Reinvent the Creative Economy: Introducing Leadership and Entrepreneurship in the Arts
- 822 Views
- January 28, 2021
- Undergraduate Students
The creative economy in America is faced with a tremendous challenge. Emerging data illuminates short-term considerations stretching into long-term economic impact. Stages are dark. Seasons are canceled. We’re navigating a heartbreaking moment, and it can feel like a struggle to see what we’ve lost instead of what we could create.
It will be okay, but tomorrow won’t care what worked yesterday—whether we like it or not. And so, we reinvent.
I graduated into global economic turmoil during the 2008 Recession. The economy was bleak, but people were learning and listening. They were re-imagining. In fact, the Great Recession brought us some of the most recognizable and ubiquitous modern brands: Uber, Venmo, and Airbnb. Each offers a lesson on progress in the face of hardship—how the concept of a sharing economy created solutions for struggling consumers.
Perhaps the reality of our 2008 economy taught me that nothing is promised. My career is defined by a stubborn insistence to consider experience as an input, not an edict. It’s an attitude that inspires occasional side-eye. After all, the unknown is uncomfortable.
It’s also a deeply rewarding space to exist in. It compels us to try things no one has tried yet, to find opportunity caught in overlooked spaces. Those of us who enjoy uncertainty and iteration do our best to celebrate failure with the same vibrant joy that awaits success—because it is all progress. This is the spirit of entrepreneurship, and it is underpinned by a relentless commitment to creativity.
Solving big problems is about embracing a culture of curiosity over accepted norms. This is the case for the arts, as it is for so many industries in the wake of a global pandemic. We can’t rely on “how it’s always done,” however nostalgic we may feel. Personally, I don’t believe that anything is ever done, because ‘it’ is always changing. Life is not static. Neither are our challenges, or the solutions we build to meet them.
So, what should the creative economy look like tomorrow?
How can we make it more accessible?
How can we make sure every voice is heard?
Daemen’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship in the Arts (LEA) program invites you to build a new vision for the Creative Economy—to craft the questions we must ask to reinvent. Help us build solutions for old problems and those we haven’t even seen yet. Shape a creative community with a renewed sense of resilience, a strength in disruption, and an unbreakable ability to find opportunity in overlooked spaces.
What’s next for the arts? Come figure it out.