Creative Symposium, where arts meet business

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April 8, 2014

By Rumasa Noor

The College of Arts and Communications is organizing the third annual creative symposium on April 10. The symposium is organized to familiarize students with creative enterprise.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines creative enterprises as “entities that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.”

Megan Matthews, the arts and management program coordinator in the College of Arts and Communication, is working on developing a creative enterprise program and is organizing the third annual enterprise symposium as a part of that program.

“We are bringing in some alumni and other people that are involved in creative enterprise, and when I say that I mean businesses that are involved in an aesthetic product of some sort,” Matthews said. “It could be design, it could be producing or presenting or performing, it can be just even creative thinking.”

Leslie LaMuro, the associate director of public events, is working with Matthews on publicizing this event to make sure that the word reaches out to people on and off campus.

“It’s an opportunity for both the community and the students to kind of brainstorm about this whole idea of creative enterprise and what sorts of things are out there,” LaMuro said.

The theme of the event is Planting the Seeds for Creative Enterprise. The event will feature five professionals with careers in creative enterprise.

Three of these professionals are UW-W alums, David Buggs, coordinator of the Whitewater Makerspace; Heidi Lofy, vice president of Sales & Marketing at the Marcus Center; Cynthia Thomas, co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Translator in Milwaukee.

Other speakers will include Ben Merens, author, leadership-training specialist and former radio host and Beth Russell, an attorney specializing in legal issues for creatives and author of the book “Arts Law Conversations: A Surprisingly Readable Guide for Arts Entrepreneurs”.

LaMuro said students should go to this event and see how these alums have utilized their degrees and moved forward in ways they never thought they would.

“I believe in it, I am passionate about providing this information to our students, and I am trying to figure out any way I could get that information out there,” Matthews said.

Matthews said she wants her arts and business students to attain a necessary skill set that they need in real life.

“When I talk about business to my students I am not trying to make them a business person; I am trying to make them creative with business skills set,” Mathews said. “I think the same way about my business folks. I don’t want them to be all artsy. We don’t need all the artists all the time everywhere, we need creative people.”

Matthews also is teaching a class called Creative Enterprise. She said she wants to make people aware of the benefits of creative enterprising and wants to get the message across through the class and the symposium.

“I just want to give students this information because I really think it serves them well,” Matthews said.

The event will consist of four phases on April 10. In the morning, the panel of professionals will be going into classrooms and talk about their experiences in creative enterprise. At 2:30 p.m., there will be a discussion in Fern Young Terrace where these professionals will talk about their experiences and they will also answer any questions from the audience. The reception will take place at 4:30 p.m. The final event will be a workshop from 7 to 9 p.m. with Beth Russell, during which she will talk about the legal issues that entrepreneurs face.

These events will be free to students who show their tickets. For general public, it will cost $10 for the symposium.

Students can get the tickets from the ticket office in the UC. They can also get the tickets online at:

http://bit.ly/1oIk6h2