Twenty-two Lawrence students and three faculty members (Tim Troy, Gary Vaughan, Adam Galambos) are in day 4 of the two-week Björklunden immersion experience we are calling Start-Up Theatre. Within these two weeks, our students are writing, directing, designing, rehearsing, and performing four ten-minute plays, AND doing the marketing, outreach, grant-writing—everything.
Here is the mission statement and the official description:
Greyfell Theatre Company crafts performances that transport our audiences to radiant worlds both old and new in the restorative woods of Björklunden. Fearlessly collaborating in a swift production process, we illuminate fresh voices and invigorate the winter with vibrant new works.
Greyfell Theatre Company is a partnership between the Lawrence University Department of Theatre Arts and the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program, initiated in the winter of 2013. Each year, a group of committed students arrive at Björklunden vid Sjön, the university’s northern campus in Door County. Greyfell aims to create new works of theatre in an accelerated start-up environment. The theatre derives its name from Greyfell, the swift shining horse of the Norse hero Sigurd whose image is immortalized in Björklunden’s Great Hall. Just as Greyfell was a symbol of vitality, Greyfell Theatre Company strives to invigorate the Door County community and illuminate new voices by building on the theatre-making tradition that the Department of Theatre Arts has cherished since 1930.
I encourage all who have any interest in entrepreneurship to hear about arts entrepreneurship from these two Lawrentians. This is of interest not only to musicians, but to anyone who has an interest in arts or in entrepreneurialism.
Brandenberger and Galambos strike again. This via the Faculty & Grants Fellowships Newsletter:
This summer, the In Pursuit of Innovation course — co-taught by Professors John Brandenberger (Physics) and Adam Galambos (Economics) — received a two-year $23,000 grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance substantially to enhance the support for student projects and to fund guest speakers. Team projects play a central role in the course, and the NCIIA grant will allow students to dream bigger and to go further in pursuing their chosen innovations. It is expected that some teams will go beyond producing a prototype and will bring their idea close to being commercialized. The Innovation course, to be offered for the third time in Winter 2011, is one of the core courses of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship program, which is Lawrence University‘s model for integrating innovation and entrepreneurship into liberal arts education.
The program currently features three core courses that are to be complemented by additional topical courses dealing with environmental issues, politics, economic development, and other subjects that reflect interests of participating faculty. As a result of the program, several courses in economics as well as several courses in the arts will have newly added entrepreneurial components for the first time this year.
Invited experts also play critical roles in the program‘s core courses, including Innovation. These experts also help the program grow, expanding opportunities for students to engage in real-world entrepreneurship and innovation, through structured practical opportunities to take their course-based projects to commercialization, or internships in businesses or nonprofits that foster entrepreneurship or innovation. The NCIIA grant will help pay for travel expenses of several highly regarded experts who will contribute to the next offering of the Innovation course. The expectation is that students who take I&E courses will gain knowledge and cognitive skills that will equip them to be “change agents.” Combined with LU‘s emphasis on critical thought and information synthesis, the conceptual and practical knowledge gained through these courses will prepare students to undertake imaginative and ambitious innovative and entrepreneurial activities.
Inside the elevator that ascends six floors in the UW-Madison Humanities Building to reach the university’s art department, the aesthetics had sunk low, really low.
Over the years the metal walls of the bare-bones, slightly rumbly elevator served as a magnet for 2D creativity, some of it intriguing, but a lot of it slapdash and much of it resembling graffiti more often found on the sides of a bathroom stall. In other words, the kind of vandalism someone can pull off between stops on a 20-second elevator ride.
My feeling is that this was simply art students practicing their elevator pitch. In a city that already has Connected Bits service, you simply would have used your smartphone to take a quick pic of the graffiti and send it on to the authorities. By the way, the person behind Connected Bits (and other very intriguing ventures) is Dave Mitchell, who is a Lawrence alum and will be guest speaker for In Pursuit of Innovation (Econ 211) next term. But, in Madison, they took a tip from the pop-up gallery movement instead, and turned that doomed “lift” into the Hi/Lo Gallery, “seven floors of visual candy.” Appleton is likely soon to get its first pop-up gallery, thanks to Sydney Pertl and Krissy Rhyme , who have been continuing the project from Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Society, and hope to open the first exhibition in February.
Another very interesting person I heard at the CEO conference on Friday was Lisa Canning. Well-known for Entrepreneurthearts.com, Lisa Canning is a prominent face of arts entrepreneurship these days.
She founded the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship, which has a two-year post-graduate certificate program that could be of interest to many Lawrentians. Their mission: “The IAE is committed to helping our students discover meaningful solutions to one essential question: As a person committed to the arts, how do I develop the knowledge and skills to create a successful, meaningful and sustainable life in today’s world?” Ms. Canning has started six highly successful ventures in the past twenty-some years. She sold all of them to start the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship, except one: the one that is about her “baby,” the instrument she has played since her childhood, the clarinet. Lisa’s Clarinet Shop is still helping musicians of all levels find the perfect clarinet. Even when she was running those earlier businesses, Lisa hired artists and helped them build on their artistic skills and develop entrepreneurial skills. Artists can use their empathy and ability to connect with people to become successful entrepreneurs. Rather than pitching the “what” to a customer, it is much more important to make a human connection around the “why” and the “how.” This is good advice to anyone–Gary Vaughan was telling me on the way home that in any business, people buy from you because they like you. As Lisa said, she never has to talk about price, because it becomes a secondary issue to the customer. She is certainly a very kind and very emotional person, and I believe that she can teach a lot to artists about “entrepreneuring their art.” I hope we can get her to Lawrence in the not-so-distant future.