Monday, September 2, 2019 Dreams Are for Real: Spotlight on Aaron Dworkin

Aaron P. Dworkin

The Entrepreneurial Artist: Lessons From Highly Successful Creatives
Aaron P. Dworkin

Sep 02, 2019

What’s the secret sauce that gives talents like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Wynton Marsalis such staying power? That’s what creative entrepreneur and educator Aaron Dworkin set out to uncover in The Entrepreneurial Artist, which looks at artists who harnessed their vision into a successful brand. “Art is not just our passion,” Dworkin says, “it’s our creative enterprise.”

As a professor of arts leadership and entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Dworkin’s mission is to equip both up- and-coming talents and veteran professionals with the tools necessary to face the real-world challenges of a life in the arts. “The arts have not found a comprehensive way to teach and empower the whole person,” Dworkin says. “The most significant challenge is to change the mindsets of our young artists and, critically, those who teach and mentor them.”

For his book, Dworkin turned to the examples of artists who found success in a range of creative industries. He conducted exclusive interviews with 11 artists, whose backstories provide inspiration for overcoming obstacles and offer actionable, practical advice for finding one’s voice and connecting with audiences. “These are artists with extensive portfolios who’ve taken excellence, resilience, and creativity to the next level and built lives that enrich and inspire,” Dworkin says.

The roster includes professionals in dance, theatre, music, and film. Along with Miranda and Marsalis, Dworkin profiles Emmy-winning actor Jeff Daniels, now starring on Broadway in To Kill a Mockingbird; Mannheim Steamroller creator Chip Davis; classical violinist Midori; and country artist Lee Greenwood, who wrote “God Bless the U.S.A.” Dworkin also explores how Shakespeare and Mozart developed their own creative enterprises.

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