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 partnered to produce the first ever OHIO ARTrepreneurship Summit: Where Art + Business Converge (OAS) on January 26th.

This will be the first gathering at Ohio University to bring together expert artists and entrepreneurs to unpack how the arts and entrepreneurship intersect and, through panels and storytelling, their career successes and practices as arts entrepreneurs and about their collaboration with other art 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, January 26 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with two keynotes taking place at simultaneous panels at Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium and Galbreath Chapel. Light refreshments will be served throughout the day, with a reception and networking event to be held at Memorial Auditorium at 5:00 p.m., also with light refreshments. Registration is required and can be obtained 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 communities in and through the arts ,” said Matthew Shaftel, dean of the College of Fine Arts.

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The idea to produce the summit was born out of the need for a more formalized job fair for student artists, says OAS Co-Chair, Director of the OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship and OHIO alum Paul Benedict, a 1996 graduate earning his degree in political science has. from the Honors Tutorial College.

“The summit will create an environment where student artists can visualize themselves as successful artist-entrepreneurs,” said Benedict. “The OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship is thrilled to partner with the College of Fine Arts to create 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 art 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 forthcoming title, “Last Artist Standing: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life”, to be published in 2023. Each book in the trilogy features 40 working artists who share their accounts of how they sustain their creative lives over time.

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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 encapsulated in the word is “balance” and includes artists who “seek balance in almost 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 renowned artist-entrepreneurs, some of whom are OHIO College of Fine Arts alumni who come 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 breakout, mini-interactive workshops on the convergence of the arts and entrepreneurship led by Benedict and OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship staff.

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Visit this website to register. Registration will remain open until January 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 Education and Director, OHIO Center for Entrepreneurship, [email protected]
  • Christopher Fisher, OAS Co-Chair, Professor of Piano and Co-Chair of the Keyboard Division College of Fine Arts School of Music, [email protected]
  • Kelee Riesbeck, OAS Co-Chair, Executive Director, Arts Partnerships and Programs, College of Fine Arts, [email protected]


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