Thursday, June 21, 2007

Enterprise education: and another thing...

Previously I have identified two areas where enterprise is inadvertanly (or not) taught within creative disciplines (at least art and design). These briefly were:

- Lecturer as practitioner
- Experiential learning - project based real-life briefs being responded to

Today I am going to cover a third and perhaps the most obvious - I am surprised I haven't made mention of it before - the Degree Shows!

Yesterday, speaking to a very senior colleague here at the university I was reminded of the time and investment spent on putting together ones final show. The degree show, for the uninitiated, is an exhibition of all final year students work that takes place right about now in all art and design institutions in the UK (and possibly beyond). The exhibition generally lasts for four or five days and is kicked off with a Private view.

My ISBE conference paper last year discussed the characteristics of the creative industries. In it I make mention of the night-time social element of the creative industries. I guess for some of these students the degree show private view gives an opportunity to experience some of this night-time activity, the start of things to come maybe, the boozing, schmoozing and apparent (fingers crossed) constructive networking that might take place. Maybe:

- meet potential employers/clients, future collaborators.
- present and talk about work
- have a professional experience
- showcase work

Anyway I'd be interested to know how useful these events actually prove to be to students, as my own is all a bit of a blur and a rather long time ago now. Interestingly this showcasing concept has been expanded upon at UCE, where I work, with the New Generation Arts festival. This festival includes current, recent and past graduates and is a much wider celebration of creative talent originating from the university. I like the fact that it recognises the need to continue to highlight and showcase ones work beyond the degree show.

Also other thoughts I would like to share are some observations around the whole concept of entrepreneurship and how in some quarters it is still very much not recognised as relevant to the art and design community. But I'll save this for when I am a little more awake.

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