Its not about the money!

I had an epiphany the other day as I was reading Marjorie Garber’s excellent book “Patronizing the Arts.” This was one of those “a-hah” moments that comes at you sideways – not directly from what you’re reading or writing or working on, but has been gestating and then is synthesized from the scattered input of life. Its not a huge life-changing or world-changing epiphany, but is an idea that will cause me (and perhaps you) to re-focus some of the arts entrepreneurship curriculum I’m developing. Its also not new idea – not even to me – I just haven’t put it front and center: building an environment – a SPACE– for creativity and innovation is a prerequisite to all the teaching and learning about arts entrepreneurship that we may do. The SPACE needs to be both physical and conceptual (or, if you prefer, “spiritual”), a SPACE where work can grow. Many cities have such SPACES – unfortunately, mine isn’t one of them. There are national “SPACES” (Creative Capital comes to mind as a creator of such SPACE conceptually), but, like politics, art-making is local. There’s a lot of enthusiasm in the arts community for creating that local SPACE for nurturing artists, but we’ll need to work harder to make it happen.

How does my minor epiphany relate to the arts entrepreneurship curriculum we’re developing? Here there’s a more direct relationship with my current reading, although its still involves reading between the lines. I’m working on a chapter for a book on “signature pedagogies for disciplinary habits of mind” with two colleagues from Australia. Our chapter is, as you might imagine, about arts entrepreneurship/enterprise education so I have been doing a lot of reading on business entrepreneurship pedagogy. Reading between the lines of that scholarship (and there’s a lot of it compared to the scholarship on arts entrepreneurship pedagogy) and about the fine work Rick Cherwitz is doing at UT as well as my own experience with the p.a.v.e. program at ASU I have come to realize that we need to teach students about ownership in the business sense by first providing them SPACE to have ownership over their own learning about arts entrepreneurship. I want students to come into my arts entrepreneurship classroom with a commitment to their own work. Then I need to get out of their way to provide them the space to be as creative as possible, providing a backstop where necessary on the issues that can, if misunderstood, put a premature end to their creativity: financing, IP protections, and the like.

Perhaps my interest this week in SPACE is more personal. As I embark on a bit of a professional transition, I find myself looking ahead (and looking forward) to having more space – space to think, to write, to teach, and to find connections that will help support the creativity of emerging artists.

While I have your attention, don’t forget to mark you calendars for the second biannual p.a.v.e. symposium on Entrepreneurship and the Arts, to be held April 1-2 2011 in Tempe AZ. Ben Cameron of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will be our keynote speaker and ETA’s very own Lisa Canning will be conducting a workshop on “Discovering your WHY? Artist Empowerment and Self-mangement.” We’re partnering with the Arizona Commission on the Arts to help get the word out, and the symposium coincides with the fast-growing Phoenix Fringe Festival, a project that the p.a.v.e. program helped to launch.

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  • At Arizona Consortium for the Arts – we are working on creating space- JOIN US!!! The Arizona Consortium’s vision is to create a multicultural arts center, where children, teens and adults will become inspired, to develop their creative abilities, in conjunction with exhibiting artists, writers, actors, dancers and musicians who will share their expertise in a gallery, theater setting. Everyone will be welcomed there to learn and share their expertise from novices to professionals. We would like to build a new facility or find an existing facility for a theater, gallery, art studios, classroom space and a cafe. The Gallery will host art exhibits by emerging and established Arizona artists. The art studios will have working spaces for individual artists. There will be rooms dedicated to state-of-the-art painting and life drawing, ceramics, photography darkroom, sculpting, printmaking, recording studio, dance studio and jewelry design. The Center will have space for emerging and established writers and poets to read and share their work. The theater will have a schedule for community theaters, musicians and performance groups to have a place to rehearse and perform. We will offer classes by the finest regional professional teachers and artists.
    The arts center itself will be a showcase of unique architecture, sustainability and technology. It will host unrivaled presentations and will have production capabilities for arts, performing arts and cultures. We will present theatre, concerts, performances, site-specific works, installations, screenings, lectures to the public. Our programming will feature contemporary work by choreographers, composers, media artists and others working in genres and disciplines still to be defined.

    We are educators, artists, performers, writers and supporters of all artistic endeavors. We are proponents and supporters of the rich, vibrant and diverse community of the Greater Phoenix area.
    Arizona Consortium for the Arts has been established to assist and to be of service to Arizona artists. We are dedicated to fostering and supporting the arts and artists, including the literary arts (any genres — writers, poets, playwrights), the visual arts (any form — painters, sculptors, muralists) and the performing arts (music, plays, performance art).

    Our first project is a magazine titled “The Blue Guitar”, http://www.theblueguitarmagazine.org.

    We would like to provide opportunities to educate and involve schools, children and adults in expanding their artistic knowledge and horizons; as well as to, increase Arizona’s reputation nationwide as a cultural destination.

    Join us in our incredible journey!

    We need energetic and enthusiastic people to provide their expertise in all aspects of building and sustaining a successful non – profit organization. We need people who are passionate about the arts and who are visionaries. We need skilled, knowledgeable, innovative, creative, open minded and caring people who understand the need to support arts and cultures in our communities. We invite you to join us in our mission. We are confident your enthusiasm, passion, vision, and creativity will help us to succeed in leaving a legacy for this generation and future Arizona generations.

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    visit http://www.artizona.org

  • kaikou

    As a former student of yours, I totally agree. I would love to know more about what this space really is. How it can exist in our state. Thank you for your insights.

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