Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for the ‘Author: Lisa Canning’ Category

Serendipity’s Role in Entrepreneurial Development

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, Marketing, Networking, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk, WEBSITES & BLOGS on June 23, 2009 at 6:46 am

In the last three months I have been working with a new client-Dr. Julia Rahn, the owner of Flourish Studios www.ICanFlourish.com.

Flourish is a self and family development center located at 3020 N Lincoln Avenue here in Chicago. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Julia’s experience lead her to combining art, retail, individual therapy and support groups in one glorious space. While Flourish has many ways it can contribute to helping change lives, its initial offerings to the public are in the areas of parenting, self development and wellness with the sole mission of creating positive change in the lives of all who come in contact with Flourish Studios.

The mission of Flourish Studios is fabulous. Julia’s vision to help others Live. Learn. Love. could not be any stronger. Yet 14 months into her venture her vision had begun to get fuzzy as to where she was headed. Getting any business started, let alone one in the beginning of hard economic times, often can lead you away from your core mission- your “tag line”- the reason you started doing what you are doing and for whom.

This happens because reaching your target market always takes longer than we think and at some point it is easy to begin to take “whatever we can get” instead of holding true to our vision to find who we really need to serve. While Julia had done a better job than most, as evident by the fact that her business was surviving through such rough times, her business seemed to be lethargic and not doing as well as she expected.

Coincidentally, at about the same time Julia was coming to realize this fact, Arianne Votasmeets entered the Entrepreneur The Arts Round I competition. Arianne’s art work was currently being hung in the gallery of Flourish Studio’s when she entered. After reading her entry and learning about Flourish I went to see her exhibit and meet Dr. Julia.

Within the hour I spent at Flourish Studios, Dr. Julia and I hit it off so well she asked me, more or less on the spot, if I would consider working with her and her staff to refocus their efforts and realign her vision to help her business continue to grow through this tough economy. How could I resist such a wonderful opportunity. And so my work with Flourish Studios began.

For the past three months I have been going to Flourish at least once a week and working individually with Dr. Julia and her three full time employees. Each one of her staff needed focus and clarity as to how to better do their jobs selling and marketing the service Flourish offers. In the time I have been there we have shifted the focus of Flourish to hosting ONLY events that fulfill their mission to Live, Learn and Love, Increased Vendor participation in their mission by asking vendors to sponsor workshops for their buyers, retail stores or do training at Flourish, developed group programming in the initial three areas of Focus for Flourish of parenting, self development and wellness, and provided more time, structure and support for employees and Julia to devote to cultivating relationships to continue to find the target market they need to provide their wonderful services to.

Not only has our work together already significantly improved Flourish’s bottom line, but the staff and Julia are feeling more at ease, clearer about their roles and feeling more optimistic about their future. While I recognize the role I am playing to help Flourish Studios to “flourish”, none of the help I have offered would have made any difference at all if they were not willing and eager to act on what I am teaching them.

The joy in teaching entrepreneurs about sales and marketing, for me, is watching a world of possibility open to them when they act on what I am teaching them to do. Truthfully, I am not sure that a single one of Julia’s staff, at first, really believed the behavioral changes I was asking each of them to make in the way the communicated to clients would work. But they tried it anyway and agreed to being open minded and to continuing to do, consistently, the work I asked of them.

It is only now- three months later- that they are becoming believers in their own individual abilities to develop as entrepreneurs for Flourish Studios. When we learn how to express our care and nurturing to others through the services and products we believe in, we too, can begin to flourish, just like Flourish Studios.

And lastly, you never know, when you become an entrepreneur, who will cross your path that can change the course of your venture in positive ways. Thanks to the ETA competition Heartbeat of America and I created, Arianne Votasmeets desire to try her hand as a new artist and Dr. Julia Rahn’s passion to help others flourish, something amazing happened when our paths collided.

What amazing opportunities will your entrepreneurial efforts create? How will you flourish?

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Creative Entrepreneurship Conference, July 15-18, Chicago

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events on June 22, 2009 at 4:50 am

Conference: Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life

Where: Chicago, IL
University Center
525 South State Street
Chicago, IL

When: July 15-18, 2009

Organizers: Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department of Columbia College Chicago European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC)

Conference Description:
This is a collaborative event of the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC) and the Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department of Columbia College Chicago. The event is held in the framework of ENCATC Working Group “Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life.”
The group explores policies and programs that support creativity and innovation in the cultural sector.

Goals:
The goals of the conference is to serve as a meeting space for international and American colleagues, both academics and practitioners, seeking to:
• Understand the latest developments in creative entrepreneurship while engaging in productive
dialogue and learning from each other’s experience.

• Discuss the practical approaches to teaching creative entrepreneurship and developing efficient
creative entrepreneurship curricula.

• Explore what has been done and how in the area of creative entrepreneurship in the US.

Program:
The program will cover various aspects of creative entrepreneurship practice, research and education.
More specifically, we seek to gain new insights in the questions:
What constitutes creative entrepreneurship and what it means to be a creative entrepreneur?
What factors affect our understanding and how the definition varies in different socio-cultural contexts? Can profitability and aesthetic and social needs of the cultural sector be served at the same time? What constitutes effective teaching? What should we teach: value creation or business approaches, or both?

These and other questions will be discussed through a multicultural and international perspective.

Examples of innovative programs and approaches to teaching, research findings and cases that illustrate how art related businesses can address concerns of the cultural sector, economy and society will be presented.

For more information contact:
Anna Bernadska
Arts, Entertainment and Media
Management Department
Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
Tel: 312 369 7652
Fax: 312 369 8063
E-mail abernadska@colum.edu

10,200 Concerts- A Guinness World Record

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on June 9, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Last Saturday night I attended one of Stanley Drucker‘s final performances at Lincoln Center with The New York Philharmonic Orchestra. As principal clarinet he has performed 10,200 concerts with the orchestra and appeared as a soloist over 200 times! Can you imagine the kind of stamina and devotion required to be able to have accomplished this? At the age of 80, Stanley Drucker has had a 60 year career with the orchestra and will be in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the longest playing career in an orchestra.

After the concert, Buffet-Crampon threw this amazing party in a restaurant, Center Cut, across the street from Lincoln Center, in The Empire Hotel. The whole restaurant was closed for the evening for the party. Over 150 prominent musicians, friends and Buffet dealers, including actor Alan Alda, attended. (Alan Alda‘s wife use to play bass clarinet with the Houston Symphony- ah… the clarinet connection is revealed.)

What impressed me most about attending this evening was the power of witnessing a lifetime of tenacious living. Amazing things happen when you strive to be better and do better and never give up on yourself or your life goals. Stanley embodies the word tenacious. He spent 60 years working to improve his playing and never believing there was not something more he could learn or do. Entreprenuerial opportunities spring to life where tenacity rules.

Don’t bother me, Just pay me

In Author: Lisa Canning, Customer Service, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Health & Wellness on June 5, 2009 at 2:31 am

The past few months I have been seriously trying to get to the bottom of some long term issues with my health. While I have always had a lot of energy and eat healthy ( no greasy food, limit the sweets and white flour opting for salads, whole grains, lean proteins and fish), I have, since I was ten, struggled with my weight. One of my 2009 new years resolutions ( remember those you made back in Dec/Jan?) was to try and take whatever steps were necessary to make the lifestyle changes I need to reduce my weight to improve my health.

So to honor that resolution I have been working out with a body builder for the past three months three times a week for an hour and a half, mixing weight lifting up with cardio, as well as making the changes to my diet the body builder is encouraging, hoping to get my metabolism moving.

While my physical strength is improving daily, my weight has not budged. Being born into a family with horrible genetics ( obesity rules in greek families) I decide it might be a good idea to go to the doctor and rule out a thyroid problem being at the root of my difficulty.

So I went to see my general practitioner and had a number of blood tests. The tests indicated my insulin levels were higher than they should be for sure, but not high enough to label me diabetic.The doctor put me on pre-diabetic medicine and asked me to make an appointment with an endocrinologist. (Hypothyroid can look a lot like a pre-diabetic condition.) Eager to address my problem, and hoping it would help me improve my health, I called the referral my doctor gave me.

