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SMTD Receives Quick Win/Discovery Grant for Cultural Entrepreneurship Project


The School of Music, Theatre & Dance has been named a recipient of the latest and final round of Third Century Initiative Quick Win/Discovery grants from the University. SMTD will receive a grant of $42,250 to support a Cultural Entrepreneurship Initiative created to help performing arts students develop entrepreneurial skills in the transformed cultural landscape of the 21st century.

The project, subtitled "Transforming Art and Artists in the Age of Digital Media," was developed to address the gap between academic training and professional success by helping students to become "cultural entrepreneurs" by learning to create their own opportunities and business ventures. Students will be taught to imagine their own projects, recruit collaborators, and plan, present, experiment, refine, raise funds for, and execute their vision.

The goal is to graduate students who are not only among the most talented and skilled in their chosen art of expression, but are also equipped to take on the many duties of traditional support staff, such as agents, publicists, managers, designers, audio engineers, videographers, and producers.

Led by Mark Clague, associate professor of musicology and director of research, the project is a collaborative effort amongst faculty from across SMTD disciplines. Clague says the initiative is designed to help performing arts students think about how to leverage technology to reach audiences in new ways, a skill set that has not been a part of the traditional performing arts curriculum.

"It's not enough today for dancers, actors, and musicians to graduate with exceptional skills and training in performance," said Clague. "If we can give our students skills and awareness, and a spirit of entrepreneurship, they can find their way in this new economy--not victims of the performance world but as artists who have agency, and control their own destinies."

The project will launch three courses covering marketing, social media, cultural entrepreneurship and the recording industry. In addition, it will create an arts entrepreneurship speaker series with podcasts, as well as a student-run record company and an arts venture "challenge competition" to foster and inspire students from across campus to pitch new ideas and put them into action. It is expected that over the three terms of the pilot, the project will reach up to 805 U-M students.

Quick Win/Discovery grants are intended to encourage faculty to explore new ways to provide learning and research experiences for students that are creative, engaged, multidisciplinary, and that foster social and civic responsibility, communication, collaboration and self-agency. The projects also address the changing way students learn in an increasingly global and digital age.

Nearly $1 million was awarded by the University in the final call for the smaller of the Transforming Learning for the Third Century grants, the largest round to date for this phase of the initiative. The grants provide up to $50,000 for projects that allow a general education hypothesis to be explored, piloted, or expanded.

More information on the latest round of Quick Win/Discovery grant winners is available in The University Record.


past news

September 2017
March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

Students Present "Wall-to-Wall Theatre Festival" 03/27/2014

First-Ever SMTD Chamber Music Competition Launches April 5 03/27/2014

Doctoral Fellow Named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year 03/26/2014

Theatre Student Lands Major TV Role 03/25/2014

Elizabeth Batiuk (ethnomusicology) has been chosen as a fellow at the Sweetland/Rackham Dissertation Writing Institute for spring 2014 and James McNally (ethnomusicology) received a summer and academic year FLAS for the study of Portuguese.    03/17/2014

Musicology graduate student Elizabeth McLain has been awarded a prestigious Lurcy Fellowship for research in France during the 2014-2015 academic year.   03/14/2014

December 2013

SMTD students Zoe Kumagai, Stephanie Aboukasm, and Adam DesJardins are among students profiled in an LSA article about the "Michigan in Washington" program, in which students intern at various Washington, DC organizations and businesses, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.    12/10/2013

October 2013
August 2013

Evan Zegiel, a sophomore who studies with Fritz Kaenzig, was the First Place winner in the Tuba Student division of the 2013 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium & Tuba Festival.     08/21/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

November 2011
August 2011
June 2011
Current Student News
DMA Piano Students Perform with Ann Arbor Symphony more
2018 SMTD Concerto Competition Winners Announcedmore

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Photography Credits:

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Peter Smith

David Smith

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