Arts & Culture

The Water is Fine Online: Arts Entrepreneurs Dive in Fish Tank

photo of poster art for Fish Tank: Emerging Entrepreneurs in the Arts
In light of the global pandemic, UK Department of Arts Administration will present Fish Tank Nov. 17 on Zoom.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2020) Arts organizations have found new ways to connect with audiences in 2020. University of Kentucky Department of Arts Administration students have been challenged to take this one step further by creating alternative methods of delivery without a dependence on technology.

This challenge is the basis for the third annual Fish Tank: Emerging Entrepreneurs in the Arts, presented by theLAB, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, via Zoom. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. 

Part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Fish Tank features six groups of UK arts administration students in AAD 410 Arts Entrepreneurship who have innovative ideas for a better future for arts organizations and will pitch them to a panel of expert judges. The event will be hosted by Keith McMunn, fellowship director at Awesome Inc. and entrepreneur-in-residence for the class. 

Jill Schinberg, assistant professor of arts administration, explained the importance of the upcoming event. “The global pandemic has challenged the ways in which we have historically engaged with arts and culture in society. Many organizations have adapted their programming by relying heavily on technological solutions, but not everyone has access to technology.  

“Arts administrators striving to create inclusive organizations must ensure access to the arts for economically disadvantaged, rural or other populations that may not have consistent/reliable internet access or who lack the equipment or tech savvy to engage. The students participating in this competition are building solutions and will come away with a fully formed and viable business plan.” 

Competitors will be judged on the feasibility and sustainability of their projects by esteemed business owners and arts professionals including: 

  • Adanma Onyedike Barton, associate professor of theatre at Berea College. Barton was the first African American president of the Kentucky Theatre Association. 
  • Nan Plummer, former art museum director and former president and CEO of LexArts, Lexington’s arts council and united arts fund. She is currently executive director of the Treeline Conservancy in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 
  • Jaleesa Renee Wells, Ph.D., assistant professor of arts administration at UK. Wells’ research and practice explores areas such as social enterprise and hybrid organizational development in the arts and culture sector, as well as investigating racial and social justice issues in cultural institutions. 

For the second time, there will be an audience favorite winner. Register for your free ticket now so you can vote for your favorite. 

A laboratory for creative and applied research in arts administration, theLab focuses on producing, presenting and consulting on projects from vision to fruition. Addressing equitable practices through planning, staffing, policy and procedure is a hallmark of its work as collaborative researchers. Created in the image of the clinical services and extension models for applied research across university campuses around the world, theLAB was conceived and is directed by Schinberg. 

Founded in 1987, the Department of Arts Administration at UK College of Fine Arts offers one of the most comprehensive curricula in the country including the only Ph.D. in arts administration. Dynamic and innovative, the department leads national and international initiatives in teaching, research, professional and community service to educate and inspire responsible arts leaders, artists and entrepreneurs. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.