Narrowing the Gap

Implications of Arts Business Training on Artist Labor Market Outcomes


  • Christos Makridis Arizona State University; University of Nicosia
  • Jonathan Kuuskoski University of Michigan



arts entrepreneurship, arts business, employment, earnings, wages, entrepreneurship pedagogy


This paper investigates whether entrepreneurship training subsequently impacts artists’ labor market outcomes. Collecting data from major universities, we find that only 9.7% have arts entrepreneurship certificates; just 11.4% have any required arts entrepreneurship classes. Analyzing data from the American Community Survey (ACS) and controlling for demographic factors, fine arts graduates are 1.3% less likely to be employed and earn 8.7% lower annual earnings. However, individuals with both arts and entrepreneurial business training earn more and offset the earnings disadvantage by roughly a half. These results underscore the importance of integrating art entrepreneurship education with the sustainability of the arts sector.

Author Biographies

Christos Makridis, Arizona State University; University of Nicosia

Christos A. Makridis is an associate research professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, visiting faculty at the Institute for the Future in University of Nicosia, digital professor at the Executive Academy in Vienna University of Economics and Business, digital fellow at the Digital Economy Lab in Stanford University, and non-resident fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University with research concentrated in the intersection of labor economics, digital technologies, and human flourishing. Christos is also the chief operating officer and co-founder of Living Opera. He has doctorates in economics and management science and engineering from Stanford University.

Jonathan Kuuskoski, University of Michigan

Jonathan Kuuskoski is Chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Leadership and Director of the EXCEL Lab at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. He oversees all aspects of Michigan’s wide-ranging arts leadership programming, including extensive career advising, various training programs, a graduate certificate and undergraduate minor, and over $900,000 in student project, venture, and internship funding. He regularly collaborates with many of the world’s leading performing arts organizations—from the Berlin and New York Philharmonics to Martha Graham Dance, Disney Theatrical, and beyond— to advance, contextualize, and amplify the field’s best practices amongst the arts leaders of tomorrow.

Overhead photo of multiple laptops and hands working on them.




How to Cite

Makridis, C. ., & Kuuskoski, J. . (2024). Narrowing the Gap : Implications of Arts Business Training on Artist Labor Market Outcomes. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 12(1).