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Arts and Design Entrepreneurship Faculty Teaching Fellows Support Arts Entrepreneurship Program

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Aaron Knochel

The College of Arts and Architecture has launched an Arts and Design Entrepreneurship Faculty Teaching Fellows Program in order to leverage and engage the expertise of faculty in the college and increase the impact of the Arts Entrepreneurship program.

Over the past several years, training in entrepreneurship has emerged as an important new feature in the landscape of higher education in the United States. At Penn State, this national trend has led to the creation of an intercollege minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENTI), which includes an “Arts Cluster” of courses. Arts and Design Entrepreneurship Faculty Teaching Fellows teach or team-teach an existing course or create a new course related to professionalism and career development in the arts and design fields, such as arts and design entrepreneurship; arts and design management; administration and policy within a nonprofit or commercial context; arts leadership; and using the arts and design for social entrepreneurship.

The Arts Entrepreneurship program aims to increase student placement and success in arts-related fields, as well as to equip students with entrepreneurial skills so they can apply training in arts and design disciplines to the creation of arts ventures in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

“The Arts and Design Entrepreneurship Faculty Teaching Fellows program utilizes the breadth and depth of faculty throughout the College of Arts and Architecture to expand course offerings and experiential learning opportunities within the Arts Entrepreneurship program,” explained Jonathan Gangi, director of the Arts Entrepreneurship program and assistant professor of music and arts entrepreneurship. “Since the Arts Entrepreneurship program serves the entire college, it is wonderful to have faculty from each school within the college enthusiastic about helping students to create the arts or design career of their choosing, using entrepreneurial and managerial mindsets and skillsets as tools to achieve their professional aspirations. Any faculty interested in participating are very welcome to join the effort to help our students excel not only at their art form or design skills, but also in developing their entire career.”

Limited funding is available to fellows to support the teaching and implementation of their courses. The fellows are encouraged to develop workshops, events, and other experiential learning opportunities in collaboration with Gangi. This semester, for example, Bonnie Collura, associate professor of art, has invited a professional photographer to her class to teach students how to best photograph their sculptures.

Current fellows include Collura; Lonnie Graham, professor of art; Brian Alfred, assistant professor of art; Sue Haug, professor of music; Shadi Nazarian, associate professor of architecture; Ann Tarantino, assistant professor of art; David Stambler, professor of music; Aaron Knochel, assistant professor of art education; Ryan Russell, associate professor of graphic design; Keith Shapiro; associate professor of art; and Geoff Scott, professor of law (who co-teaches a course with Gangi).

Gangi was hired in 2014 to launch the college’s Arts Entrepreneurship program. He developed the four courses that comprise the Arts Cluster within the ENTI minor, which are offered to not only all students in the College of Arts and Architecture, but any student at Penn State. His long-term goal is to generate a greater amount of financial support for the teaching fellows program from the college and home unit of each fellow.

“Entrepreneurship is about knowing that human action in the world can influence and shape opportunities, social structures, and the future,” said Gangi. “Knowing that humans have a compelling need to consume, create, and participate in art, broadly conceived, I encourage students to be confident in the multiplicity of value types the arts provide humanity, and to envision products and services that will delight and give life to markets, consumers, and audiences.”

Interested faculty should contact Gangi at There is no deadline to become part of the program.