Quickly I discovered where my eagerness to consult with an “expert” about my health fit into the value system of both of the endocrinologists I was referred to by my physician.

The first I tried calling 4 different times. It seems they rarely keep office hours and never answer the phone. Each time I called this was the message I heard: ” Dr. XXX is currently not available. Our office is now closed. Don’t page the doctor, Don’t ask us when we are not open for a refill or an appointment and Don’t leave us a message unless you are willing to wait 24-48 hours for a return call. If this is an emergency call 911. Beep.”

The second endocrinologist I called won’t see me at all until I send over my blood tests and they decide if THEY are willing to set up an appointment to see me.

It seems endocrinologists are in such demand, according to my general practitioner, that they feel they don’t need to be bothered– unless they feel like it. Of course when you go to see them, they will not let you past the front office until you have signed a waiver guaranteeing to pay them and/or providing them with insurance information they accept.

It seems that these doctors have forgotten that the services they provide is a business. They have forgotten that where there is demand lies opportunity and that customers (or in this case patients) have a choice about who they see and what they tell others about their experiences.

Every profession is a business and every business has an opportunity to recognize opportunity to provide superior service that translates into a thriving enterprise and happy repeat customers.

Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot on Creativity and Innovation after 50

In Author: Lisa Canning, BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk, The Idea on June 1, 2009 at 9:00 am

Bill Moyers interviewed Harvard educator Sarah Lawrence- Lightfoot on May 11th, 2009 on his show Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot is an American sociologist who examines the culture of schools, the patterns and structures of classroom life, socialization within families and communities, and the relationships between culture and learning styles. She has been a full professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education since the 1970s.

Sarah recently wrote her ninth book called The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50. The book is about redefining your life, later in life, by learning how to take risks, be more creative and innovative and why it is becoming increasingly an important priority for many. Based on two years of research, the topics she shares in this 35 minute interview include the psychology behind what she describes as a new way of learning in this stage of life, the value of mentorship, artistic expression and how to learn from generation Y. This is a worthy investment of your time.

Thanks Anne Breeden from Arts At Large for passing this along.

Self Promotion that Screams “Hire ME!”

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Marketing, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on May 31, 2009 at 9:25 pm

My friend Bobbie Soeder, from Catalyst Ranch, sent me in an email this advertisement from Peter Lloyd.

It is the best piece of self promotion I have seen in some time! Not only did I read every word of it, while laughing outloud, but I then spent at least 15 minutes reading through Peter’s website. If you want to see an “authentic” entrepreneur in action, read through Peter’s website and learn from how he uses his personality to create his brand and communicate his talents to his audience.

What can you do to express the work you do in your own authentic way that will scream hire me?

Peter Lloyd is a songwriter, author, ghostwriter, copywriter and content provider. Love this!
used-word-sale_2009

The Arts and Creativity in Business

In Author: Lisa Canning, Creativity and Innovation, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Interesting Articles, The Idea, Writing on May 29, 2009 at 7:49 am

Fast Company just released their 100 most creative people in business list. What can we learn about the arts and creativity in business from this list? Here are a few things I learned:

Out of 100 individuals selected 22 artists ( or those from what is considered classic artistic disciplines) made the list– leaving the remaining 78 of the most creative people in business working very creatively without artistry. While the arts are often thought of as being highly creative, artists represent only 26% of Fast Company’s top 50 and 22% of the entire list. What does this say about the arts and its role in business? Are we not creative enough to impact business or are we not trained and skilled enough in the areas of business to make an impact?

Of the 26% in the top 50, all of these artists have developed a multi disciplinary approach to their art, using more than one artistic skill set, while intertwining business skill sets into the vision of what their art can produce.

Creative writing is the single most common unifying skill amongst the most creative artists in business and a couple of academics made the list!

Each of these artists have taken all of their passions in life and exploited them to their fullest in their careers.

The list includes 5 artists, 4 from fashion, film and music, 3 writers and 2 chefs.

5 Artists #22, 55, 70, 86 94
4 from Fashion #13, 24, 42, 92
4 from Film #14, 21, 31, 60
4 from Music #36, 47, 69, 83
3 Writers #10, 40 and 41
2 Chefs #44, 73

# 10, James Schamus, Chief executive officer, Focus Features
Perhaps the only person in Hollywood who can rival Meryl Streep’s versatility is James Schamus. In addition to being a CEO, he’s a veteran screenwriter, Columbia University film professor, producer, marketer, distributor, and sometime composer. “There’s nobody else like him in the entire industry,” says Bill Mechanic, former chairman of 20th Century Fox Filmed Entertainment. “For a writer of his caliber to choose to be an executive is completely abnormal.” Schamus, 49, cofounded Focus in 2002. Known for its sophisticated and daring film slate, Focus produced Oscar winners Milk and Lost in Translation. Coming soon: Taking Woodstock, Schamus’s latest screenplay for director Ang Lee. — by Chuck Salter

Website:http://www.filminfocus.com/focusfeatures/

#13, Stella McCartney, Fashion designer
According to her boss, PPR CEO François-Henri Pinault, fashion designer and Beatle progeny Stella McCartney is the new face of responsible luxury. “Stella has set the bar,” he told Britain’s Sunday Times. Across the pond, the Natural Resources Defense Council honored her this spring for her “outstanding environmental leadership.” McCartney, 38, a PETA pet, uses no leather or fur; her skin-care line and ready-to-wear collection are both organic. Lest this sound too hair shirt to be stylish, consider Women’s Wear Daily’s review of the designer’s latest fall collection: “McCartney’s biker jacket in ‘nonleather sheen cupro’ can vroom with the best of them, and her thigh-high boots, in silk knits and perforated faux, strut the killer instinct she can live with.” — by Linda Tischler

Website: http://www.stellamccartney.com/

#14, JJ Abrams, Founder, Bad Robot Productions
J.J. Abrams warps Time at will. Past, present, and future coexist as a kind of fluid that cannot be contained. The camera jumps back and forth in time. Characters age and grow younger again. Time itself accelerates, then slows. “It’s intriguing to play with exactly when you learn elements in a story,” says the Emmy-winning writer-director-producer, referring to Lost, his biggest hit on the small screen. “It engages audience members in a puzzle where they begin to question everything. It makes them look for clues in what they’re watching in a way traditional narrative doesn’t.”

Website: http://www.badrobot.com/

#21,Tyler Perry,Owner, Tyler Perry Studios
He writes, directs, produces, acts, and scores — Tyler Perry controls an entertainment empire and moneymaking machine that includes the hit show Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and movies featuring his alter-ego Madea, a jumbo, no-nonsense granny with a knack for physical comedy. Perry’s creative impulse was forged in the crucible of personal pain. Channeling years of abuse by his father into writing plays with beautifully rendered characters, Perry bested homelessness and despair to transform black urban theater (pejoratively called the “chitlin’ circuit”), and expanded his audience as quickly as he released hit movies. His seven films, which rarely cost more than $20 million, have grossed upward of $300 million combined — four of them opened at No. 1 — and sold 25 million DVDs. And last October, he made history, opening the first black-owned film studio in the United States. — by Ellen McGirt

Website: http://www.tylerperry.com/

#22, Damien Hirst, Artist
Hate him or loathe him, Damien Hirst is an artistic and business provocateur. Who else could render a photo of Bill Gates standing in front of his own famous work (The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living) and turn it into a painting that sells for more than half a million dollars? Bill With Shark is a shrewd bit of philosophical and capitalist commentary: the once-voracious, aging Gates catching his own reflection and contemplating the work’s title. Of course, the deeper reveal came to the art world when Hirst sold this and other works at Sotheby’s last September for nearly $200 million, cutting out the middleman and raising the real possibility of the death of the art dealer. — by Mark Borden

