stART It Up: Cultural Entrepreneurship Forum

ACM Connects, an initiative of the Department of Arts, Culture and Media of the University of Toronto, Canada that supports the departmental academic curriculum by presenting a range of artistic, cultural, and scholarly programming each year, is organizing next Wednesday 8 February a panel and workshop entitled ‘stART It Up: Cultural Entrepreneurship Forum’.

The panel of community and alumni ‘Cultural Entrepreneurs’ will try to help participants “understand more about this rapidly growing field and to see how they can be a part of it. The talk will be followed by a workshop and small group discussion. The organizers are inviting participants to bring their ideas and explore how they can ‘stART It Up’ too.”

For more info on the ACM Connects program, click here.

For registering at the event, click here.

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How folk art can turn people into cultural entrepreneurs

I was reading a Fortune.com article published some months ago on folk art (an expression of the world’s traditional cultures according to the International Folk Art Alliance) and how it empowers people to empower other people and communities in financially poor environments.

As women and their children are very often the victims of poverty and violence, the reading gave me the impression that a growing folk art market can be a kind of social catalyst for taking people out of their difficult situations. Even more, it is enabling them to multiply this effect by sharing know-how and access to knowledge. The reason for doing so is that is turns those creators into entrepreneurs who scale and impact their local communities.

One of the most interesting parts of the article read as follows:

“Folk art, which has helped to deliver daily life improvements even in the most remote regions of the earth, offer many lessons that can ultimately yield wider spread gains, contends Manuel Montoya, an economist at the University of New Mexico. Montoya has grown impatient with the constant handwringing over globalism’s impact on local economies. He sees a reverse connection: village economies can offer a nutritious feed to an economy that is dominated by mass production. Increasingly, the globalized economy hungers for the unique and locally made.”

For more info here is a link to the article.

Cultural Excellence Fellowship program in UAE

Great news coming from the Middle East, a place where we don’t hear much about Cultural Entrepreneurship.

I am talking about the Cultural Excellence Fellowship program that was launched in 2014. It is a two-year program designed to inspire and equip Emirati citizens with the skills and knowledge to pursue creative entrepreneurship and careers in cultural industries.

During this first-of-its-kind initiative in the UAE, the 23 participants undertook over 180 hours of training and over 150 hours of mentorship with leading experts across four countries — UAE, UK, Lebanon and Kuwait.

In the final part of the fellowship, they had to present complete business plans to a panel of judges consisting of Sir Jonathan Mills, director of Edinburgh International Culture Summit, Mohammed Abdul Latif Kanoo, ADMAF advisor, businessman and artist, and John Newbigin, chairman of Creative England.

For more info, click here.

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