James Hart

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Director of Arts Entrepreneurship; Professor of Practice; Director, Meadows Artist Bridge; Faculty-in-Residence of McElvaney Commons






James Hart has won numerous pedagogical awards and innovation honors. He is a professor of practice at Meadows School of the Arts, serving as director of Arts Entrepreneurship and director of the Meadows Artist Bridge. The Meadows Artist Bridge, designed by Hart, facilitates Meadows student entrepreneurship and professional work, and connects students with community members looking to hire talent. In addition to managing two minors in arts entrepreneurship and arts management, Hart is a faculty member in the M.M.I.A.M. master’s program and serves as Faculty-in-Residence of McElvaney Commons at SMU.

Hart is the founder and former dean of TITAN Teaterakademi (The International Theatre Academy Norway), a full-time accredited conservatory for theatre entrepreneurship in Oslo, Norway, the first of its kind in Europe. He also served as artistic director for TITAN’s producing entity, Teatergruppe, for six years. Before founding TITAN, Hart taught classes as a guest lecturer at several institutions, including the Yale School of Drama, New York University, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Tufts University, Fu Jen University in Taipei, Taiwan and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, among others. Hart has given multiple keynote speeches and regularly advises universities and colleges that are developing arts entrepreneurship programs, and he has served as a guest speaker for the U.S. Department of State. He co-founded the Worldwide Art Collective theatre festival in Taichung, Taiwan.

Hart is a co-founder of the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education (SAEE), the first academic society for arts entrepreneurship education. Meadows School of the Arts held the inaugural SAEE conference in June 2014. Hart is a member of the SMU Big iDeas steering committee and SMU Incubator steering committee, serves on the SMU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Board and is a faculty advisor on the Meadows Dean’s Advisory Council on Creativity, Innovation and Empowerment. Hart currently serves as assistant vice president of programming and as a board member for the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) and he is a partner at Social Venture Partners, Dallas. There, he served as co-curriculum developer for the The Dana Juett Residency. Hart also advises other universities in the creation of arts entrepreneurship programs and curricular initiatives around experiential learning for entrepreneurship.

Artistically, Hart has earned credit and recognition as an actor, director, writer and producer. As an actor, he has played roles at Yale Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Shakespeare Festival of Dallas and Dallas Theater Center, among others. Other artistic work of Hart’s has been seen in America, Russia, Taiwan, Iran, Denmark, and Turkey.

Hart earned his M.F.A. in acting from the Yale School of Drama in 1999 and graduated from SMU with a B.F.A. in theatre in 1996.

Hart is the author of many experiential entrepreneurship exercises for the classroom. His games, simulations, demonstrations, and exercises have been used in dozens of universities in the U.S. and abroad.

Recent Work

Book Contributions

Hart has an upcoming book chapter, “Scale Up, Scale Back,” in Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy – 2021, to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

Hart, J. D. (2018). Have a classmate tell your story. In Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy – 2018. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Hart, James D. Classroom Exercises for EntrepreneurshipEdward Elgar Publishing, 2018.

Hart, James. “Games for the Entrepreneurship Classroom.” Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy – 2016, edited by Michael H. Morris and Eric Liguori, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016, vol. 2, pp. 381-384.

Beckman, Gary D. and Hart, James D. “Educating Arts Entrepreneurs: Does, Can or Should One Size Fit All?” Embracing Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines, edited by Satish Nambisan, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2015.

Hart, James D. and Beckman, Gary D. “Arts Entrepreneurship: You Are Closer than You Think.” Innovation in Five Acts: Strategies for Live Performance, edited by Caridad Svich, Theatre Communications Group, 2015.

Articles and Essays

Hart, J. D. and Beckman, G. D. (In press). “Aesthetics, Medium and Method: An Introduction to the Differences and Similarities between Arts and Non-Arts Entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneurship, Education, and Pedagogy.

Hart, J. D. (2020). Utilizing the Stanislavski System and Core Acting Skills to Teach Actors in Arts Entrepreneurship CoursesJournal of Arts Entrepreneurship Education2(1), 3-31.

Hart, James D. “Arts Entrepreneurship and the Hero's Adventure,” Journal of Arts Entrepreneurship Research, vol. 1, no. 1, 2015.

Hart, James D. “What if Artists Were Trained As Entrepreneurs?,” TCG Circle, Theatre Communications Group.

Hart, James D. “The Marble Game,” Experiential Entrepreneurship Exercises Journal, Summer 2015, vol. 1, issue 3, pp. 5-8.

Hart, James D. “Taking Stock,” Experiential Entrepreneurship Exercises Journal, Fall 2015, vol. 1, Issue 4, pp. 13-15.

Hart, James D. “Persona Ideation & 3 Ideas,” Experiential Entrepreneurship Exercises Journal, Fall 2015, vol. 1, issue 4, pp. 22-26.

Popular Blog Posts

Hart, J. (2020, January 03). But What Does Arts Entrepreneurship Even Mean? Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://blog.americansforthearts.org/2019/04/09/but-what-does-arts-entrepreneurship-even-mean.

Hart, J. (2018, September 06). Flipping the Classroom and the Benefits of Experiential Learning. Retrieved October 14, 2020, from https://elgar.blog/2018/09/06/flipping-the-classroom/.


Recipient of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Excellence in Pedagogical Innovation Award for the original course design of Creative Entrepreneurship and Attracting Capital (AMAE 3387), 2022.

Institution Faculty/Staff of the Month for October 2020, The Housing Unification Board at Southern Methodist University.

SMU Provost's Teaching Recognition Award, 2018.

Sharon T. Alpi Award for Innovative Arts Entrepreneurship Pedagogy; national honor, Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education, by nomination and award committee vote, 2018.

USASBE (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Third Place honor for original experiential exercise; by workshop paper submission, blind peer review and expert judge decisions because of live presentations, 2018.

USASBE (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Special Recognition in Entrepreneurship Education Innovation, awarded at USASBE conference for “Games for Teaching Arts Entrepreneurship,” 2016.

USASBE (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) First Place, conference Spark! contest, for Entrepreneurial Classroom Exercises, 2015.

USASBE (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Award for Best Workshop, USASBE Conference, in collaboration with Julienne Shields of Millikin University and Megan Carpenter of Texas A&M, 2015.

Course list

Creative Entrepreneurship and Attracting Capital AMAE 3387
Developing Creative Strategies: Planning for Success AMAE 4390
Entrepreneurship and the Hero Adventure AMAE 3370
Cultural Entrepreneurship IAM 6375
James Hart