Professor Honored for Arts Entrepreneurship Teaching

Jim Hart wins national award from Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education

The Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education is happy to announce Jim Hart, Interim Chair of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University, as the 2017 recipient of the Sharon T. Alpi Award for Innovative Arts Entrepreneurship Pedagogy.

Hart’s pedagogical innovation involves the use of carefully designed games to develop a deeper understanding of entrepreneurial thinking, skills and problem-solving. His blog Arts Entrepreneurship Games offers games, simulations, demonstrations and exercises for the arts entrepreneurship classroom, which can be used by teachers as a supplement to lectures. These games have been compiled into a book Classroom Exercises for Entrepreneurship: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach, which includes 65 original exercises to teach entrepreneurship.

Hart notes on his blog that the practice of entrepreneurship is, at its heart, an experiential one; consequently, games are an “ideal modality” for students to engage in an experiential process that mirrors entrepreneurial thinking and action. He further notes that games capitalize on artists’ love of play and their innate collaborative sensibilities.

“Unlike many who seek to translate standard business-entrepreneurship practices into terms artists can understand, Jim has truly created something fundamentally new and unique to the practice of arts entrepreneurship,” says Dr. Josef Hanson, Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education President. “Aside from the business model canvas, which is used by virtually all of us in the arts entrepreneurship field, I cannot think of a single pedagogical resource that is as easily accessible and widely applied as Jim’s games.”

In addition, Jim has consistently been generous in sharing his work within the arts entrepreneurship field, demonstrating games at conferences, sharing them online, and now featuring them in his book. The U.S. Association of Small Business & Entrepreneurship recognized Jim’s work several times, and he co-chairs the Special Interest Group on Creative & Arts Entrepreneurship. He is also an editor of The Experiential Entrepreneurship Exercises Journal and other journals of arts entrepreneurship research and arts entrepreneurship pedagogy.

“This award is a great honor. To be associated with Sharon T. Alpi, in any way, is both exciting and humbling. She is a pioneer and visionary in the field of arts entrepreneurship,” said Hart. “I see this award as a kind recognition, but also a challenge - a challenge to continue to create teaching resources that not only serve my students, but also our colleagues and the field.”

About the Award

From 1998-2016, Sharon T. Alpi was the founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Millikin University. She played a key role in developing innovative experiential pedagogy and programs utilizing entrepreneurial frameworks. Alpi was the driver at Millikin for the initiative to develop a concentration in entrepreneurship in the late 1990’s, which led to the creation of a major and minor in entrepreneurship. In 2003, she collaborated with arts faculty in the creation of an award-winning Arts Entrepreneurship multidisciplinary program which is based on a unique pedagogy of "learning through practice" in student–run ventures.

The Sharon T. Alpi Award for Innovative Arts Entrepreneurship Pedagogy was established in 2016. Through a donation of an anonymous donor, it is to be awarded for three years, with $500 to be given to an educator (or group of educators) to continue their work in their innovative pedagogy. Award recipients demonstrate groundbreaking work in arts entrepreneurship and their pedagogical innovation impacts both their institution and the broader arts entrepreneurship education community.

“Jim is an ideal first recipient of the Sharon T. Alpi Award,” said Julienne Shields, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Millikin University. “His passion for both the discipline and experiential learning is exactly the kind of teaching demonstrated by Sharon.”

About Jim Hart

Jim Hart holds a BFA from Southern Methodist University and MFA from Yale School of Drama. He has served as an actor, director, writer, and producer and performed in major theatres throughout the U.S., including Yale Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Utah Shakespearean Festival and others. His artistic work has been seen in America, Russia, Norway, Taiwan, Denmark, Iran, and Turkey. A serial entrepreneur, Hart founded the first professional theatre conservatory dedicated to Arts Entrepreneurship (The International Theatre Academy Norway), co-founded the Worldwide Art Collective International Performance Festival (Taiwan), Austin Conservatory of Professional Arts (Austin) and is a co-founder of the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education.

Hart now directs the Arts Entrepreneurship program at Southern Methodist University. Some of Hart’s service includes serving on the Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts board, the organizing committee for Dallas Festival of Ideas, as a partner with Social Venture Partners and is a founding member SMU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisory Board (EIAB). He advises university programs forming arts entrepreneurship initiatives and has published several book chapters for Theatre Communications Group, Edward Elgar Publishing, and USASBE, as well as multiple peer-reviewed articles. Hart has won six major awards in the past four years, including the Special Recognition in Entrepreneurship Education Innovation (USASBE), the Provost’s Teaching Award (SMU) and now the Sharon T. Alpi Award for Innovative Arts Entrepreneurship Pedagogy, to name a few. For more on Hart’s work, check out his bio.The Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to advancing formal training and high educational standards for arts entrepreneurship education.