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Bentley College, Massachusetts College of Art, Arts Services Organizations to Partner Through Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant

March 9, 2006

Bentley College, Massachusetts College of Art (MassArt), Art Services Coalition and Fort Point Cultural Coalition, will partner on a project funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council's John and Abigail Adams Arts Program for Cultural Economic Development.

 

The project, Creative Continuum: Pathways to Market, is focused on increasing employment opportunities for local artists, as well as helping companies strengthen their competitive advantage by working with artists to build a more innovative culture. The project adds a critical component to the ongoing support for Greater Boston's arts community - business education- while giving businesses access to the creativity and imagination innate to artists and designers.

 

Coinciding with widespread coverage in the business press on the newly emerging "creative economy," the program goes beyond providing business skills to artists. It is also committed to fostering a greater appreciation of creative thinking in the business community and "seeding" businesses with people who bring a creative sensibility to problem solving. As author Daniel Pink asserts, "the MFA is the new MBA." His thesis- which has been taken up by other writers and academics as well- is that to be competitive in a global economy, companies should focus on innovation and creative problem-solving, and that artists are a natural resource for these skills.

 

Highlights of the Creative Continuum project include:

 

· Business 101 course for artists: giving them a view into how the business world operates, including familiarity with the cultural aspects of working in a corporation, and the basics of organizational behavior, marketing, and finance.

 

· Workshops that bring together business people and artists to discuss real world business issues and creative problem-solving through case studies

· Development of partnerships with companies who will assist in developing the program, including providing input from executives for the artist/business workshops, considering artists who go through the Business 101 course as prospective employees, and creating internships or residency programs for artists,

 

· Job search coaching for artists that includes resume writing, interviewing, presentation and networking.

 

The first phase of the Creative Continuum project began in fall 2005, when members of MassArt, Art Services Coalition and Fort Point Cultural Coalition received an MCC Adams Program grant to research specific needs of both artists and businesses. Bentley College joined the partnership last fall and will collaborate with the other partners to develop the business education component of the project.

 

"The arts play a critical role in the cultural and economic life of Massachusetts, but the needs of individual artists are often overlooked," says Katherine Sloan, president of MassArt. "This project is designed to strengthen the capacity of Greater Boston's visual artists to make a sustainable living, while providing area companies with a pool of creative, innovative employees who can help them maintain a competitive edge. This project's pioneering partnership, representing education, arts, and business sectors, underscores the value that new synergies may hold to move our region forward creatively and economically."

 

"The program is a natural for Bentley given the contributions Arts & Sciences make in our business curriculum" says Robert D. Galliers, Bentley's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "We look forward to partnering with faculty from MassArt to develop a business course that working artists will find meaningful and productive. Making a contribution to the state's creative economy strikes us not only as an opportunity, but a privilege."

 

Galliers adds, "One of the program's most distinctive features is a series of workshops where executives will bring to the table business problems with which they are currently grappling. Through these sessions artists will learn a great deal about the dynamics of business, and executives will learn a great deal about the innovative ways artists approach problem-solving."

 

Bentley is a national leader in business education. Centered on education and research in business and related professions, Bentley blends the breadth and technological strength of a university with the values and student focus of a small college. Our undergraduate curriculum combines business study with a strong foundation in the arts and sciences. A broad array of offerings at the McCallum Graduate School emphasize the impact of technology on business practice, including MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and selected executive programs. Enrolling approximately 4,000 full-time undergraduate, 250 adult part-time undergraduate, and 1,270 graduate students, Bentley is located in Waltham, Mass., minutes west of Boston.

 

Massachusetts College of Art is a public, free-standing college of art and design. The college's professional baccalaureate and graduate degree programs enable students to contribute to the New England economy as fine artists, designers, and art educators, and to engage creatively in the well being of their society. Continuing education classes, exhibitions, and cultural programs fulfill the college's public purpose of providing access to the arts for the citizens of the Commonwealth.

 

Boston's Arts Services Coalition, including the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts, and the UrbanArts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art is a consortium of non-profit organizations which serve artists, arts institutions and arts communities in the Greater Boston area.

 

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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