James Hart

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Director of Social Innovation, Creative, & Arts Entrepreneurship




James Hart has won numerous pedagogical awards and innovation honors, including the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Pedagogical Innovation Award. He is a professor of practice at Meadows School of the Arts, serving as director of Social Innovation, Creative, & Arts Entrepreneurship. Hart manages the Social Innovation, Creative, & Arts Entrepreneurship major within CCPA and served as the inaugural director of the arts entrepreneurship and arts management minors. Hart is inaugural co-director of the SMU Impact Lab, a faculty member in the M.M.I.A.M. master’s program and is an SMU Faculty Senator.

Hart is a co-founder of the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education (SAEE), the first academic society for arts entrepreneurship education. Presently, he serves as President of SAEE. Meadows School of the Arts held the inaugural SAEE conference in June 2014. Hart is a co-founder of the SMU Incubator, 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. He serves on the 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 is President Elect for the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education (SAEE) and will be President of the academic society, the only in the field of arts entrepreneurship, in 2024. Hart also advises other universities in the creation of arts entrepreneurship programs and curricular initiatives around experiential learning for entrepreneurship.

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 and World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft Worth. He co-founded the Worldwide Art Collective theatre festival in Taichung, Taiwan.

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.

He 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 are used in universities worldwide.

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 Entrepreneurship: A Cross-disciplinary ApproachEdward 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.

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 Adventure”, Journal of Arts Entrepreneurship Research, vol. 1, no. 1, 2015.

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.

Arts Entrepreneurship & Teaching Through Games

Popular Blog Posts and Articles
SMU Wins National Innovation Award for Teaching Artists How Not to Starve by Becoming Entrepreneurs, (Dallas Innovates, February 15, 2022).

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/.

Recipe for Learning: SMU Professor Writes Book on Entrepreneurship Education (Dallas Innovates, May 11, 2018).

Hart, James D. “What if Artists Were Trained as Entrepreneurs?” TCG Circle, (Theatre Communications Group, November 2011).

Podcast Episodes
No Starving Artists Here!! A conversation with James Hart: Director of Social Innovation, Creative and Arts Entrepreneurship at SMU, Meadow's School of Art (The Art of…with Lea Fisher, (July 2022).

SMU’s Jim Hart Discusses Why Creativity is Central to Entrepreneurship (TheStartup.com Thought Leaders, July 2022).

Entrepreneurship is not Innovation, (USASBE, January 14, 2020).

SMU’s Method to Build a Model for the Individual, (Creative Disturbance, New Leonardos, April 11, 2016).

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