Website: http://www.damienhirst.com/

#24, Jil Sander, Designer, creative director, Uniqlo
The high-fashion/mass-marketing movement seems to be reaching a new phase with Jil Sander’s new project: The German designer, who became famous for her luxurious if minimalist couture, has signed on as the creative director for Japanese retailer Uniqlo. Sander, who sold her namesake label in 2004, took on the clothing chain as her first consulting client, and then agreed to oversee its fall and winter collections — possibly including one of her own design. — by Abha Bhattarai

Website:http://www.jilsander.com/

#31,Hayao Miyazaki, Cofounder, Studio Ghibli
When Pixar’s animators need inspiration, they watch Hayao Miyazaki’s movies. The giant of anime has been elevating cartoons into epic cinematic events for more than two decades, with fantastic, award-winning films such as My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. The writer-director’s stories are mostly hand-drawn, with strong female characters and morally ambiguous plotlines that make his work a harder sell than, say, Shrek 10 would be. But this summer, Miyazaki may finally get his commercial due in the U.S. with Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Disney/Pixar creative chief John Lasseter worked with megaproducers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy to build a stellar voice cast (Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson) and to secure Miyazaki his widest U.S.-theater release yet. — by Jennifer Vilaga

Website: http://www.studioghibli.net/

#36, Pharrell Williams, Musician
Pharrell Williams knows it all starts with a beat — he got his start on the snare drum in his high-school marching band back in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As half of the production duo known as the Neptunes, he has helped everyone from Britney Spears to Justin Timberlake to Madonna to the Hives find time on the charts. Williams also fronts the funk-rock band N.E.R.D., produces a clothing line called Billionaire Boys Club, hawks a line of shoes under the Ice Cream Footwear brand, and designed sunglasses and jewelry for Louis Vuitton. Most recently, Limelight, an updated version of Fame that he created with film director McG, was picked up by ABC. Tapping Williams’s own beat, the show is loosely based on his performing-arts experience in high school. — by Mark Borden

Website: http://bbcicecream.com/blog/

#40, Neil Gaiman, Author, screenwriter
“Writing is, like death, a lonely business,” according to Neil Gaiman. But the prolific wordsmith has made it a bit less so, building a global community of fans of all ages and in many media, including comic books (Sandman), novels (American Gods), TV (the BBC’s Neverwhere), and a children’s novella turned 3-D movie (Coraline). In January, Gaiman won the Newbery Medal, kiddie lit’s top honor, for The Graveyard Book, the enchanting, daringly dark tale of an orphan protected by the long-dead residents of a cemetery. Gaiman also blogs at neilgaiman.com, discussing everything from his computer setup to his success. “I liked the idea of a world in which I could feed my family by making things up and writing them down,” he wrote recently. “[But] I’m not quite sure how it happened.” — by Danielle Sacks

Website: http://www.neilgaiman.com/

#41, Maurice Sendak, Writer, illustrator, producer
The extraordinary Maurice Sendak has sold millions of copies of Where the Wild Things Are (1963) and In the Night Kitchen (1970); most recently, he collaborated with Tony Kushner on Brundibar (the book debuted in 2003, the play in 2006). Sendak, now 80, has designed operas, won myriad honors, spawned everything from stuffed monsters to lunch boxes, and inspired generations of dreamy kids. In October, the Wild Things feature film will premiere. An improbably hip, moodily gorgeous affair, it’s being brought to the screen by a formidable team: director Spike Jonze; screenwriter Dave Eggers; stars Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, and James Gandolfini; and Arcade Fire and Karen O (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs), who are providing music. Let the wild rumpus begin! — Anya Kamenetz

Website: http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/HarperChildrens/Kids/A…

#42, Marc Jacobs, Fashion designer, LVMH
Marc Jacobs has “made fashion hip, but not inaccessibly hip,” says Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Accessibly hip enough for him to build a $5 billion empire within LVMH that delights both the moneyed elite and the allowance-driven economy (his junk-store concept — $11 flip-flops, $55 rubber totes — is still thriving in the retail slump). Jacobs’s knack for forecasting trends (this fall, neon and ’80s nostalgia), anointing muses (hola, Anne Hathaway), and playing the media keep him in the spotlight. But it’s his endless inspiration that drives sales. “It’s very organic. We say, ‘Let’s make this happen and see what the reaction is,’ ” Jacobs says. “It’s not like a creative person sits down with a mathematician. That’s a hard thing for a lot of businesspeople to understand.” — by Mark Borden

Website: http://www.marcjacobs.com/

#44, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Chef
In this era of celebrity chefs and haute cuisine gone less haute, Alsace-born Jean-Georges Vongerichten is the rare talent who has grown his empire without resorting to the indignity of slapping his face on a frying pan or frozen pizza. He already has 18 restaurants — eight of them in New York, including Vong and his flagship Jean Georges, which has three Michelin stars — and for a sense of the size of his plate, consider that Spice Market alone rakes in about $15 million a year in revenue. His unprecedented partnership with Starwood Hotels has given the cuisinier license to unleash his creativity — and trademark Asian flavors — in 50 new restaurants over the next five years. That’s still not enough for him: “If I could have my dream,” he has said, “I would open a new restaurant every month.” — by Kate Rockwood

Website: http://www.jean-georges.com/

#47, A.R. Rahman, Composer
You might know A.R. Rahman as the Oscar-winning composer behind Slumdog Millionaire’s “Jai Ho,” which has been downloaded more than 100,000 times on iTunes and was re-recorded as a hit collaboration with the Pussycat Dolls. But Rahman has been writing Bollywood hits since 1992. His soundtracks have reshaped Indian pop, adding influences from jazz, reggae, and Western classical music, and have sold more than 100 million copies. Rahman also created the musical Bombay Dreams and has been testing new forms of music distribution; through a tie-up with Nokia, he recently released an album just for the company’s music-phone users in India. — by Dan Macsai

Website: http://www.arrahman.com/

#55, Gregg Gillis, Mashup artist
Gregg Gillis, 27, is the first truly postmodern rock star. The ex-biomedical engineer layers unlicensed song samples and “performs” them live, with him and his laptop center stage. Last year, he released his fourth album, Feed the Animals, online, using Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want model. So artful are his mashups — Feed the Animals’ 300-plus samples include unlikely pairings such as Nine Inch Nails and Kelly Clarkson, and David Bowie and 2 Live Crew — that even the notoriously litigious record labels have offered their ultimate compliment: silence. — by Jennifer Vilaga

#60, Josh Schwartz,Television producer, writer
Josh Schwartz has made his name chronicling the young, pretty, and privileged on TV, first with The O.C., then with Gossip Girl. But after his Girl found unexpected success online — new episodes routinely top iTunes’ most-downloaded chart — Schwartz, 32, pitched his latest beautiful brainchild, “Rockville CA,” to TheWB.com as a series of five-minute Webisodes. “Kids are going to college with laptops, not TVs,” says the former USC frat boy. “I figured, Why not?” Not that he’s swearing off old media: His as-yet-untitled Gossip Girl spin-off debuts this fall on the CW, and he’s directing a new film version of Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City. — by Dan Macsai

#69,Dave Stewart, Musician and record producer
You may know Dave Stewart as the Eurythmics cofounder and a singer’s songwriter — he’s written hits for Tom Petty, Celine Dion, and No Doubt. But it’s the rest of his CV that’s unexpectedly impressive. He started the consulting company DeepStew with Deepak Chopra, acts as U.S. creative director for the Law Firm ad group, serves as president of entertainment for fashion designer Christian Audigier’s brand-management unit, and is an official Change Agent for Nokia. “I’m willing to receive a smaller percentage and relinquish control, as long as the idea goes into the minds of a brilliant company,” he says. “I’m not going to run out of creativity or ideas, so I don’t hang on to stuff for dear life. If you’re terrified to release control, nothing gets made!” — by Mark Borden

