation programs that is active in cities across the country.

Richard is a frequent speaker on the relationship between cultural policy and emerging practices in the arts. His past research and analytical expertise has been published in numerous field studies in the USA and the UK. Richard received his M.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, England. Prior to founding EmcArts, he held numerous senior positions in performing arts management and philanthropy, including co-director of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Advancement Program, Chief Executive of the Bath International Festival of Music & the Arts, England, and Vice President of the National Arts Stabilization Fund.

BTW:  EmcArts is now Accepting Proposals: Two Rounds of the Innovation Lab partnering again with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to deliver two more rounds of their Innovation Lab programs.

Applications for Round 9 of the Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts and Round 2 of the Innovation Lab for Arts Development Agencies are due by Friday, May 30, 2014.

Click on the Emc link above for more information.

Andrew Taylor:  Andrew is an Assistant Professor in the Arts Management Program at the College of Arts and Sciences at American University, Washington, D.C., exploring the intersection of arts, culture, and business. An author, lecturer, and researcher on a broad range of arts management issues, Andrew has also served as a consultant to arts organizations and cultural initiatives throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the William Penn Foundation, Overture Center for the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Create Austin, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Prior to joining the AU faculty, Andrew served as Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration in the Wisconsin School of Business for over a decade. Andrew is past president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, current board member of the innovative arts support organization Fractured Atlas, and consulting editor both for The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society and for Artivate, a journal for arts entrepreneurship. Since July 2003, he has written a popular weblog on the business of arts and culture, ''The Artful Manager,'' hosted by (

I would like to thank each of the above panelists for taking time from their schedules to share some of their thinking on a topic that seems to me very likely to occupy more of our thoughts in the future, and which I believe has important implications for the arts field.  I am indebted to them all.

Have a great week, and please follow along with next week's Arts Entrepreneurship blogathon.

Don't Quit