The Network Effect of Arts Incubators

A Geospatial Perspective


  • Stan Renard Oklahoma University
  • Gianluca Zanella The University of Texas at San Antonio



Incubators, Arts, GIS, Artists, Network Effects, Clusters, Entrepreneurship


Although there has been a proliferation of metrics to evaluate arts incubators, the academic field is still developing. Different models and methods of education are applied to the complex phenomena of arts incubators; therefore, it is crucial to measure the effectiveness of education programs from many different perspectives. Our aim is to propose a metric that can estimate the effect of each incubator activity based on the geospatial distribution of its participants. This GIS-based metric will provide a descriptive measure for the quantity and density of the geographical communities affected by the incubator’s activity as well as a socio-economic and demographic benchmarks. Our study investigates 14 US-based arts incubators that offer entrepreneurial training to their associated 1,087 incubatees. The goal of this study is to provide a metric that can assist arts incubators, program directors, arts administrators, and university programs assess program growth as well as funding and marketing efforts.

Author Biographies

Stan Renard, Oklahoma University

Dr. Stan Renard is Visiting Associate Professor and Coordinator of Arts Management and Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma University. He is the Director of the Arts Incubation Research Lab (AIR Lab), a National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab. The lab’s research team studies the intersection of the arts, entrepreneurship, and innovation at its incubation stage with a research agenda that intends to understand the economic potential of artists as non-conventional entrepreneurs and the impact of the digital divide upon arts-based entrepreneurs. In addition, he is a touring and recording artist, and the founder and arranger of the Grammy-Nominated Bohemian Quartet and Viatorum Music. Dr. Renard holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA) from the University of Connecticut as well as a Doctorate in International Business (DBA) from Southern New Hampshire University. Previously held collegiate appointments include Colby College, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Providence College, Eastern Connecticut State University, Southern New Hampshire University, the University of California at San Diego, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Renard is a member of the Yamaha Master Educator Collective, Music Business & Entrepreneurship Group.

Gianluca Zanella, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Zanella is Professor of Practice of Cybersecurity and Coordinator at the Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He manages the scientific research of the Center and acts as PI of Center’s studies. Selected topics of his research are culture and entrepreneurial social networks, entrepreneurship and the informal economy, entrepreneurship education, and cognitive research on entrepreneurship and cyber-security. Dr.. Zanella is the founder and CEO of a startup in the US and a co-founder of a software company in Italy. He has a MS in Physics, a MS in Management of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity.




How to Cite

Renard, S., & Zanella, G. (2021). The Network Effect of Arts Incubators: A Geospatial Perspective. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 10(2).