Perspectives on Arts Entrepreneurship, Part 3


  • Neville Vakharia Drexel University
  • Gordon Shockley Arizona State University
  • Laura Zabel Springboard for the Arts


The third installment in our opinion series, “Perspectives,” in which we invite Artivate's editorial board members and contributors to respond to open-ended prompts about: their position in relation to arts entrepreneurship; how arts entrepreneurship is situated in relation to other disciplines or fields; what problems we are grappling with as scholars, practitioners, teachers, and artists; and what are the research questions we are attempting to answer individually or as a field.

Author Biographies

Neville Vakharia, Drexel University

Neville Vakharia is an Associate Professor and Research Director in Drexel's renowned graduate Arts Administration & Museum Leadership program, teaching courses in management, strategic planning, entrepreneurship, and related subjects while undertaking research and development projects that seek to strengthen the arts, cultural, and creative sector. His research centers on the role that technology, innovation, and knowledge play in building sustainable, resilient, and relevant organizations and communities. His work has been published internationally and he has developed new tools and resources to benefit the cultural and social sectors. Neville is a frequent speaker, facilitator, and panelist for a wide range of conferences and events nationally and internationally.

Prior to Drexel, Neville was the director of the Cultural Data Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts (now SMU DataArts), a growing national initiative created to improve the management and financial capacity of arts and cultural organizations, inform grant-making strategies, and serve as a powerful tool for policy research and analysis. At Pew, he oversaw the program’s strategic direction, operations, and national expansion from a start-up enterprise to multi-million dollar organization.

Prior to Pew, Neville was Director of Technology Services and Programs for the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, where he developed and launched the Technology Connectors, a program designed to support the technological capabilities of the region’s arts and cultural organizations through education, strategic planning, and consulting. He served as Director of Marketing for the Prince Music Theater, overseeing all audience development and branding strategies, and for 12 years he was the founder and co-producer of the ArtsFest Film Festival, central Pennsylvania's largest film festival.

Neville also has more than 10 years of experience in the corporate sector, working in new product development, marketing and global product management for W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., manufacturer of GORE-TEX products. Neville holds two international patents and has developed several new products and technologies. He earned both his bachelor of science degree in materials engineering and his master of science in arts administration from Drexel University where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Information Science. He serves on the board of directors of CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and is the co-editor of Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts. Neville also serves as an advisor to many creative, start-up, and social enterprises and community-based organizations.

Gordon Shockley, Arizona State University

Gordon E. Shockley, MBA, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Social Entrepreneurship in the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University. He earned his doctorate in Public Policy at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy in 2006.  Before returning to academia, he utilized his M.M./M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management (1998) in working for all levels of American government, including the finance division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the budget offices of Milwaukee County, Kentucky, and Missouri.  He also has managed multi-million dollar information technology projects simultaneously across several state and local governments. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1990 with a B.A. in English and Ancient Greek Languages and Literatures with an additional emphasis in Latin and Roman Literature (Honors Collegium, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa).  He is also currently working on a M.A. in Art History at Arizona State University.

Laura Zabel, Springboard for the Arts

Laura Zabel is a frequent speaker on arts and community development at convenings such as the Aspen Ideas Festival, Urban Land Institute and Americans for the Arts. She was a 2014 Bush Foundation Fellow, was named one of the 50 most influential people in the U.S. Nonprofit Arts, and received the 2012 Visionary Leader award from the MN Council of Nonprofits.




How to Cite

Vakharia, N., Shockley, G., & Zabel, L. (2016). Perspectives on Arts Entrepreneurship, Part 3. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 5(2), 3–6. Retrieved from




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