Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

New Roles for The Arts through Neuro Science

In The Idea on July 31, 2008 at 10:56 pm

So some of you may be wondering after reading yesterday’s post, while it might be an interesting book to read, “why should I care if science or the arts came first”? What does this have to do with entrepreneurship in the arts?

For artists to flourish inside our art form we need to consider new intersections of study, that include art, to find new ways to use our artistry. Let me illuminant for you an entrepreneurial connection between art and science. Read the rest of this entry »

Was Science or Art First?

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, The Idea on July 30, 2008 at 5:13 am

Written By Jonah Lehrer

If you are a scientist you could choose to get nitpicky about whether or not Proust was a neuroscientist, or you could sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as Lehrer weaves together stories about art, science and creative breakthroughs. Lehrer argues that when it comes to discoveries of the mind and brain, art got there first.

To prove his point he describes the ground-breaking work of writers, painters and composers from the 19th and early 20th centuries (including writers and poets) and shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that neuroscience is only now rediscovering. Read the rest of this entry »

Invest in Your World: Create Value by Listening

In Creative Support, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box on July 29, 2008 at 4:14 am

How well do you listen? Do you understand what others are saying to you? Or do you find yourself often in conversations drifting off thinking about where you need to be in the next hour, or about a project you need to complete or something else?

One of the most important skills you need to learn as an artist is to be able to truly understand what another person is saying to you. Being fully present in conversation is a very basic but significant step towards finding commercial value to your art and being able to devise a way, through your artistry, to help another accomplish their goals or mission.

Let me share with you an example of why this is so important: Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Music Education

In Current Events on July 28, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Interested in the future of music education? Should it be more entrepreneurial? What kind of leadership is required?

Learn more about the future of music education by attending the Round Top Round Table in Round Top Texas, August 11-15, 2008.

This five-day seminar is most applicable for those considering careers as deans and directors of one of the nation’s 600 collegiate music schools. If you are a current dean and director, senior faculty or a graduate student interested in serving in a future role as a leader, I would strongly encourage you to attend. I myself will be there for the first two days to hear Don Randel, President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Larry Faulkner, President of The Houston Endowment speak; as both of these foundations could hold a major role in reshaping the way all foundations support institutions of higher learning in the arts.

Topics for this workshop include: Read the rest of this entry »

Every Business is a Lifestyle Business

In WEBSITES & BLOGS on July 23, 2008 at 6:47 am

This post was written by Dr. Jeff Cornwall on July 7, 2008 and appeared on his blog called. The Entrepreneurial Mind.

Jeff is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Belmont University. Belmont University was recognized by The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship as the school with the best undergraduate program in 2008.


When people use the term lifestyle business they usually are referring to something small and even part-time. Academics and policy folks will often say the term lifestyle business with a hint of indifference, boredom, or even condescension. This is not a business that interests them very much if it is not designed to scale up and grow.

I would argue that every business is a lifestyle business.

Why? Because the business we create will dictate our lifestyle.

We can choose the lifestyle our business creates deliberately, basing it on our goals, aspirations and values. Read the rest of this entry »

Serving a Captive Audience

In The Idea on July 22, 2008 at 3:47 pm

North Hollywood-based Pack Central is a mail-order music operation. But don’t bother trying to google them because they don’t have a website or a blog online. If you want to place an order you better be prepared to write a letter and mail a check or money order for the products you want to order from them too. Oh, and what they offer, by the way, isn’t the latest technology or the biggest selection of music. All Pack Central currently sells is about 10,000 CD’s and about 5,000 cassette titles.

In an industry that is changing at lightening speed, because of all of the changes in music technology and ways to deliver music, Pack Central, as a low tech business, is vibrant and growing. As music retailers across country are struggling to stay in business, this Los Angeles firm seems unaffected because their target demographic is getting bigger every year — prisoners. Read the rest of this entry »

Learn How to Attract and Manage the Media

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box on July 19, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Learning to attract and manage the media is a daunting proposition, if you are new to it. Most of us would really benefit from media attention and yet it can seem intimidating and overwhelming to know how to begin. After all, as artists, we were trained to do little else other than our art.