#70, Brian Donnelly (KAWS), Artist and Designer
Brian Donnelly has been compared to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, both of whom straddled the divide between street and institutional art. But Donnelly has arguably surpassed them with his one-man empire. Business at his Tokyo-based company OriginalFake, created as an outlet for his art and related merchandise, is thriving. During his February L.A. gallery show — just his second solo exhibition ever — the line to enter snaked seven blocks; Lance Armstrong bought the biggest painting. The guy who just a few years ago was hiding in bushes to evade anti-graffiti officers is now being courted by megabrands that want his signature graphic treatment on their products. Mostly, he’d rather not. “I only like to work with companies that are part of my life already,” says Donnelly, who has said yes to Marc Jacobs, Nike, and Levi’s. — by Jana Meier

Website: http://www.davestewart.com/

#73, Dan Barber, Executive chef and co-owner, Blue Hill restaurants
“Manhattan’s answer to the Farmer in the Dell,” as Dan Barber was called by a New York Times restaurant critic, is more than the foodies’ latest locavore darling. The driving spirit behind the two Blue Hill restaurants, Barber, 39, is a passionate advocate for regional farm networks. They’re the answer, he says, to big agriculture’s economic and ecological abuses. A 2009 James Beard Award nominee for Outstanding Chef, he practices what he preaches on his own family’s farm and at the Stone Barns Center, a not-for-profit that promotes sustainable agri-culture. One of his trademark dishes is This Morning’s Farm Egg, with hen broth and root vegetables — tasty proof that the farm-to-table movement is not just high-end menuspeak. — by Linda Tischler

Website: http://www.bluehillfarm.com/

#83,Brian Eno, Musician
Brain Eno, the father of ambient music, is still in the vanguard. Take his recent collaboration with David Byrne. Byrne wrote lyrics in New York to the instrumental tracks Eno had sent from Lon-don. Then they prereleased the album, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, online. Now he’s curating a lights-and-music festival in Australia that includes his own light show projected on the Sydney Opera House. — by Genevieve Knapp

Website: http://www.enoshop.co.uk/

#86, Cai Guo-Qiang, Artist
When not drawing — and detonating — pictures made from gunpowder or staging massive outdoor “explosion events” like the fireworks at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Cai Guo-Qiang is busy breaking records. His 14 gunpowder pieces sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong in 2007 for $9.5 million, an all-time auction high for contemporary Chinese art. He’s the first Chinese artist to snag a Venice Biennale award and the first living artist to have a solo show in a state-operated Chinese museum. The seven white sedans he suspended from the ceiling at the Guggenheim in New York last year left the art world chattering about American car culture. — by Kate Rockwood

Website: http://www.caiguoqiang.com/

#92, Simon Collins, Dean of fashion, Parsons
After 20 years in the industry, Simon Collins is grooming the next wave of Tom Fords to be as prepared for the boardroom as they are for the run-way. In less than one year, he has devised a new model for his 1,300 students to collab-orate with companies such as Ellen Tracy, Henri Bendel, and Gap. Collins, 41, who began his career as a bespoke tailor in London, designed for Ralph Lauren, Ermenegildo Zegna, Reebok, and Nike, and spent a brief spell opening a New York design office for Wal-Mart. Now he aims to trans-form Parsons — which produces some 70% of the designers on Seventh Avenue — into the breeding ground for the first generation of sustainability-minded designers. “If we taught our students it’s all about red, they’d go into their careers thinking it’s all about red,” Collins says. “Hopefully we can do that with sustainability.” — by Danielle Sacks

Website: http://www.parsons.edu/faculty_and_staff/faculty_details.asp…

#94, Kevin Adams, Lighting designer
Kevin Adams is on the leading edge of the post-incandescent age on Broadway, exploiting the potential of CFL bulbs, fluorescent tubes, glass and flex neon, and the latest LED technology. His work for Spring Awakening — brilliant white light for the 19th-century play’s scenes and saturated color from what he calls “electric objects” for the songs — won him a Tony in 2007. He picked up a second Tony in 2008 for The 39 Steps. Another Adams hit: a fabulous wall of light for the musical Passing Strange. One admirer said it looked “like Mark Rothko meets Japanese pop.” Adams also lit the current revival of Hair. — by B. Martin

Website: http://www.ambermylar.com/

What Does Authenticity Have To Do with Entrepreneurship Anyway?

In Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, Outside Your Comfort Zone, Risk, The Idea on May 15, 2009 at 7:41 pm

What does it mean to you to be authentic? Do you have days where you feel really connected to who you are and others where it feels like you cannot find the “switch” to flip on your authenticity? I know I certainly do!

Being authentic is what brings to center stage the Real You and Me, our true Self. By definition when we are authentic we are tapping into “those qualities that establish truth and correctness; Genuineness; originality, sincerity, and not a copy or forgery.” And it is our true self that is required to be fully present if we ever hope to begin to discover the entrepreneur within each of us. This is why our state of mind so quickly must become an integral part of evaluating our entrepreneurial readiness.

I know that it is only when I am in touch with the real me that I actually am able to truly be my creative best and expand my thinking and views of what my world can hold. In those moments where I am afraid, upset or withdrawn I have distanced myself from my authentic self and have lost sight of what it is that is really amazing about me. It is only when I am in touch with my uniqueness, and am myself experiencing it, that the highest level of ideas flow through my mind that begin to shape my entrepreneurial vision.

Do you know what those moments or hours of your authenticity looks like?

For me I know I am being authentic when I feel calm, clear headed, speak with authority and ease, feel playful yet curious all at the same time. When I am authentic my feelings and behaviors are consistent with one another and I feel the most content and at peace with life. This is when I usually am able to say ” Thank God I am alive” and “What a wonderful day today is” as well as ” I have a great idea!”

So, how do we reach this level of fulfilment and possibility? According to Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist whose theories have been influential in 20th century thought, we reach fulfilment, or the expression of our full potential, through reaching a state of self-actualization.

According to Abraham Maslow, we have a hierarchy of needs that must be fulfilled in the following order to be able to reach our own self-actualization, which we must reach to achieve to successfully begin an entrepreneurial venture.

These needs beginning with (I) basic needs for food, shelter, then (II) needs for safety and security, (III) needs for love and belonging, (IV) the need for self esteem, and (V) the need for self-actualisation. We cannot meet the higher-order needs until the lower ones are met.

maslows-hierarchy

How do we characterise Self-Actualised (SA) people?

SA people are realistically oriented with an efficient perception of reality extending into all areas of their life.

SA persons are unthreatened and unfrightened by the unknown. They usually have a superior ability to reason, to see the truth.

SA people accept themselves, others the way the are. They have rid themselves of crippling guilt or shame and enjoy themselves without regret or apology, and have no unnecessary inhibitions.

SA people are spontaneous in their inner life, thoughts and impulses and are motivated towards continual improvement.

SA individuals focus on problems outside themselves. SA people tend to have a mission in life requiring much energy, and their mission is their reason for existence. They are usually serene and worry-free as they pursue their mission with unshakeable determination.

SA individuals have a need for detachment, the need for privacy. Alone but not lonely. SA people are self starters, responsible for themselves, own their behaviour.

SA’s rely on inner self for satisfaction. Resilient and stable in the face of hard knocks, they are self contained, independent from love and respect of others.

SA’s have a fresh rather than stereotyped appreciation of people and things, living the present moment to the fullest. SA’s experience what Maslow described as peak experiences. “Feelings of limitless horizons opening up to the vision, the feeling of being simultaneously more powerful and also more helpless than one ever was before, the feeling of ecstasy and wonder and awe, the loss of placement in time and space with, finally, the conviction that something extremely important and valuable had happened, so that the subject was to some extent transformed and strengthened even in his daily life by such experiences.” Abraham Maslow.

Here are Eight Ways to Work Towards Self Actualization:

#1 Work towards meeting and satisfying the lower-order needs (food, shelter, then safety and security, then love and belonging, and then self esteem). Once you have done this, and I acknowledge that it may be difficult and time-consuming, you will be able to make progress with the following:

#2. Life is a moment-by-moment choice between safety (out of fear and need for defence) and risk (for the sake of progress and growth): Consciously make the growth choice many times a day.

#3. Let your true self emerge. Try to go beyond socially-defined modes of thinking and feeling, let your inner experience tell you what you truly feel.

