The Arts Entrepreneurship minor program teaches eager students how to put their unique skills to work in service of the arts. “We call it showbusiness for a reason,” explains Rich Holly, Executive Director of the Arts. “It’s a business.” Arts NC State programs such as the Entrepreneurship minor show students that there are many ways to lead a creative life.
Last year, Arts NC State launched The Industry of the Arts, a free, six-part workshop series led by producer and industry veteran, Max Langstaff. Rich Holly met Max Langstaff after he moved from Hollywood to Raleigh. Rich had been thinking of how to teach Arts NC State students about all of the different types of opportunities that exist in the arts.
“I had the chance to be the executive producer on the film, which is like being mayor of a city,” explains Rich. “It got me thinking about all of the people and different types of work that go into producing a work of art. The Industry of the Arts introduces students who think they are interested in a career in the arts to the opportunities that are available to them.” A number of NC State students, Rich explains, see themselves working the arts. Programs such as The Industry of the Arts will help show them how.
Teaching NC State students how to pursue a career in the arts is nothing new to Dr. Gary Beckman, Director of Entrepreneurial Studies in the Arts. At NC State, Gary founded the nation’s first Arts Entrepreneurship minor, which teaches students how to do exactly what the program’s name implies: be arts entrepreneurs. Students clamor to get into the sought-after program, which runs at capacity every year.
Though the program has been in place for less than a decade, it has already incubated several successful start-up businesses and launched many alumni into successful creative careers. Gary and his colleagues in the program frequently receive glowing feedback from their students. One student wrote that the Arts Entrepreneurship program is “changing lives and creating a profoundly positive impact in the world.”
Opportunities such as The Industry of the Arts and the Arts Entrepreneurship minor are in high demand from students interested in creative career opportunities. Yet such programs can only expand with more external funding. Alumni and friends who believe business and creativity go hand-in-hand should consider donating to Arts NC State on Day of Giving. “My goal is to show all NC State students who are interested in a creative career that there is a position for them,” explains Rich Holly. “After all,” he continues, “The arts touch everybody.”