Creativity is the future!


Written by Beth Inglish, “Artist in Residence” at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Artist, Founder of Nashville Creative Group. 

“Creativity is the future and should be Nashville’s top priority.” - Michael Burcham, CEO Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Kiwanis Club’s 2013 Nashvillian of the Year 

Traditionally creatives are not perceived as business minded, but that’s all about to change. Starting on March 27th the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and 25 artists will unite through a unique program called, “Periscope, a new six-week intensive training opportunity that empowers working artists to see their vision through an entrepreneurial lens.” 

“Nashville attracts people who come here with their creativity as their capital, and I am proud of programs like this one that will help us retain and appeal to talented artists. This program will not only help these 25 artists develop their careers, but it will also add to our momentum as a city of opportunity for artists and entrepreneurs.” - Mayor Karl Dean 

Even though business leaders and creatives have very different ways of thinking and processing information, nothing is impossible when we come together and learn from each other’s expertise. Through the Periscope program I believe we will learn just as much about business as the business community will learn about creativity. This collaboration will equip us all to think using the parts of the brain that we’re not used to, causing us to explore new ideas about how business will look in the future. 

“Creative thinking requires complex cognition yet is completely distinct from the thinking process.”  

Creatives need to take unnessary chances. We need space to daydream, observe and digest at the time of day when they thrive the most. We need to be able to ask big questions, take risks, fail and try again. Our future isn’t so clear cut that it could be projected with charts and graphs, it looks a lot messier – and I don’t believe it needs cleaning up. There is a time for creativity and there is a time for business, but I don’t believe they should exist simultaneously. 

Artists are visionaries and the way our minds work don’t make a lot of sense to a majority of the business community. I think if we stop to listen and learn more about how we can work together we’ll see positive results. To a creative entrepreneur money isn’t the bottom line. It’s executing our ideas, bringing them from our mind to the world for everyone can see. We’re not interested in what has been done before. We’re interested in learning more about how business works so that we can shape the things that have never been done and allow our creative ideas to thrive. 

 “In order to help creative individuals, nurture them, and provide the best therapeutic interventions when needed, one must fully grasp their complexity, and the complexity of the creative process itself.” 

I think it would be a mistake to shape creative thinkers into business thinkers, it would cause us to lose our creative edge. However, it is very important to be knowledgeable of what a creative practice would look like if it were to fit into a business framework. 

The EC will provide the framework for monetizing a creative business and artists will use these tools to rework and reconnect our ideas in order to build a sustainable career through training, group work, mentorship and exposure. 

The Periscope program is a jumping off point, but where we’re jumping too that’s still to be determined. 

Periscope partners include: The Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Southwest Airlines. In addition, several local companies and individuals have stepped up to support these outstanding artists by providing scholarships allowing ABC to offer the program to artists at an affordable and accessible fee of only $100. Scholarship partners include: Artist Growth, FLO Thinkery, Van Tucker and more.