#4. When in doubt, be honest. It may take some courage, but look honestly at yourself and take responsibility for who you are and what happens to you. Self-delusion or self avoidance is the enemy of self-actualisation.

#5. Listen to your own tastes. Be prepared to be unpopular if necessary.

#6. Use your intelligence, work to do well the things you want to do, no matter how insignificant they seem.
Make peak experiencing more likely: learn what you are good at and conversely what you are not good at.

#7. Know who you are, what you are and what is good and bad for you. Where you are going, what is your mission? Opening yourself up to yourself in this way means letting go of your judgement and accepting who you are as you are. Self love is true mastery of self!

#8 Step up to the opportunities that present themselves by embracing your courage to evolve and grow.

I hope this post has helped you better understand what needs must be met in your life to develop the level of emotional intelligence you need to thrive. Life can be an amazing adventure or a nightmare depending on how committed you are to reaching your own level of self-actualization. Adding Entrepreneurship into your self-actualized life will transform your 2D adventure into 3D! I could not live my life without this level of dimension.

I hope you come to feel the same way too.

Producer Is Chosen to Lead the NEA

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Interesting Articles on May 14, 2009 at 4:12 am

Although a friend of mine, former Dean of The Eastman School of Music, Robert Freeman, was under consideration to run the NEA, I think this could be a very interesting and productive appointment. Let’s pray it is.. we need someone to be outspoken and determined to shake things up for the benefit of the arts.

By ROBIN POGREBIN, May 13, 2009, The New York Times

Rocco Landesman, the colorful theatrical producer and race-track aficionado who brought hits like “Big River,” “Angels in America” and “The Producers” to Broadway, has been nominated as the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House said on Tuesday.

The appointment, which is expected to be announced on Wednesday, surprised many in the arts world. It ends months of speculation about who would be selected to lead the nation’s largest and most important arts organization.

The White House declined to discuss the appointment before the announcement. Mr. Landesman, whose appointment must be confirmed by Congress, also declined to comment.

“It’s potentially the best news the arts community in the United States has had since the birth of Walt Whitman,” said the playwright Tony Kushner. “He’s an absolutely brilliant and brave and perfect choice for the job.”

Choosing Mr. Landesman, 61, signals that Mr. Obama plans to shake things up at the endowment. While a major source of money for arts groups around the country, it has historically been something of a sleepy bureaucracy, still best known to some for the culture wars of the 1990s.

Since then, the agency has been trying to rebuild its image on Capitol Hill, along with its budget. The current allocation stands at $145 million, and though Mr. Obama has requested $161 million for 2010, that is still short of its high of $176 million in 1992.

Mr. Landesman, who would fill the post vacated by Dana Gioia, is expected to lobby hard for more arts money. But he is not famous for his skills as an administrator or diplomat. Rather, he is known for his energy, intellect and irreverent – and occasionally sharp-elbowed – candor.

In 2000, for example, he caused a stir by accusing nonprofit theaters of being too much like their commercial counterparts. And, as a producer of “The Producers,” Mr. Landesman created the controversial $480 premium ticket to combat scalpers.

“Rocco speaks his mind, which is probably one of the reasons he was chosen,” said Robert Brustein, the founding director of the Yale and American Repertory Theaters. “Rocco does not defer his opinions.”

As the president of Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns five Broadway houses, Mr. Landesman is accustomed to calling the shots, not working within a bureaucracy. Arts executives say this is a plus. “He is a great entrepreneur and producer and it indicates to me that the administration wants to have somebody in this position who will be much more than simply a distributor of funds,” said Peter Gelb, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. “The relationship between the government and the arts needs to be energized. It
needs someone like Rocco.”

Mr. Landesman is expected to resign from his position at Jujamcyn, but to retain his ownership stake in the company.

His directness may prove refreshing to official Washington, and his affinity for country music, horse racing and baseball may help grease the wheels in his conversations with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.

While Mr. Landesman has spent his career in the commercial theater, he earned a doctorate in dramatic literature at the Yale School of Drama and stayed on there for four years as an assistant professor. “It’s an odd
choice,” said Mr. Brustein, who taught Mr. Landesman at Yale. “It’s certainly not one that I would ever have thought of because Rocco’s always been associated with the profit-making world and the N.E.A. is nonprofit.”

Though a creature of the for-profit theater, Mr. Landesman has put his force behind work that other producers might have considered too risky for Broadway, like Mr. Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Angels in
America,” and the musical “Jelly’s Last Jam.”

“He’s really smart and he’s really savvy and will really fight if he believes in something,” said George C. Wolfe, who directed both productions.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Mr. Landesman had his undergraduate education at Colby College and the University of Wisconsin. In 1977 he left Yale to start a private investment fund, which he ran until his appointment as Jujamcyn’s president in 1987. In 2005 he purchased the company.

Rocco is married to Debby Landesman and has three sons.

All of Jujamcyn’s five theaters currently have shows running: the St. James (“Desire Under the Elms”), the Al Hirschfeld (“Hair”), the August Wilson Theater (“Jersey Boys”), the Eugene O’Neill (“33 Variations”) and the Walter Kerr (“Irena’s Vow”).

In recent years, Mr. Landesman has stepped back from active producing, although Jujamcyn still occasionally invests in shows. This year, the company made a $250,000 investment in the revival of “Desire Under the Elms” to help transfer the play to one of its Broadway houses from the Goodman Theater in Chicago.

Mr. Landesman’s nomination means a potential loss for Broadway underscored by the death, in November, of Gerald Schoenfeld, who had been chairman of the Shubert Organization since 1972. Mr. Landesman was among those who had begun to fill the role of elder statesman during this theater season.

Joe Allen, the theater district restaurateur, said that Mr. Landesman would be missed on Broadway, but that the industry would be lucky to have him in Washington. “To have a member of the club running the endowment is a good thing,” Mr. Allen said. “He knows the theater world. He knows how artists
work, what their concerns are, what their personalities are like.”

Mr. Landesman met Mr. Obama before he was a presidential candidate and was a strong supporter and contributor to the campaign.

If confirmed, Mr. Landesman would be the 10th chairman since Congress created the endowment in 1965. Other names circulated as possible candidates included Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center; Michael C.Dorf, a lawyer who served on Mr. Obama’s arts policy team during the campaign; and Claudine K. Brown, the program director for arts and culture at the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

Mr. Gioia officially stepped down on Inauguration Day. Patrice Walker Powell, the endowment’s deputy chairwoman for states, regions and local arts agencies, has been serving as interim chairwoman since Feb. 2.

While previous chairmen have tried to argue the case for a stronger agency, this task will fall to the next chairman in an even tougher economic climate. “The day of the N.E.A. being this political football of the right – maybe those days are over and we’re going to start to take it seriously,” Mr. Kushner said.

Mr. Landesman is expected to be a vigorous and provocative face of the agency.

“Rocco is bored,” Mr. Brustein said, “if things just go routinely.”

End the University as We Know It

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on April 29, 2009 at 3:16 am

This article appeared on April 26th, 2009 in the New York Times and was written by Mark C. Taylor. Mark C. Taylor is the chairman of the religion department at Columbia University in New York. He is also the author of the forthcoming “Field Notes From Elsewhere: Reflections on Dying and Living.”

For all you IE (Intellectual Entrepreneurship) fans out there, could this be said any better? In fact, this article is so spot on that it will also appear on the ETA website that is days away from launching.

Bloggers, might you like to weigh in on this article in your next post?
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GRADUATE education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).

Widespread hiring freezes and layoffs have brought these problems into sharp relief now. But our graduate system has been in crisis for decades, and the seeds of this crisis go as far back as the formation of modern universities. Kant, in his 1798 work “The Conflict of the Faculties,” wrote that universities should “handle the entire content of learning by mass production, so to speak, by a division of labor, so that for every branch of the sciences there would be a public teacher or professor appointed as its trustee.”

