Refining Understandings of Entrepreneurial Artists

Valuing the Creative Incorporation of Business and Entrepreneurship into Artistic Practice


  • Megan Robinson
  • Jennifer Novak-Leonard University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign



There is a disconnect between artists’ applications of entrepreneurial behavior in their practice and evaluations of artists as productive members of their communities. Informed by interviews with Nashville-based artists to investigate how artists understand their creativity, artistic practice, and approaches to entrepreneurship in the context of a their vibrant, artistically oriented community, this study finds that artists engage in entrepreneurial behavior by deploying creativity in multiple domains, including art, business, and the social, with their skills in each being important towards preserving the motives of their artistic practice. The findings highlight artists as multi-faceted creatives capable of transforming their practice through entrepreneurial pursuits.

Author Biographies

Megan Robinson

Megan Robinson earned her PhD in Sociology at Vanderbilt University, where she was the Public Policy Research Assistant at the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy. As an independent scholar, Megan studies the relationship between creative city economic and cultural development policy and residential segregation by race-ethnicity and occupation. 

Jennifer Novak-Leonard, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Jennifer L. Novak-Leonard specializes in the development and use of novel measurement systems to understand cultural participation and the personal and public values derived from these experiences to inform multiple domains of public and social policy. Her research has addressed topics such as immigrant integration, higher education, public perceptions of arts and artists, creativity and public funding.




How to Cite

Robinson, M., & Novak-Leonard, J. (2021). Refining Understandings of Entrepreneurial Artists: Valuing the Creative Incorporation of Business and Entrepreneurship into Artistic Practice. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 10(1).