Program Directory

Barnett Symposium
The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Symposium on the Arts and Public Policy is organized by The Ohio State University Graduate Program in Arts Policy and Administration and is presented with the support of the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP is a hot topic in the art world. Public funding agencies and private foundations seek to foster entrepreneurial and business skills in individual artists, to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in cultural districts and creative cities, and to provide venture capital for new arts-based companies and projects.

Arts conservatories and colleges of the arts in higher education are scrambling to develop curriculum that teaches entrepreneurial thinking, skills and practices. There is a strong move to support the cultivation of new art and ideas and to nurture the process of creation.

Yet there seems to be little consensus on just what entrepreneurship in the arts looks like, whether it is one thing or takes many forms, whether it is an innate personality trait that can be cultivated or a set of skills that can be learned, if it must focus on generating new financial revenues or involve establishing new firms. Or does it mean supporting the freedom to develop without expectations?

Even if we can assume common components of entrepreneurship in the arts, what can we learn from the experiences of artist entrepreneurs and how do we generate useful case studies? How can arts entrepreneurship be taught and at what level -undergraduate, graduate, as professional development? How might cultural policy at the local, state and national level help foster and assist entrepreneurship in the arts? And what is happening at The Ohio State University to contribute to this movement?