Unfortunately this mass-production university model has led to separation where there ought to be collaboration and to ever-increasing specialization. In my own religion department, for example, we have 10 faculty members, working in eight subfields, with little overlap. And as departments fragment, research and publication become more and more about less and less. Each academic becomes the trustee not of a branch of the sciences, but of limited knowledge that all too often is irrelevant for genuinely important problems. A colleague recently boasted to me that his best student was doing his dissertation on how the medieval theologian Duns Scotus used citations.

The emphasis on narrow scholarship also encourages an educational system that has become a process of cloning. Faculty members cultivate those students whose futures they envision as identical to their own pasts, even though their tenures will stand in the way of these students having futures as full professors.

The dirty secret of higher education is that without underpaid graduate students to help in laboratories and with teaching, universities couldn’t conduct research or even instruct their growing undergraduate populations. That’s one of the main reasons we still encourage people to enroll in doctoral programs. It is simply cheaper to provide graduate students with modest stipends and adjuncts with as little as $5,000 a course — with no benefits — than it is to hire full-time professors.

In other words, young people enroll in graduate programs, work hard for subsistence pay and assume huge debt burdens, all because of the illusory promise of faculty appointments. But their economical presence, coupled with the intransigence of tenure, ensures that there will always be too many candidates for too few openings.

The other obstacle to change is that colleges and universities are self-regulating or, in academic parlance, governed by peer review. While trustees and administrations theoretically have some oversight responsibility, in practice, departments operate independently. To complicate matters further, once a faculty member has been granted tenure he is functionally autonomous. Many academics who cry out for the regulation of financial markets vehemently oppose it in their own departments.

If American higher education is to thrive in the 21st century, colleges and universities, like Wall Street and Detroit, must be rigorously regulated and completely restructured. The long process to make higher learning more agile, adaptive and imaginative can begin with six major steps:

1. Restructure the curriculum, beginning with graduate programs and proceeding as quickly as possible to undergraduate programs. The division-of-labor model of separate departments is obsolete and must be replaced with a curriculum structured like a web or complex adaptive network. Responsible teaching and scholarship must become cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural.

Just a few weeks ago, I attended a meeting of political scientists who had gathered to discuss why international relations theory had never considered the role of religion in society. Given the state of the world today, this is a significant oversight. There can be no adequate understanding of the most important issues we face when disciplines are cloistered from one another and operate on their own premises.

It would be far more effective to bring together people working on questions of religion, politics, history, economics, anthropology, sociology, literature, art, religion and philosophy to engage in comparative analysis of common problems. As the curriculum is restructured, fields of inquiry and methods of investigation will be transformed.

2. Abolish permanent departments, even for undergraduate education, and create problem-focused programs. These constantly evolving programs would have sunset clauses, and every seven years each one should be evaluated and either abolished, continued or significantly changed. It is possible to imagine a broad range of topics around which such zones of inquiry could be organized: Mind, Body, Law, Information, Networks, Language, Space, Time, Media, Money, Life and Water.

Consider, for example, a Water program. In the coming decades, water will become a more pressing problem than oil, and the quantity, quality and distribution of water will pose significant scientific, technological and ecological difficulties as well as serious political and economic challenges. These vexing practical problems cannot be adequately addressed without also considering important philosophical, religious and ethical issues. After all, beliefs shape practices as much as practices shape beliefs.

A Water program would bring together people in the humanities, arts, social and natural sciences with representatives from professional schools like medicine, law, business, engineering, social work, theology and architecture. Through the intersection of multiple perspectives and approaches, new theoretical insights will develop and unexpected practical solutions will emerge.

3. Increase collaboration among institutions. All institutions do not need to do all things and technology makes it possible for schools to form partnerships to share students and faculty. Institutions will be able to expand while contracting. Let one college have a strong department in French, for example, and the other a strong department in German; through teleconferencing and the Internet both subjects can be taught at both places with half the staff. With these tools, I have already team-taught semester-long seminars in real time at the Universities of Helsinki and Melbourne.

4. Transform the traditional dissertation. In the arts and humanities, where looming cutbacks will be most devastating, there is no longer a market for books modeled on the medieval dissertation, with more footnotes than text. As financial pressures on university presses continue to mount, publication of dissertations, and with it scholarly certification, is almost impossible. (The average university press print run of a dissertation that has been converted into a book is less than 500, and sales are usually considerably lower.) For many years, I have taught undergraduate courses in which students do not write traditional papers but develop analytic treatments in formats from hypertext and Web sites to films and video games. Graduate students should likewise be encouraged to produce “theses” in alternative formats.

5. Expand the range of professional options for graduate students. Most graduate students will never hold the kind of job for which they are being trained. It is, therefore, necessary to help them prepare for work in fields other than higher education. The exposure to new approaches and different cultures and the consideration of real-life issues will prepare students for jobs at businesses and nonprofit organizations. Moreover, the knowledge and skills they will cultivate in the new universities will enable them to adapt to a constantly changing world.

6. Impose mandatory retirement and abolish tenure. Initially intended to protect academic freedom, tenure has resulted in institutions with little turnover and professors impervious to change. After all, once tenure has been granted, there is no leverage to encourage a professor to continue to develop professionally or to require him or her to assume responsibilities like administration and student advising. Tenure should be replaced with seven-year contracts, which, like the programs in which faculty teach, can be terminated or renewed. This policy would enable colleges and universities to reward researchers, scholars and teachers who continue to evolve and remain productive while also making room for young people with new ideas and skills.

For many years, I have told students, “Do not do what I do; rather, take whatever I have to offer and do with it what I could never imagine doing and then come back and tell me about it.” My hope is that colleges and universities will be shaken out of their complacency and will open academia to a future we cannot conceive.

The Susan Boyle phenomenon: redefining beauty, grace, and success?

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Interesting Articles on April 22, 2009 at 3:10 am

Susan Boyle and this article below touched a raw nerve for me.

What is wrong with our world to judge ones artistic capacity by ones style (or lack there of), or body shape or weight? Many have said about Susan Boyle ” Oh an ugly woman who can sing!” Does this kind of statement not speak to how desperately the world needs to be taught the value of creative self expression and the authenticity required to create artistic mastery? What on earth does appearance have to do with it?

Why is it that becoming a celebrity means shifting your focus on appearance or taking the wrath from the media if you don’t? It is no wonder that most of the world has trouble recognizing the true capacity of the arts to teach, enlighten and change who we can become when all that we as a country focus on is the appearance of it all. It’s not what’s on the inside that matters right?

I believe for many it is not because of the incredible insecurity and fears we hold about our true potential in life. It is the bright light that shines within us that most frightens us, which makes it far easier to focus superficially on others and avoid having to face ourselves.

But you see- here is where the rub comes- if you don’t ever take the time to discover and then share the gifts you have hidden inside of you– who will ever know?

I applaud Susan Boyle and Paul Potts and anyone else like either of them willing to risk sharing their gifts- their true purpose in life- with the world. Susan Boyle’s so called “fumpy” appearance is not what I see when I hear her sing. I see a woman who is allowing her life to be revealed to all who will dare to see and hold her close.

What a brave woman to come as herself to sing. What astonishing wisdom to not get caught up in the trappings of superficial illusions but instead stay true to herself and the richness of her true self expression.

And to you Simon Cowell– your initial reaction to Susan Boyle’s appearance, and attempt to conceal it with your comment at the end of this clip, makes it clear you have little room in your life for emotional intelligence. But that’s Hollywood for you, right?

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By Ben Quinn | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the April 21, 2009 edition
oboyle_p1LONDON – It was to her elderly mother, sometime before she passed away, that Susan Boyle pledged she would “do something” with her life.

Two years on from that loss, she honored that promise with a now almost legendary appearance on a British television talent show.

A video clip of the Scot winning over skeptical judges and a cynical crowd with a rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream.” from the musical “Les Misérables” has been viewed more than 40 million times, making it one of the most popular YouTube videos ever posted.

The youngest of nine, Ms. Boyle is an unlikely global star. Or is she?