So here is a free opportunity to improve your knowledge of and skills with the media!

Dianne Legro and Author Bookwriting Expert Ann McIndoo are offering a free teleclass on Tuesday July 22nd at 6:00 pm PST. Read the rest of this entry »

His Passionate Pursuit: Using the Arts To Advance Big Business

In The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on July 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Ralph Kerle, the CEO of The Creative Leadership Forum in Australia, is a passionate actor who has transformed theater into a valuable experience for big business leaders.

Having earned a Bachelors degree from the Victorian College of the Arts, in Australia, where he studied Dramatic Arts, Ralph Kerle has spent his life figuring out highly innovative ways to use his theater background to follow his passion.

While this You Tube video might at first sound ” all business” take the time to listen to it because I think you will quickly see how Ralph has developed an incredible business founded in weaving his creativity and artistry together. Read the rest of this entry »

A Mission with A Beating Heart

In Emotional Intelligence on July 17, 2008 at 2:48 am

I am a woman on a mission. There are times I am working for so long that I forget to eat, drink water, get up to go to the bathroom or even move from my spot. If I were a bird, I would be a Blue Heron, sitting so still that my appearance blends into my surroundings until I almost disappear.

But I am not one of those beautiful birds I discover hidden in plain view, on my boat trips around Fox lake, but instead a woman who holds in her hands the pulse of a mission with a beating heart which is impossible to conceal because it’s so loud you can hear it.

What mission beats so loudly to you it calls your name? What is it you must have or do in your life with artistry that you know will change someone else’s world forever?

In the presentation I gave a few weeks ago at the International Clarinet Festival, a young woman came up to me afterwards and said ” Thank you. I needed someone to tell me that I could give myself permission to use the clarinet to create who I want to be.” I still can see her face and know that on that day she crossed into a world she has yet to know, but one that will transform her artistic trepidation into excitement, wonder and possibilities.

And I know that once that young woman knows exactly what calls her name, just as I hope you do too, and soon, that all three of us can sit together amazed by the pulse, the energy, the life force we hold in our hands, beating like a drum, as we march towards the mission we as entrepreneurial artists must create.

Create a PSA for Art

In The Idea, WEBSITES & BLOGS on July 15, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Andrew Taylor, from the Artful Manager, recently blogged about the content of PSA’s for the Arts. “PSA’s either err on the side of utility (the arts improve test scores) or the side of entitlement (support the arts because you should).” As a result, Andrew created a rough story board draft of a PSA and would like others to expand on it.

“The idea is this PSA: art in communities does, indeed, have functional value — it refocuses economic activity, engages students more deeply in school, builds and sustains social groups. But this functional value is the byproduct not the driver of cultural activity.” This PSA seeks to balance those two messages. Read the rest of this entry »

Transformational Leadership for the Age of Innovation

In Current Events, Entrepreneurial Tool Box on July 14, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Ralph Kerle, and Linda Naiman will be conducting a two day forum for business, community and government leaders, September 16-18, 2008, in Vancouver BC.

This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in ideas, thinking processes and strategies used by leading innovators in business, art and science. During this two day workshop, you will discover how art can be used as a catalyst for transformation and how collaborative thinking processes can lead to creative breakthroughs. You will learn key principles, practices and tools you can apply to create a workplace environment where creativity and innovation flourish.

For more information about this workshop email me at

Ralph Kerle is CEO of the Creative Leadership Forum, Australia, and Founder of the Creative Skills Training Council, Asia Pacific.

Linda Naiman, founder of Creativity at Work, is known internationally for pioneering the use of arts-based learning to develop creativity, innovation, and collaborative leadership in organizations, through consulting, training and coaching.

