How do healthy creative economies open the door for artists and innovators?
To answer this question, we take you to Nashville, Tennessee. Music City, U.S.A., aims to become the nation’s start up capital, too. Every year since 2012, Launch Tennessee hosts the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival to encourage new business endeavors. In 2019, Festival organizers invited Fresh Art International to curate a presentation around building the creative economy.
For a live audience gathered inside the historic Acme Seed & Feed building, we bring to the stage Harry Allen, Nashvillian boutique banker, Emily Best, Los Angeles based filmmaker and film producer, and Andrea Zieher, Nashville based director of Tennessee’s near future contemporary art triennial. Our conversation reveals how the same risk taking and innovation that drive all startups fuel the most impactful creative entrepreneurship.
- Recognize the value of cultural entrepreneurship.
- Work toward meaningful and inclusive community impact.
- Optimize technology, forge real relationships and dedicate personal energy to increase opportunities for creators and facilitate greater access to cultural experiences.
Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Live event recording courtesy Studio 208, Nashville | Photography: Monica McGivern
More about Building the Creative Economy and Launch Tennessee:
Harry L. Allen is Co-Founder, Executive VP and Chief Relationship Officer of Studio Bank, Nashville’s newest locally-headquartered bank. Allen serves as the Bank’s lead business development officer, key point of contact for stakeholders and strategic partners, such as the bank’s Founders’ Advisory Board and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and manages the Bank’s involvement and investment in community efforts. The Nashville Business Journal recognized Harry as a 2018 Power Leader in Finance, and, in 2014, as one of Nashville’s Top 40 Under 40. In its first year, Studio Bank has demonstrated a commitment to empowering local creators, in partnership with the Arts and Business Council.
Emily Best is founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, an entertainment platform built to increase diversity and inclusion for filmmakers and audiences. