Last week, the John S. and Marlene J. Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship at Kent State hosted its annual Idea Pitch Competition. It’s similar to the spring competition I’ve written about previously, but on a smaller scale. This event is a lot of work to host and the Center is fortunate to have a passionate team of faculty, mentors, support staff, and students to assist. Even more impactful to this competition is the involvement of a growing network of donors—and since many artists rely on a vibrant donor base, it prompted me to write this blog post.
I’m writing this post from the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization convention in Tampa, FL. Listening to the variety of conference speakers got me thinking about what arts entrepreneurs can do to promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking in students and those entering the field, or to energize professionals who may be in need of motivation. Followers of the podcast have likely heard suggestions in our episodes, but I wanted to share activities I’ve pursued and know to be effective:
If you’re within driving distance of Kent, OH, consider attending Art Without Limits on Wednesday, October 11 at Kent State University. In addition to the exciting roster of successful arts entrepreneurs who will be sharing their stories and advice for developing an entrepreneurial mindset in the arts, there will be a makerspace with displays from a variety of artists, arts entrepreneurs, and organizations.
New this year is a high school track designed to provide students with hands-on experience in creating art under the guidance of professional artists. If you know a high school student interested in the arts, encourage them to join the 400+ students who have already registered!
If you’ve been paying attention to any news sources over the past year, you will have certainly seen content about artificial intelligence and its potential impact on humanity. Those of us who teach have long worried about AI and how students will use it to “save time” in their studies. I’ve found many articles and watched plenty of YouTube videos about how teachers have used AI, and I have been experimenting with it for courses, the podcast, and in general. In fact, Andy and I started using AI this year to help us with transcripts and show notes. While it’s been quite efficient, it’s not always accurate nor does it understand context at this time. Therefore we do have to proofread and edit any text before we post.
While preparing courses for the upcoming semester, I found a survey from a few years ago that was part of a presentation I gave to an arts organization. The survey was given to a few dozen arts entrepreneurs working in various fields in the music industry. Most of the respondents owned ventures with more than 1 employee, and only a few of the respondents were performers with no full-time employees. The questions focused on a variety of topics, from the industry landscape over the years, to changes in the field, requisite skills, and so on
Once again, Andy and I are pleased to announce that our podcast is a strategic partner with Kent State University College of the Arts’ annual Art Without Limits event. If you’re interested in learning from other arts entrepreneurs, and developing an entrepreneurial mindset in the arts, join us on the Kent campus of Kent State University for this free event on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 from 9am to 5pm.
When to hire help is often a topic of discussion among entrepreneurs, and it came up a few times in interviews Andy and I recorded for release this summer. In one example, fashion designer Jevon Terance, whose episodes will air this June, spoke about how he sews all of his pieces to insure high quality and consistency. After all, that’s what earned notoriety for him and his fashion brand. When I asked if hiring someone to sew would free him up to focus more on design and other activities to expand his business, he did say it was something he had been considering.
In a previous post, I mentioned that I had been working with student finalists in the annual pitch competition hosted by the John S. and Marlene J. Brinzo Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at Kent State. A small group of faculty, staff, and donors mentored the finalists for 4-5 weeks leading up to the event to help them hone their financials, slide decks, and overall presentations. Because we had a lot of positive feedback from the students, I thought I’d share some of what we discussed in this blog post.
A few weeks ago, I was part of a small group of faculty and donors who presented a workshop for student finalists in the annual pitch competition hosted by the entrepreneurship center in the college of business. Since the finalists are from a variety of disciplines, and have different experiences in business and public speaking, the workshop was designed to offer guidance on what they should include in their slide decks, tips on public speaking, stage presence, and so on.
In part two of our interview with textile artist Janice Lessman-Moss (episode #211), we noted the substantial volume of artwork she created over her lengthy career. That prompted Andy to ask how she keeps track of her work—does she catalogue it, photograph it, and so on. She responded with her approach to documenting her artwork, and how it has changed over the years to keep pace with technology. Here’s a summary of the data Janice keeps on each piece of art:
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