Published: Oct. 30, 2012
This Week on Entrepreneurship Wednesdays: Getting in Tune with your Future in Music!
Find out the cool new “nLab” innovation program, learn all about the New Venture Challenge (“NVC”) from past winners Joey Howe and Anthony Green, and talk with pianist Kirsten Farnsworth and arts manager Keith Gruen on the intersection of music and business in their careers. It’s all about the rubber meeting the road this week on Entrepreneurship Wednesdays! Come check it out.
Wednesdays, 5:00-6:00
C-113 (Conference Room)

Free Pizza!

The New Venture Challenge is gearing up again: see the FAQs all the way at the end of this week’s issue for a little more about what this is and why YOU should be involved.
ARTICLES OF THE WEEK: branding the arts

ENTREPRENEURIAL THOUGHT OF THE WEEK: value vs. commoditization

This week we pick up where we left off a few weeks back. At that time I shared this blog on the notion of “value” in the music world and posed this question: How do we regain our position in the marketplace as commodities of the highest value? I’ve decided I’d like to address this question in four parts:

Adjust our Mindsets • Educate our audiences • Find the Need • Become an Artist-Advocate

So we’ve already talked about creating a “Value Mindset” (go back and look at issue #6 if you missed it or want to refresh your memory) and we’ve talked about several aspect of “Educating our audiences” (issue #8). So that leaves us with becoming an Artist-Advocate. What do I mean by that term?
Advocacy takes many different forms, and it can be tailored to your particular gifts and passions. But however it plays out for each individual, the core of advocacy is the same: you see music as a cause worth fighting for, worth speaking out about, an endeavor worth some personal sacrifice and work to advance. We can’t afford to see ourselves as mere practitioners of our art, and leave advancing the cause of music and the arts to someone else – administrators, critics, whomever. Each of us must instead pick up the mantle of responsibility and speak to this cause in every way we can: when we address our audience, when we speak to the press, in our blogs and social media, to our colleagues and students. And it has to go beyond mere words, too. It means we serve on boards or committees. It means we get involved with our schools. It means we become active in our political process.
Last year I had the great experience of participating in the Day of Advocacy, where arts educators and advocates from across the Front Range gathered at the State Capitol to lobby for increased arts funding. It was an amazing day, in which I learned about how our state government works and made my voice heard on an issue of critical importance. As I spoke with legislators and aides I was struck by two things: one was that there is an enormous amount of misunderstanding among some to the importance of arts funding and the role it plays in our economy. And the other was that most legislators are ready to consider our arguments – we just have to reach out to them and make our case. In other words, our voice does matter and does have an impact. I think we often foreclose on those opportunities by assuming our efforts don’t make a difference. But they can, and they do.

How might you become more active as an Artist-Advocate? What are the issues you’re most passionate about, and how might you make your voice heard? If you’re not sure, just get involved: I guarantee it will prove to be more fulfilling that you ever imagined!


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And without further adieu…

The Video of the Week!

Videos! I need videos! (That potbelly pig playing a plastic piano is still waiting in the wings…)

Rowan Atkinson and his invisible drum set…



Once again we’ll put our discussion of “commoditization vs. value” on hold while we take some time to answer a few questions regarding the New Venture Challengewhat is it and how does it work and why should you care about it?

What is the New Venture Challenge (NVC)?  The NVC is the campus-wide venture plan competition. Teams of students from disciplines across campus compete amongst themselves in “tracks” (Music, Clean Tech, I.T., and Social Impact) and then the winners of each track compete in a Finals competition for the grand prize. Music Track winners receive a $3,000 prize; the Grand Prize winner receives up to $10,000 more in prizes and other perks.

What is a Venture Plan?  A venture plan (also commonly called a “business plan”) is an outline of any sort of operation: a for-profit business, all manner of non-profit organizations, an ensemble, a music festival…anything can be a venture. The plan describes the venture (what it does, who it’s for, how it operates) and outlines a plan for launching and sustaining it.

Do I have to have a plan already in order to participate? NO. In fact, that’s the whole point of the NVC: to guide you through the process of developing your idea and creating a plan to make it happen. So at this stage, a mere notion of something you’ve been thinking of doing is enough!

That sounds intimidating. What sorts of help will I have? That’s the other point of the NVC: it’s not just the competition (which doesn’t happen until next Spring). It’s workshops, mentoring, lectures, and practice sessions, all designed to help you develop your ideas, polish your plan, and present it convincingly. You’ll have lots of help & resources to do this – including other students, if you decide to form a team.

Okay…I think I’m maybe interested…what’s next? Come to the Kick-off Night on Monday, Oct. 29, at the Wolf Law School building (information and sign up link here). And/or, come to Entrepreneurship Wednesdays on the 31st and meet with past NVC Music Track winners and other folks to get more information and find out about the experience. You don’t have to commit to participate in the competition until January. So at this point, just be developing your idea, meet with some folks, find out if you’ve got an idea worth pursuing. There’s no commitment yet: just find out what’s up!

I dunno…I’m still not sure… Then come visit Prof. Nytch and let’s talk about it!



The Entrepreneurship Center for Music • Jeffrey Nytch, DMA, Director

Email:  •  Office Hours: T/Th: 9-11 a.m.  W: 2-4 p.m. – or by appointment

Entrepreneurship Wednesdays: 5-6:30 p.m., C-113  •  Follow us on Facebook



The Opportunity UPBEAT! is your weekly listing of job postings and other professional opportunities that come the way of the ECM. Check this space out for jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, grants, festival auditions, and more!

THE COLORADO STATE MUSIC TEACHERS ASSOCIATION is currently seeking a Fund development intern to help develop a tuition assistance scholarship fund for pre-college music study. The goal of the fund, once established, is to partially pay music tuition costs for promising young students who cannot afford music lessons. For a full description of this opportunity, stop by the ECM bulletin board and get in touch with Professor Cremaschi.


CENTER FOR THE CONTINUATION OF ARTS AND CULTURE, in Thornton, is looking for Guitar and Piano Teachers. The CCAC is an arts school dedicated to the enrichment of students in the visual and performing arts. We provide classes in a wide variety of dance styles, music, and visual arts. You should have a degree or be in pursuit of a degree in Music Performance or Music Education. Past teaching experience preferred. Outgoing and friendly personality along with consistent professional demeanor. Works well with elementary ages through adults. Someone who is knowledgeable and skilled in more than one instrument area is preferred. Especially knowledgeable and confidant in teaching basic/beginning piano skills in a group and private setting. Knowledge in music theory and aural skills. You should be dependable and have reliable transportation. Looking for someone who can teach 5-15 hours a week. Please contact Director of Music Nick Garcia-(720)-341-4975 for further information


INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE! The ECM offers a broad range of internship opportunities for students, ranging from positions with non-profit arts groups to for-profit businesses. Internships can be for academic credit or not, and can often be customized to suit your schedule and interests. If you’re interested, stop by the ECM office and we’ll talk about the options!