Because Creative Infrastructure is what my brother would call a “vanity blog” I’m going to use my wordpress space today to brag – not about me, but about the p.a.v.e. program in arts entrepreneurship and the creative, enthusiastic students who submitted proposals to it. P.a.v.e. provides experiential learning opportunities for budding arts entrepreneurs through its arts venture incubator program, as well as public programming (like the “Creating Infrastructure” symposium later this week) and formal curricula.
We selected six extraordinary projects this spring for support:
Blue Bike Productions: Hip hacker/makers creating multimedia interactive performances for young people, touring to schools and events, from Theatre/Arts Media Engineering grad student Boyd Branch
Shakespeare Hero: Learning scansion via gaming, also the brainchild of Boyd Branch
Merj.org: a virtual space for interdisciplinary collaboration, led by Heidi Nielsen, an Honors student in the Creative Writing program
FrojoMojo Productions: Hip/hop urban performance collective led by Dance/Theatre major Anthony Kelly
MyLiveMusicLessons.com: a clearinghouse for distance music education from Law student and music educator Michael Rolland
DanceLoop.net: a video sharing site specifically geared to the dance community from Dance/Arts Media Engineering grad student Julie Cruse.
How the incubator works:
Step 1: Workshop. Students are introduced to concepts of art entrepreneurship and finance as well as the incubator process
Step 2: Grantwriting. Students learn about grantwriting by experiencing grantwriting. Most students have never written a grant proposal before, so they submit a letter of intent to apply, receive feedback from the steering committee and guidance on developing their projects teams and budgets before submitting a full application. We received online letters of intent for projects ranging from climbable sculptures for preschools to software for learning Shakespearean scansion. Six projects were ultimately chosen to receive seed grants (see following)
Step 3: Seed grants and mentorship. Project teams that receive seed grants also receive guidance. The guidance takes two forms: milestones and mentorship. As part of the grant review process, the steering committee sets milestones or benchmarks students need to meet over the sis or twelve-month funding cycle. Each project is required to have a faculty sponsor and then an inside member of the p.a.v.e. committee is also assigned to each project as a mentor. Students learn about budgeting by developing their budget, about marketing by developing their marketing plan, about business models but researching which business model might be appropriate for their specific project, etc.
Step 4: Development and referrals. As students develop their projects, we guide them to the appropriate resources in the extensive Entrepreneurship at ASU network and externally.
Step 5: Follow up and assessment. Through both informal and formal means (admittedly more the former than the latter), we attempt to track the success (or failure) of the student ventures. We are starting to point our students toward formal assessment tools so that they can measure their success and adjust their path if necessary.
P.a.v.e. has been the fortunate beneficiary of the Kauffman Campus Initiative. As we move into our fifth year, our own path is in a period of adjustment as we work to diversify our revenue streams to sustain our program in the long run. For more information about p.a.v.e. and the ASU School of Theatre and Film, click here.
You can follow p.a.v.e. on twitter @paveASU