She’s a middle-aged woman from a village called Blackburn in Scotland’s West Lothian region, where she lives alone with her cat, Pebbles. Her unruly hair and spinster image have long attracted taunts from local children, an echo of the bullying she endured as a girl. Several times a week, she serves as a volunteer at Our Lady of Lourdes church, visiting elderly members of the congregation.

The mass media – especially in the United States – are now hugging Boyle close ahead of a second performance (May 23) on the television show “Britain’s Got Talent.”

CAPTURING THE DOUBTS – AND HOPES – OF MILLIONS

But her sudden rise to popularity is prompting many commentators, even those not usually noted for their interest in light entertainment, to find a deeper meaning in her performance.

“Boyle let me feel … the meaning of human grace…. She reordered the measure of beauty. And I had no idea until the tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective,” wrote Robert Canfield, a professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., in his blog where he typically comments on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Dr. Canfield says, in response to emailed questions, that Boyle captured “the hopes of a multitude.”

Her performance resonates with millions, he says, because “most of us in our heart of hearts have severe doubts about ourselves.

“So when a Susan Boyle appears on stage before a clearly condescending audience in a society that can read class status in every move, the hairdo, the dress, she appears as a loser. And we feel for her. We see how precarious her position is, how vulnerable she is, and we feel for her,” he writes in his email.

“We can see in her an objectification of what we fear about ourselves. So when she comes forth with that voice, that music – as if we have discovered Judy Garland at the age of 47 – we are thrilled. She’s going to make it, we think. She’s going to win (!). And we unconsciously invest ourselves in her achievement.”

IS BOYLE LIKE OBAMA?

Patricia Williams, a professor of law at Columbia University in New York, likened Boyle’s story to the election of Barack Obama in an op-ed piece for Britain’s Observer newspaper headlined: “I know those sneers. I’ve heard them too.”

“Boyle’s ability to up-end conventional preconceptions is akin to what the ‘black is beautiful’ movement of the 1970s tried to accomplish: a debunking of surface-based biases in favour of deeper commitments to fairness, intelligence, courage, humility, patience, re-examined aesthetics and the willingness to listen,” wrote Professor Williams.

“Dismissing her – or anyone – based on careless expectations about what age or lack of employment supposedly signify is the habit of mind common to all forms of prejudice.”

The Times of London asked Boyle, given how much importance the entertainment industry places on appearance, might she succumb to pressure to have a makeover?

“Maybe I’ll consider a makeover later on,” she told the Times with a laugh. “For now I’m happy the way I am – short and plump. I would not go in for Botox or anything like that. I’m content with the way I look. What’s wrong with looking like Susan Boyle? What’s the matter with that?”

THE SIMON COWELL FACTOR

One of Boyle’s fellow Scots, Alison Kennedy, a writer and comedian, says that some cynicism has also emerged around her meteoric rise and who might profit by it. But it’s focused on Simon Cowell, judge, producer and creator of “Britain’s Got Talent.” Yes, the same Simon Cowell on “American Idol.”

Mr. Cowell stands to make a lot of money from Boyle, who he has predicted would have a No. 1 record in the US.

Nevertheless, Ms. Kennedy adds: “People are still pleased for her, and it’s clear that she has a particular talent. People are fond of her, even if they are not fond of Simon Cowell.”

All eyes are now looking to Boyle’s May 23 performance on the talent show, which promises the ultimate winner – the opportunity to perform in front of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Elaine Paige, the singer whom Boyle has said she would like to emulate, has also suggested the two might one day record a duet.

In the meantime, Boyle herself has told reporters camped outside her home that she is “taking it all in my stride.”

“It’s all been complete mayhem, like a whirlwind going like an express train. I never expected all this attention. It’s been indescribable and completely mad. But I could get used to it,” she told the Observer.

I am an addict and a gambler

In Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Health & Wellness, The Idea on April 18, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I am an addict and a gambler. Addicted to my crazy world of creativity and ideas, I gamble every day trying to get what’s inside my head into the outside world to be seen.

I love to see ideas come alive. It is what I was put on this earth to help others do. Some days I am better at it than others.

I live for ideas to bring life enhancing progress, growth and evolutionary change. I live to innovate my life, and the lives of others, with my artistic gifts. What can our tomorrow bring?

You might be thinking, Who are you kidding? But to live this life– I will risk it all.

What about you?

From your friend, the addict and gambler…

Ready. Fire. Aim.

In Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Risk, The Idea on April 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Have you ever fired a gun before? How much time did you spend aiming at your target? Oh, and how many mind games did you play with yourself while you were trying to figure out if you would make that one shot?

I think regardless of if you will admit it or not, we all fantasize about hitting our own personal home run on the first swing right out of the park… Might it be a better fantasy to envision becoming “ready enough”- prepare enough- to simply take a chance and swing to see where you need to sharpen your focus to improve your precision and aim?

Yah, I know–I like the first fantasy better too– its more seductive and sexy. But seriously…

I think in life we spend a lot of time, first in our minds and then through our actions ( or lack thereof), aiming for outcomes that have no basis in our future reality. We spend countless hours “what if-ing” while what can be happening in our lives, to help us truly prepare to aim and hit our bullseye, is marching right on by.

What if you just pull the trigger today so you can see what you really need to do to sharpen your view ?

True failure in life is not one where your target was never hit, but one where you never fully experienced what happens when you repeatedly try to..

Besides–you might just discover you hit a different bullseye that, before, you would have been too busy aiming to ever have seen…

Want to share your story with ETA?

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on April 11, 2009 at 9:47 am

Attention Artists and Arts Organizations!

As you may know, my good friends at Catalyst Ranch and photographer Peter Rossi and Joe Amenta helped me build a set to conduct interviews for the new ETA website. We are shooting this coming Wednesday, April 15th, and have a few slots open for additional interviews, before we take the set down.

The set will be rebuilt again the next time we run another day of taping but would like to get as many interviews this coming week as possible.

If you have a new business in the arts or an established one, would like to share what you do with readership, are in the Chicago area and have a flexible schedule this coming Wednesday, please contact Lisa@EntrepreneurTheArts.com.

By the way, you will also receive an edited free copy of your interview.

The Chicago Arts Educator Forum

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events on April 4, 2009 at 12:11 am

caef-header-1

The Chicago Arts Educator Forum will have their FIRST forum focusing on the topic of building partnerships in arts education on Friday, April 10th. Hosted at Adventure Stage Chicago (formerly known as the Vittum Theater) from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, registration is only $25 which includes breakfast, lunch and free parking!.

Please join us for the first, of what we hope will not be the last, networking/sharing/discussion day for the Chicago arts in education community. The Chicago Arts Educator Forum (CAEF) was formed last year to connect arts educators from around the city. Comprised of arts organizations, teaching artists, and arts administrators working together to provide professional development and networking opportunities in the field, the CAEF was created in response to a stated need for dialogue, communication, and continuing education for arts educators.

We will take the day to actively explore how to define partnership and how to frame our work with schools, other organizations and the community.

Click for more information or to register.
Pre-registration is required to attend this event.

A Quantum Entrepreneurial Leap Forward…

In Author: Lisa Canning, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on April 1, 2009 at 11:27 am

This post represents a pivotal moment for me. It also represents a quantum leap forward in the life of ETA.

I began ETA on November 1st, 2006 with this blog. I selected November 1st because it was my fathers birthday- he is deceased, but I wanted to pick a date that meant something to me.

Why?

Because the journey to start anything you are really passionate about deserves wrapping into it something highly personal and meaningful to you. For me, that is embodied in remembering my Dad. And so I began ETA with this blog, an idea of what kind of resource ETA could offer many, and not much more than its name and a glimmer of where I was headed.

When I started the blog my goal was to see if I was able to attract an audience organically. In other words, no advertising, no promoting. Just blogging and seeing who would find me.

For the first three months I blogged to an audience of three- me, myself and I. And yet, making the commitment to blog, even for myself, at first, was thrilling to me. I felt like a pioneer going off into the wilderness of my mind in search of what I might find. Truly, I felt that fresh entrepreneurial energy, that infused my very first start up venture in college with dynamite, being recreated all over again!

