BECOMING ENERGY MOUNTAIN
HOW TO BUILD SUCCESSFUL ENTERPRISES

ARTS AS ENTREPRENEURSHIP

I have been thinking about entrepreneurship and what it really means in a community like ours.  Usually, I envision entrepreneurship as a process involving emerging, for-profit companies that offer new high-tech solutions built on a science and engineering foundation.

While still using the same fundamental definition of transforming an idea into income, I am discovering that entrepreneurship is much broader.  Within established companies, it’s often referred to as intrapreneurship.  Within non-profit and educational organizations, it may be called social-preneurship or community-preneurship.

Entrepreneurship also extends to the Arts.  Here are some examples I know about in the Boulder/Denver area.

MUSICAL ARTS.  Daniel Sher, Dean of the College of Music at the University of Colorado in Boulder, established the Entrepreneurship Center for Music.  It is similar in purpose to the Deming and Bard Centers of Entrepreneurship which are aligned, respectively, with the CU and UCD Colleges of Business and Engineering.  EC4M -– as it is known -– was established to educate, develop, and promote entrepreneurship in the arts.  As a result, students are better positioned to build their careers and businesses in music.  Check out www.ec4music.com.  EC4M itself is an example of an intrapreneurial venture within an academic setting.

COMMUNICATIONS ARTS.  Ask authors and speakers about the most important, and challenging, part of their work.  Most would agree that it’s the business and marketing side that differentiates those who get their message out successfully.  That is why organizations such as National Speakers Association and Colorado Independent Publishers Association are so popular -– they help speakers and authors become successful entrepreneurs.  Carol Grever, author of "My Husband is Gay," built on 23 years as a successful entrepreneur running an international staffing company to become a successful author (www.carolgrever.com).  She sums it up this way, "Don’t kid yourself that it will be easy."

PERFORMING ARTS.  The process of bringing a theatrical production from concept to reality follows comparable steps as other entrepreneurial dreams.  For example, tap dancer Ellie Sciarra's dance musical "Taps Are Talking:  Women in Tap" celebrates the history of fast feet, fabulous women (www.TapsAreTalking.com). Then there's The New Denver Civic Theatre, which is working with Sibling Theatricals of New York and award-winning songwriters, to open the new musical HATS! (www.DenverCivic.com) on October 7, 2006.

VISUAL ARTS.  Artist Caroline Thompson is really an entrepreneur working in conjunction with her business manager, George Thompson, CPA.  Thompson’s newest paintings are on display now through September 30, 2006 at Macky Auditorium at the University of Colorado in Boulder or visit www.carolinethompsonstudio.com

All of these entrepreneurial ventures start with a novel concept and typically take off in four stages: (1) finding passion; (2) aligning it with a clear purpose; (3) building a good business plan and persistently pursuing it; and (4) assessing progress along the way so as to recognize/appreciate success and make needed mid-course corrections.

Sound easy?  Think again.  Sound rewarding?  Yes, there are many real rewards in turning an idea into income -– whether it’s in high-tech, the Arts or anything in between.

by Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com)

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