Snapshot of Each Day’s Workshop:

Sept 16: 7-9pm An Introduction to: Transformational Leadership for the Age of Innovation
Sept 17: How Do Organizations Create Innovation?
Sept 18: The Artful Leader: Creativity at Work

The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble is Alive!

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble on July 10, 2008 at 5:46 am

It has taken me almost two years to pull my new ensemble together- The Bite-Size Arts Ensemble.

For those of you following the creation of this group over the last 18 months, and for those of you interested in a new kind of arts entrepreneurship incubator, please take a moment and check out our new website.

But most importantly, I am asking for your help. Please support the work of this ensemble by telling others about it, or by making a donation of as little as $1.00 or by signing up for tickets to attend our first performance fundraising event on August 21st, 2008 at the Florsheim Mansion in Chicago.

The work of this ensemble is to benefit the growth and development of the artists we work with. Check out the website to learn more.

About The-Bite-Size Arts Ensemble:

How do we change and grow?

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow on July 8, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Why do some people reach their creative potential and find a vehicle to share it and others struggle and stay stagnant? Do those who excel have a gene that allows them to flourish?

It seems to me that if you are open to change and growth and not believing your ideas and capacity for change is limited to existing in a box, that you are more likely to be able to create a destiny you desire.

After three decades of painstaking research, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck believes that the answer lies more in how people think about intelligence and talent. She says there are two types of individuals: those who believe they were born with all the smarts and gifts they’re ever going to have who approach life with a “fixed mind-set,” and those who believe that their own abilities can expand over time who live with a “growth mind-set.”

Can you guess which ones prove to be most innovative over time?

“Society is obsessed with the idea of talent and genius and people who are ‘naturals’ with innate ability,” says Ms. Dweck, who is known for research that crosses the boundaries of personal, social and developmental psychology.

“People who believe in the power of talent tend not to fulfill their potential because they’re so concerned with looking smart and not making mistakes. But people who believe that talent can be developed are the ones who really push, stretch, confront their own mistakes and learn from them.”

The problem is for those having been identified as geniuses, because “the anointed” become fearful of falling from grace. “It’s hard to move forward creatively and especially to foster teamwork if each person is trying to look like the biggest star in the constellation,” Ms. Dweck says.

In her 2006 book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” she shows how adopting either a fixed or growth attitude toward talent can profoundly affect all aspects of a person’s life, from parenting and romantic relationships to success at school and on the job.

This sounds like a pretty interesting book but is it possible to shift from a fixed mind-set to a growth mind-set?

Absolutely, according to Ms. Dweck. But, “it’s not easy to just let go of something that has felt like your self for many years,” she writes. Still, she says, “nothing is better than seeing people find their way to things they value.”

Artists are like Race Horses

In The Idea on July 7, 2008 at 7:58 pm

I just returned from the International Clarinet festival in Kansas City, MO. My feet hurt and I am exhausted from 8 hour days walking and talking at a trade show, only then to attend an evening performance and do it all over again the next day.

The conference was not well attended in my opinion–what a surprise- given that it was over the 4th of July. And there was not a single reference either through a musical performance or by having a festive picnic or reception to take notice of the passing of a significant American holiday. The conference ran like it was any other week of any other month in the summer.

Artists are like race horses I think. If you have a chance to run a race, no matter how grueling, you’ll run it. Why? Because if your a “winner” you must come hoping to place or at least show.

So, you come with blinders on, all pumped up ready to run rings around another clarinetist with your dazzling feats and you focus on the finish line and forget that anything else matters. I suppose when you want to run a race- or attend a clarinet show over the 4th of July- it must really be for you that nothing else matters. So maybe its good you want to be a race horse or see the horses run.

But for me, the fun comes at the pace of innovation which is hard to find when your busy running, or watching others run, in circles…

Gary Beckman Speaks Out

In Interesting Articles on July 1, 2008 at 7:10 pm

As I was closing up email, before I am off-line for a week, I could not help but want to quickly drop this into a post. Gary Beckman, a friend and a visiting professor in the School of Music at the University of South Carolina and Director of Research for their Carolina Institute for Leadership and Engagement in Music, wrote this article titled: Artists as Entrepreneurs.