And yet, by the third month writing post after post to no one but myself, began to get old. Was I crazy to do this? Would anyone ever come to read what I was writing? If you build it, will they come?

I was determined to find out! So, I started mixing up my content and started to focus on attracting readers. While I told a few more friends about the blog, what I mostly did was focus my mind on the power of intention. I kept saying inside my head- “OK, its time. Dear Reader, please come. I am ready for you!”

It was just about that time that I got my first big visitor. That visitor arrived in the form of a letter written by Entrepreneur Media’s ( AKA Entrepreneur Magazine) attorney’s threatening litigation if I did not “cease and desist” using the name Entrepreneur in my name.

Now what?

Was this a sign to stop or a test to persevere? Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. And we all get tested early on in the creation of our ventures. ( Aren’t you glad to know you are not alone?) So when you get to this place and wonder what you should do– check what your heart says first. If it tells you to hang in there- do. My heart said ” keep going Lisa. This is the path for you,” and so I fought the battle with Entrepreneur Media, even though the odds were against me.

The odds were against me because I had a 60 ton gorilla wanting to chew off my head. With 60 million in ad revenue at EMI media alone, I would not even be a mid day snack for this beast. Not sure what to do, I decided to share what was going on with the small number of ETA blog readers who started to stop by, with some daily consistency it seemed, right at this point. The next call was to an attorney to see what kind of options I had for my fledgling start-up.

Ironically, one of my new blog readers turned out to be the most helpful of all. From this very small newly acquired bunch, I received an email that said ” I know personally the owner of EMI Media. Would you like me to try and help you?” Now what are the odds of that? Was it luck or was ETA meant to be?

Although it took almost 9 months to finalize a deal with EMI, which resulted in a disclaimer having to appear with my logo, I eventually won. And ETA is one of the few who have beat the 60 ton gorilla, by the way.

EMI Media has put one business out of business with similar litigation, and most others they have gone after, in similar ways, have elected to simply change their name and go on without the word Entrepreneur in their name. But not me. I stuck to my guns, calculated my risk and expense, and knew the hand I would play attempting to win. And my attorney and I did win!

It seemed that the moment ETA had reached an agreement with EMI, the opportunity for the Entrepreneurial Artist Contest, hosted by William Shatner presented itself. Heartbeat of America contacted me and we created the contest together. In and of itself, creating a partnership of this magnitude, seemed like a big gift for my efforts to walk through some dark and trying moments with ETA and my fledgling ideas.

And as contestants began to enter the competition the blog activity picked up and has continued to grow day after day, week after week and month after month. It is hard to believe, as well, that on April 15th our first ETA contest winner is going to be announced. My hope is that for this individual this contest offers their fledgling ideas a big quantum leap forward too!

And while I am still hungry to hear more from all of you readers who stop by and read, as of Friday, one of the core goals I had for this blog will come true- to blog with like minded individuals to share our ideas with you around the vision I have for ETA.

A total of 12 other wonderful, inspiring entreprenurial, creative, innovative individuals will be joining us. Yes, two more than expected! New additions to the roster include Cyriel Kortleven, a creativity consultant in Belgium for New Shoes Today and Adam Shames, another creativity consultant who runs his own business called The Kreativity Network.

I am in awe of what passion, determination and hard work can bring. With this goal reached– my vision, now, has more room to grow. I can hardly wait to see this journey unfold…

Arts Advocacy Day in Washington!

In Author: Lisa Canning, Current Events on March 31, 2009 at 8:54 pm

An important message from Americans for The Artsheader_logo-1

Today, hundreds of dedicated arts supporters from across the country have come together in Washington, DC for National Arts Advocacy Day, a united effort to tell Capitol Hill how important culture is to our communities, how much arts education means to our children, and how much the arts improve our daily lives. 83 National CoSponsors have helped us shape this united arts message to Congress.

This year, Arts Advocacy Day will be busier than ever, and not only because of the near-record number of advocates attending. Americans for the Arts has once again been asked by House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA) to organize a hearing on the arts on Arts Advocacy Day. We are very pleased that our President & CEO Robert Lynch will be joined by several other national leaders in the arts, including Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis, GRAMMY®-nominated singer-songwriter Josh Groban, GRAMMY®-Award winning singer Linda Ronstadt, and business leader and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Board member Jeremy Nowak, to testify at the hearing. The Subcommittee is expected to webcast the hearing live starting at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. A link to the webcast can be found on the House Appropriations Committee website.

Even if you’re not able to join us in Washington, you can still participate in Arts Advocacy Day by asking your Members of Congress to support the arts. By visiting our E-Advocacy Center, you’ll be able to send a message directly to your Representative and Senators telling them why the arts are important to you and your community. We’ve provided bullet points covering our eleven key Arts Advocacy Day issues, which you can use in the sample letter that we’ve drafted for you. We also encourage you to write your own unique story to illustrate the importance of the arts to your community. Using the E-Advocacy Center, you can create and send your letter to Congress in less than two minutes. We urge you to send your message to Congress today to coincide with our office visits to the Hill. Click here to send your message.

Need more information? Browse the 2009 Congressional Arts Handbook for issue briefs, voting records, latest arts research and trends, relevant Congressional committees, and Congressional contact lists.

Thank you for your continued support of the arts! Together, we are making a difference!

The Lights aren’t so Bright on Broadway These Days

In Author: Lisa Canning, Theater/Film on March 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm

stageThe lights aren’t so bright on broadway these days, where the economic downturn has resulted in more than a dozen closings and a significant dip in the box-office except for all but a handful of blockbusters.

This spring producers will roll out nearly 20 shows to fill the void, but no one is taking any creative risks. A quick scan of coming attractions reveals an unusual number of celebrities- Will Ferrell, Jeremy Irons, Jane Fonda, James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Lauren Graham and Angela Lansbury crowding the marquees.

But even that star wattage won’t likely guarantee sold-out houses, in this climate. Everyone in the theater seems to be holding their breath and wondering when the good times will return.

Between 2000 and 2008 Broadway enjoyed a sustained boom, witnessing the re-birth of the American musical comedy ( The Producers, Avenue Q) and innovative teen-oriented fare as well ( Spring Awakening, Wicked). Shows ran longer, and annual box-office receipts topped 1 billion- a windfall due in part to inflated ticket prices.

But while a couple might have been happy to plunk down $250.00 or more for orchestra seats at a hit show in previous years, purse strings are drawn tighter this year, as we all know. Seems like the perfect time to become more entrepreneurial, don’t you think?

What does it take to get market share?

In Author: Lisa Canning, Marketing on March 27, 2009 at 12:17 am

What does it take to get market share? Let marketing guru Seth Godin, in this terrific video, tell you! Seth is spot on in this clip. Learn from him how to get YOUR ideas to spread and attract attention.

The Daffodil Principle

In Author: Lisa Canning, Health & Wellness, Risk on March 23, 2009 at 6:47 am

Thank you Julia M. Rahn, creator of Flourish Studios, for passing this along! It is a wonderful story to start the first week of spring!

The Daffodil Principle

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.

“I will come next Tuesday”, I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.
“Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!” My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother.” “Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!” I assured her. “But first we’re going to see the daffodils. It’s just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. “I’ll drive. I’m used to this.” “Carolyn,” I said sternly, “Please turn around.” “It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”

daffodile-3After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, “Daffodil Garden .”   We got out of the car, each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

daffodileIt looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and  butter yellow. Each different coloured variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

daffodile-2“Who did this?” I asked Carolyn.  “Just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well-kept small A-frame house, modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house.   On the patio, we saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking”, was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs,” it read. The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain.” The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, almost fifty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time, often just one baby step at a time and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things.

We can change the world .

“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn.

“What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!” My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said. She was right. It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning, a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is only to ask, “How can I put this to use today?”

Use the Daffodil Principle.
Stop waiting…..   Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to school
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die…

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don’t need money. Love like you’ve never been hurt, and,   Dance like no one’s watching.

Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day! Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.