Artistry and Entrepreneurship

I’m co-teaching a special topics course this Spring about the intersection of art and enterprise — where aesthetic and expressive effort meet the marketplaces of people, places, and resources. “Arts Enterprise: Art as Business as Art” works to encourage a more connected view among the students (mostly arts majors, but from a wide range of disciplines) between a creative idea and its realization as a project, an organization, or a career.

For our first class, we welcomed artist/educator/consultant Eric Booth, who has a rather specific opinion on the matter of artistry and entrepreneurship. Both, he suggests, involve ‘making stuff that means something to you.’ And both can draw the same sense of flow.

A great way to start the class. Take a look at the video capture of his Skype presentation to get the gist of it.

Eric Booth on artistry and entrepreneurship from UW-Madison Arts Enterprise on Vimeo.


  1. says

    The problem with this Richard Florida ideology is that it doesn’t really help business and doesn’t help the idea of art become integrated in society. Rather it foster a type of dumbing down of what art is. The tools used or as Booth says the “verbs” that business and art share do exist but art is different than business. Art’s purpose is different than business. Art provides something completely separate from what business provides to society. Art and “entrepreneur” don’t have the same definition and, like Florida, simply saying they are doesn’t make it so.
    There is art in craft and their is craft in art and both endeavors use business at times to move these endeavors into society but all three of things are different in nature and meaning. We lose something as a society when we just say these thing are the same because of some economic need we may have.

  2. Joan says

    Surely we don’t need to hear over and over again that everything that’s done well, every profession and every point of crisis and difficulty where there is a problem that needs to be solved requires creativity and that means a kind of problem solving where you are part of the problem . This creativity is required in plumbing, mathematics, and doctoring. That does NOT mean that Marketing and Medicine and Plumbing are Theatre. It does not mean that Philosophy is Music or Marketing. The subject of each is unique and has its own unique history of practice and theory. Of course every meaning-making problem within a specific subject area USES creativity. We do not need to keep fighting over that! The SUBJECT of Art is art not creativity, of physics is physics not creativity, of marketing is marketing not creativity, though they all demand creativity of us in every moment. What is the point of conflating math and medicine and theatre because they all require creativity? It’s rather like saying that swimming, boxing and playing the violin are all the same because the arms are trained and work hard in both!