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Arts Entrepreneurship, A Story, Interlude

So, for those interested, here’s an interlude to the story of my new site.  I’m presently at the University of Maryland where I lead the National Orchestral Institute, a gathering of the most exceptional young orchestral players, artist faculty and conductors.  This year’s group has already demonstrated exceptional artistry, as well as intelligence and sophistication.  Interacting with them has reminded me of my past work in leadership development, and the contrast to my teaching arts entrepreneurship has startled me.  I will try to explain.

I dove into arts entrepreneurship because I wanted to help others discover, create, construct the next big idea (s).  I was convinced that the system is broken and with enough cultivation and fertilization the next ground-breaking ideas would bubble up.  I have now been teaching arts entrepreneurship for more than 5 years, and although my students have developed interesting and useful ideas, and many have elevated these ideas into enterprises, only one student in all this time has shown the appetite and imagination for a ground-breaking idea.  And, because of lack of financing and other insurmountable obstacles, she has not pursued it.  However, when I look back on my work in leadership development I find more of those students making positive changes within existing systems.

As I interact with these remarkable students here in the NOI program, I realize that some among them have the potential to be highly effective change agents.  They need skill sets and experience in leadership, not necessarily a curriculum in entrepreneurship…IMG_0698

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