ArtsLab:  Bringing Entrepreneurial Skills to Students in the Arts at the University of Michigan

ArtsLab provided students an opportunity to work on innovative creative arts based projects on campus, applying their innate skills and interests to real projects to help develop an understanding of business and legal matters. The program used an action-based learning model as applied to the study of creative arts, asking students to work in interdisciplinary teams to develop and launch entrepreneurial projects in the arts. Over the course of the project, students from the School of Music, Theater & Dance; School of Art and Design; Ross School of Business; Law School; School of Information; and LSA worked together to launch a campus-based, student-run record label: Empty Mug Records. Led by undergraduates Hailey Phelps and Meta Stange, the label seeks to pursue both the traditional business model (as applied on campus) and find innovative methods of publishing, distributing, and creating content.

Based in the U-M Library Copyright Office as a crossroad for questions about copyright, scholarly and creative works, and business questions, ArtsLab sought to link a number of centers across the University that have need for greater communication to better understand and utilize creative content. Hands-on learning was supplemented with eleven open workshops that focused on the various intersections between art, law, and entrepreneurship:

Music and Copyright (10/1/13)
Music and Fair Use (10/15/13)
Implementing Open Access Programs and Connecting with End Users (10/21/13)
Interpreting Music Contracts (10/29/13)
Branding Yourself as an Artist (11/19/13)
Art, Ownership, and Moral Rights (1/28/14)
Legal Regimes and Art (2/3/14)
Public Performance, Public Display, and Public Art (2/18/14)
The Golden Rule (Fair Use, Re-Use, and New Use) (2/26/14)
Business Entities for Arts Organizations and Projects (3/10/14)
Social Practice in the Arts (3/20/14)

Entrepreneurial Empty Mug Records dedicated to student artists
Michigan Daily, October 6, 2014

Project Team:

Mark Clague, Associate Professor, School of Music, Theatre and Dance
Melissa Levine, Lead Copyright Officer, Librarian, University of Michigan Library