Same or different? The “cultural entrepreneurship” and “arts entrepreneurship” constructs in European and US higher education

Linda Essig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


“Arts entrepreneurship” is beginning to emerge from its infancy as a field of study in US higher education institutions. “Cultural Entrepreneurship”, especially as conceived of in European contexts, developed earlier and on a somewhat different but parallel track. As Kuhlke, Schramme, and Kooyman [(2015). Introduction. Creating cultural capital: Cultural entrepreneurship in theory, pedagogy and practice. Delft: Eburon] note, “In Europe, courses began to emerge in the late 1980s and early 1990s … primarily providing an established business school education with an industry-specific focus on the new and emerging creative economy.” Conversely, the development of “arts entrepreneurship” courses and programmes in the US have been driven as much or more from interest within arts disciplines or even from within the career services units of arts conservatories as a means toward supporting artist self-sufficiency and career self-management. This paper looks at the conceptual development of “arts entrepreneurship” in the US as differentiated from “cultural entrepreneurship” in Europe and elsewhere. Its intention is to uncover where the two strands of education (and research) are the same, and where they are different. In addition to a review of existing literature on European cultural entrepreneurship, US data is drawn from a new survey and inventory of US arts entrepreneurship programmes developed for the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalCultural Trends
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • Cultural entrepreneurship
  • arts entrepreneurship
  • creative industries
  • neoliberalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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