Artist Activism as Arts Entrepreneurship
Artists Disrupting Social Structures and Changing the Future
Keywords: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.
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