Dear Arts@Lehigh blog subscriber,
You may be seeing a bunch of notifications in your email with new posts to the Arts@Lehigh blog. These posts are from students in a course at Lehigh University called “Entrepreneurial Communications for Creative Industries.” An entry level course of the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, the 39 students enrolled come from many areas of study, experiential backgrounds, and interests: Finance, Marketing, Journalism, Supply Chain Management, Public Relations, Political Science, athletes, greeks….what’s missing? Arts, Theatre, Music, and Design majors. Not that I don’t get the occasional arts student, but they are unicorns in this class.
And I like it that way. Experiential learning through community arts and cultural activities can be open to all students. This course offers an opportunity for students to explore the arts and cultural industry of the community that surrounds the campus. For their first assignment, the pedagogical process included identifying something to experience, create content that described the experience, identify an audience, and find ways to deliver their content to an audience wider than their immediate circle of friends and family. Through learning how to communicate their first-person experiences while learning various techniques that employ entrepreneurial thinking, the students come to understand the cultural assets in terms that matter to them.
The recent posts are their stories, observations, and possible motivations to an audience they don’t know. They don’t need a deep understanding of the art, the cultural organization, or community asset to describe what they experienced. Through writing, they are encouraged to think about who else would care about their story.
This blog was used as a tool for the students to see immediate response to their work. It’s a way for them to observe analytics, and to learn the nuances of reaching an audience through strategic social media engagement. An established readership (you) have been inundated with posts that may not be talking about the arts. However, if you feel compelled to comment on any of the posts, we welcome your contribution. Invite the students to something you care about. Challenge them. This is a great place to start a conversation.
For some of the posts, it may also be useful for cultural organizational leadership to read the students’ experiences. If they are interested in what students have to say about how they engage in the community off campus; these experiences could offer a bit of insight into the mysterious ways of Lehigh University students.
The students won’t be doing another round of writing for a while. Don’t fear a continuous stream of more notifications. As always, I thank you for subscribing to this blog.
Dr. Silagh White