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College of Fine Arts and OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship launch OHIO’s first summit to tackle the intersection of art + entrepreneurship

Ohio University’s  College of Fine Arts and Center for Entrepreneurship have collaborated to produce the first ever OHIO ARTrepreneurship Summit: Where Art + Business Converge (OAS) on Jan. 26.

This will be the first gathering at Ohio University to bring expert artists and entrepreneurs together to unpack how the arts and entrepreneurship intersect and, through panels and story sharing, reveal their career success and practice as arts entrepreneurs and about their collaborations with other arts entrepreneurs in their network.

The summit is open to all undergraduate and graduate students at OHIO and OHIO faculty and staff. The OAS takes place on Thursday, Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with two keynote addressing taking place at concurrent panels taking place at Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium and Galbreath Chapel. Light refreshments will be served throughout the day, with a reception and networking event held at Memorial Auditorium at 5 p.m. also with light refreshments. Registration is required and can be accessed at this website.

“Together with the OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship, the College of Fine Arts is so excited to create an environment where student artists meet and learn from established, professional art practitioners who have used entrepreneurial thinking and tools to support themselves and serve communities in and through the arts,” said Dean of the College of Fine Arts Matthew Shaftel. 

The idea to produce the Summit was born from the need for a more formalized job fair for student artists, said OAS co-chair, Director of the OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship and OHIO alum Paul Benedict, a 1996 graduate who earned his degree in political science from the Honors Tutorial College. 

“Artists are entrepreneurs. Full stop. They might not know it yet. Pop culture might have convinced them they're not. But if you're creating something from nothing, something unique, and seeking an audience (or customers) for it, you're an entrepreneur,” said Benedict. “The OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship is thrilled to be collaborating with the College of Fine Arts to produce this unique opportunity for the OHIO community.” 

Sharon Louden
Sharon Louden. Photo courtesy of Sharon Louden

The OAS program features two keynote addresses and master classes for College of Fine Arts students by two nationally-known arts entrepreneurs. One keynote speaker is Sharon Louden a Brooklyn-based artist, arts advocate/administrator/catalyst, and author of “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists” (2013, Intellect Books) and “The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life” (2017, Intellect Books) two books in a trilogy to include the upcoming title, “Last Artist Standing: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life”, slated for publication in 2023. Each book in the trilogy features 40 working artists sharing their accounts of how they sustain their creative lives over time. 

The second keynote speaker is David Cutler, a leading voice on arts leadership, career, and entrepreneurship and Distinguished Professor/Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the School of Music at the University of South Carolina. Cutler is a jazz and classical composer and pianist and author of the book and website, “The Savvy Musician: Building a Career, Earning a Living, & Making a Difference” platforms that advocate the idea that the Savvy Musician’s essence is encapsulated in the word “balance” and include artists who seek “equilibrium throughout most everything they pursue.” 

David Cutler
David Cutler. Photo by Scott Allan Purdue. Photo courtesy of David Cutler

The OAS includes up to six panels featuring renown artists entrepreneurs, some of whom are OHIO College of Fine Arts alumni who hail from a wide range of practices. Each will speak on a robust program of topics selected by OHIO students and the OAS steering committee including “Grant writing for a creative life” to “Selling yourself (without selling out).” The Summit also includes break out, mini-interactive workshops on the convergence of the arts and entrepreneurship led by Benedict and OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship staff. 

Visit this website to register. Registration will remain open until Jan. 20, 2023. Follow the College of Fine Arts on Facebook and Instagram and the OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship on its Facebook and Instagram channels for updates on panelists secured for the OAS and more.

For more information, contact:

  • Paul Benedict, OAS co-chair, professor of instruction and director, OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship, 
  • Christopher Fisher, OAS co-chair, professor of piano and co-chair of the Keyboard Division College of Fine Arts School of Music,
  • Kelee Riesbeck, OAS co-chair, executive director, Arts Partnerships and Programs, College of Fine Arts, 
November 22, 2022
Staff reports