Artist Activism as Arts Entrepreneurship

Artists Disrupting Social Structures and Changing the Future


  • Megan Jordan The Ohio State University



artist activism, arts entrepreneurship, activist art, portfolio careers, social movements


The conceptual framing of artist activists as arts entrepreneurs is pivotal to this study’s analysis of artists’ political organizing during the overlapping moments of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Trump presidential era. However, artist activism as a form of arts entrepreneurship is underexplored in the arts entrepreneurship literature. To address this gap, I conduct a side-by-side comparison of key principles in the arts entrepreneurship and social movement literatures to establish a transdisciplinary theoretical baseline that supports my argument that artist activism is a vital form of arts entrepreneurship. I then analyze interviews with twenty-seven artist activists who cultivated and exercised actions for “changing the future” (Koppl & Minniti, 2008a, 17) during this period and apply my findings to further expand the taxonomy of arts entrepreneurship first developed by Chang and Wyszomirski (2015) beyond management process to vehicle for institutional change. In addition to connecting arts entrepreneurship to the social movement literature and conceptualizing artist activism as a form of arts entrepreneurship, I identify strategies and tactics employed by US artist activists in their creation of both economic and social value in the 2020-2022 period.

Author Biography

Megan Jordan, The Ohio State University

Dr. Megan Jordan is a sociologist and artist who conducts research on artistic activism and activists’ experiences in social movements. Megan is a Presidential Postdoctoral Scholar of Arts Policy at the Ohio State University, where she is also a W.K. Kellogg Foundation research fellow for engaging principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in her research. She serves on boards and community panels to assist arts organizations in improving their community engagement and diversity-equity programming in meaningful ways. Megan uses her artistic practice as another avenue to share her research in more emotive, accessible ways to bridge build across diverse audiences.




How to Cite

Jordan, M. (2023). Artist Activism as Arts Entrepreneurship: Artists Disrupting Social Structures and Changing the Future. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 11(3).