Funding Awarded to Arts Students for Final Project in “Entrepreneurship in the Arts”

University Center for the Arts Front Exterior

Students from a new class at Colorado State University – Entrepreneurship in the Arts – were recently selected to receive a $1,000 award to help bring their end-of-term project to fruition. The course is one of the first offerings from the new Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Arts Advocacy, and the Public (LEAP) subject code at CSU.

Proposals were reviewed by a panel of CSU faculty, and a representative from Beet Street; the award was funded by the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

LEAP courses, a dual effort of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance and the Department of Art, integrate an arts management curriculum into the performing arts at Colorado State University. Recognizing that success in the arts is being redefined, LEAP courses provide visual and performing arts majors the skills required to thrive in a 21st century job market. The class was taught by visiting professor Amy Feinberg, faculty at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Beet Street, an organization that fosters and contributes to the evolving landscape of the arts in Fort Collins, is partnering with CSU/LEAP to develop the Arts Incubator of the Rockies (AIR). AIR is the only full service incubator in the Intermountain West, and the only one of its kind to partner with a major land grant university in the United States. AIR serves all creative and community members in the Intermountain West who want to shift the paradigms about art, money, value, and community.

The winning team – Kiernan Angley, Chelsea Case, Trevor Grattan, and Rachel Tschanz – presented a project based on a reverse paradigm: using the arts to market and promote local non-arts businesses. “Arts in a Flash” is based on guerilla marketing techniques, specifically designing advertising campaigns utilizing “flash mobs” and social media, while employing artists to carry out the scheme. The team received a $1,000 award.

Honorable mention and $500 was awarded to “The Knock-Out Nancies” – Chelsea Dirks, Jennifer Titone, Isis Lanigan, and Chantel Flooden – for the “Pop-up Performances” campaign where instant theatre, designed for family participation, is created in public areas. Participants receive online access to the short play they perform.

Other projects included a “Career Festival and Coaching Series” for visual artists, and a multi-disciplinary performance company whose first project would be centered in comic book style graphics.

Panel members included CSU music faculty Michelle Stanley and Margaret Miller, CSU Director of Theatre and Dance Walt Jones, and the Executive Director of Beet Street Beth Flowers.

“As a panel member I want to congratulate all of the presenters as the creativity and attention to detail was most impressive,” said Miller.