Editors’ note — The inaugural issue of Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts will be published on September 1, 2012 and will include the following:

Arts entrepreneurship: A conversation
Gary Beckman, North Carolina State University
Linda Essig, Arizona State University

The co-editors of Artivate, Gary Beckman and Linda Essig, have shared an interest in advancing arts entrepreneurship as a field of study since Beckman first interviewed Essig as part of his research toward what has become a foundational article in the field, “Adventuring” arts entrepreneurship curricula in higher education: An examination of present efforts, obstacles, and best practices (2007). The current article presents a dialogue between them in which they discuss the nature of arts entrepreneurship as a discipline and the challenges and opportunities presented by the launch of Artivate.


What’s in a Name? Typifying Artist Entrepreneurship in Community-Based Training
Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, University of Texas at Austin

This article deploys the term “artist-producer” to respond to Gary D. Beckman’s (2007) call for an effective definition for artist entrepreneurship, one that illustrates the productive work that artists do and counters longstanding romantic notions of artists as creative geniuses who are unconcerned with commerce. Unpacking the term entrepreneur historically and focusing on its troubling relationship to class, race, and gender, even among entrepreneurship scholars, I illustrate how and why many artists still resist the de facto entrepreneur label even as they take what many identify as entrepreneurial approaches. Returning to Beckman’s domain of training, though outside of the university setting, I show how a number of contemporary community-based artist training and professional development programs across the U.S. reflect, even nurture, the longstanding artist ambivalence to entrepreneurship even as they fulfill some of its key dynamics; moreover, I note how these programs are creating a very specific approach to entrepreneurship, or entrepreneurs, by training what I call “artist-producers” – artists capable of balancing both their expressive ambitions with their material concerns in strategic ways. Ultimately, the artist-producer designation illustrates what many scholars, artists and arts organizers talk about when we talk about artist entrepreneurship; it defines a type of entrepreneurship that by its very structure acknowledges the nation’s weak cultural infrastructure and offers a collaborative, productive, even sustainable way of working for artists.


Shattering the myth of the passive spectator: Entrepreneurial efforts to enhance participation in “non-participatory” art
Clayton Lord, Theatre Bay Area

What does “participation” mean in the context of presentational art forms like live theatre, dance performance, or classical music? Is, as has been suggested recently by the James Irvine Foundation and researchers from WolfBrown, “participatory art” only that art in which the audience engages by becoming an active artist? What are the implications of such a shift by one of the major arts funders in the United States, and are they warranted?  Increasing research indicates that the simple act of watching a performance event—spectating—is, in fact, participatory.  Analysis of brain activity during performance on subsequent reasoning, emotional maturity, and empathy indicates that the act of watching an artistic work requires an extraordinary amount of engagement and attention on the part of the spectator.  Such analysis ultimately dictates that so strongly articulating a spectrum of participation in which traditional presentational art is considered lesser-than is premature.  Rather, a holistic approach being led by a small but growing group of entrepreneurs who straddle the divide between artist and arts administrator and offer alternative spectrums for understanding impact has begun to take root, working to augment and increase the impact of presentational art without sacrificing its presentational aspects.


The case of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble: An illustration of entrepreneurial theory in an artistic setting
Jeffrey Nytch, The University of Colorado – Boulder

This article presents a case study of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (“PNME”), an arts organization transformed by reinventing its artistic product based on new methods of audience engagement. The PNME approach illustrates a number of theoretical concepts in action, and provides an example of how artists and artistic organizations may apply entrepreneurial principles to the development of their artistic products. Broader implications for the theories illustrated by the case are noted.