It will be published in Sunday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram and may run in several other newspapers around the country over the next few weeks.

As always, my goal is to place you on the front line of innovation in artistry… Enjoy.

July 6, 2008

With the June 2008 release of the National Endowment for the Arts report,”Artists in the Workforce,” Chairman Dana Gioia declared: “Compared to other U.S. workers, American artists tend to be better educated and more entrepreneurial.” American artists “more entrepreneurial” than a high-tech CEO? How can that be?

Perhaps it is because of this “place” we call America or the belief that artists are more creative than the rest of the population. When combined, “place” and “creativity” might equal “entrepreneurship.” For Gioia “place” is explicit and “creativity” seems inferred; artists know exactly want he means.

Historically, artists have always created art in, through and around the cultural systems of “place” and the act of creation is genetically ingrained in this country’s founding documents. Freedom of artistic speech, however, has a black-sheep sibling seldom and reluctantly acknowledged: entrepreneurship – another sequence in our genome. This “American Dream” does not exclude artists, though it seems the arts academy has yet to read the email.

Gioia’s comments partially reflect the success of arts higher education. Hundreds of colleges, universities and conservatories across the country have excelled at producing artists of all types and capacities. As the Chairman notes, artists represent 1.4% of the total workforce; the military represents 2.2%. Clearly, arts higher education is meeting its quota.

The paradox in all this is the seemingly mutual-exclusivity in terminology: artistic creativity and entrepreneurship. Or is it a paradox? For some reason, we popularly equate entrepreneurship with starting a business.

Can entrepreneurship be a synonym for the act of creating new art that also creates value beyond the business card size price tag at the lower right corner of a painting? Can our founding documents be “entrepreneurial” and “creative” in the same sense as Beethoven’s last string quartets and Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon?”

Surely the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were the result of need, each creating new value for a burgeoning nation – at least as the founding fathers seemed to view the opportunity.

Higher education’s most pressing issue in the arts is not how efficient and streamlined the production of new artists can occur. Nor is it simply fully employing the artists we train or addressing bloated degree plans. Instead, it is how to create an accomplished and successful artist with a new sense of art’s power to transform society.

Artists can participate in the American Dream by applying their talents to better communities and make ends meet in the process.

We need the “artist-citizen.”

Let’s envision what an American artist of this new century might resemble: First, they discover and become accountable to their education in order to understand how art impacts society. Second, they perceive how their art folds into the fabric of American life both now and in the future. Finally, they view themselves as change agents for communities, collectively acting on their knowledge and creative talent.

Higher education is addressing the problem of artist employment through entrepreneurship classes, programs, centers and institutes. Laudable as this extraordinary step may be, the academy – again – is in reactionary mode.

Solving the short-term issue of artist employment without seeing our young artists as community leaders, creative catalysts, artistic revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, is short sighted. Arts entrepreneurship education without a guiding ethos is hollow.

The artist-citizen must be what Rick Cherwitz at The University of Texas has coined the “intellectual entrepreneur” – one who sees the mind as the source of inspiration and change, and who understands that the mission of institutions of higher learning should go beyond “advancing the frontiers of knowledge” to include “serving as engines of economic and social development.”

Our founding fathers collectively leveraged their education, experience and beliefs to create a free nation. Properly trained, American artists have the same potential within society.

Arts higher education must envision young artists differently in a new century – for without a vanguard of artist-citizens, we turn off the creative gene that forged and bettered this nation.

Unplugged But Still Working

In Current Events on July 1, 2008 at 9:24 am

As I write this post I am preparing for a long drive to Kansas City, MO to exhibit and speak at the International Clarinet Association Conference. God knows why anyone would pick one of the biggest family holiday weekends of the year to have a conference, but yes indeed, my 4th of July will be spent networking.

I hope you all have a great 4th! This blog will be plugged back in on Monday July 7th.