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New Herberger initiative p.a.v.e. lays groundwork for artist entrepreneurs

March 22, 2007

Artists with a flair for entrepreneurship can receive extra financial support to develop and implement their visions through p.a.v.e.: the performing arts venture experience. It's a new initiative in the ASU Herberger College School of Theatre and Film.

p.a.v.e. is funded as part of a $5 million grant to ASU by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to further cross-campus entrepreneurship education. Student projects that incorporate new or current technology, or create new models for interdisciplinary collaboration in films and live performance are the cornerstone of p.a.v.e. The initiative also strengthens faculty members' entrepreneurial skills through advanced training in arts entrepreneurship.

“Campus entrepreneurship initiatives often are housed in business or engineering schools,” says Linda Essig, director of the School of Theatre and Film. “It's unique and rather wonderful that ASU has included the arts as one of the core disciplines in its ‘University as Entrepreneur' program. The school is redirecting the curriculum of some existing classes to meet the entrepreneurial goals of the p.a.v.e. project. Students are provided with skills and experiences that ultimately will translate into career advancement and enhanced creativity.”

p.a.v.e. augments arts entrepreneurship programs in the School of Theatre and Film, such as the Student Production Board, and classes such as theater organization and management, and independent film. A new class on arts entrepreneurship starts in the fall. A guest speaker series starts this spring.

Students of all disciplines can submit a proposal for p.a.v.e. assistance, but, one team member must major in one of the School of Theatre and Film programs. Faculty members help set goals for approved p.a.v.e. teams, and they also serve as project mentors.

The deadline for student proposals is April 2. Projects likely will be approved by early May.

p.a.v.e. is part of ASU's “University as Entrepreneur” initiative ( For more information about p.a.v.e., visit the Web site (