Community Conversations

Community Conversations: Art and Entrepreneurship

Mouse trapBy Mark Masuoka, Executive Director and CEO

Art and Entrepreneurship are typically two subjects that occupy polar opposite positions in society. What is the role of innovation in the non-profit sector?

Art (creative process) and business (entrepreneurial spirit) are forever linked by the fact that there is no innovation without creativity.  Both industries thrive when the focus is on fulfilling a mission, not the bottomline.  Employees want to be inspired, customers want to know that their investment is making a difference and as a result, the outcome for both profit and not-for-profit systems can be  a both symbiotic and successful. 

The process of creating a new sculpture, painting, photograph, financial strategy, manufacturing system or business model is congruent with creativity. At this point, the perceived differences between art and entrepreneurship are blurred and each new discovery follows a convergent path. 

So the next time you are thinking about starting a new business or inventing a new mousetrap, watch out, you might just be stepping into the creativity zone.

Community Conversations: Shifting the Cultural Landscape

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By Mark Masuoka, Executive Director and CEO

But I’m not creative.

I don’t have a creative bone in my body.

I can’t even draw a straight line.

These statements are commonly overheard the moment we propose an art (creative) activity.  Whether it be signing up for an art class or just sitting in a meeting and being asking to think “outside of the box”, these apprehensive statements reflect a larger social context beyond the  “fear of the unknown”. It points to how people perceive the truth about what is possible and their willingness to pursue a deeper understanding and application of the creative process.

We understand that not everyone is an artist, nor do we believe that everyone should be an artist. That’s why at the Akron Art Museum we are not asking you to just BE creative; we are asking you to LIVE creative. It is your decision on how you make it happen.

How do you LIVE creative?

Community Conversations: Shifting the Cultural Landscape

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By Mark Masuoka, Executive Director and CEO

What happens when an art museum opens its doors and invites everyone to take part in a community-wide conversation to influence the direction of the museum’s public programs and community initiatives?  This is exactly what the Akron Art Museum is undertaking in a series of open forums to initiate meaning discussions about the inner life of a city.  Community Conversations is a way to bring together amazing thinkers and doers to engage with the museum and to move beyond just pressing the “Like” button.

How do we come together to do something challenging, different, outrageously fantastic and extremely unpredictable, that other’s would only imagine doing?  That’s how things change, grow and get better.  That’s when everything starts to shift.

Are you part of the conversation?