As a member of the editorial board for Artivate, a journal on entrepreneurship in the arts, I was asked to write a short reflection on what “arts entrepreneurship” is, exactly, and how we might think about the phrase and the field (or bundle of fields) it represents. Short opening excerpt is included below, the rest is available on the Artivate website.
”Arts entrepreneurship,” like its close relative ”arts management,” has a complex pedigree and a sprawling footprint. Its frameworks and practices span many disciplines. Its areas of focus include the person, the process, and the outcome of entrepreneurial effort. But while we argue about the various branches and twists of this evolving ecosystem, we may be missing the forest for the trees.
As an older sibling of arts entrepreneurship, arts management offers some useful markers to find our way. Arts management has been aptly labeled a ”borrower’s field” (DeVereaux and Vartiainen, 2009, p. 8; Brindle and DeVereaux, 2011, p. 5) as it draws from many disciplines in both theory and practice – visual and performing arts, humanities, business, political science, social science, and on and on. But arts management could also be labeled a ”burrower’s field” as its practitioners, scholars, and supporters often dig their way into emerging and established domains in search of money, shelter, and positive attention.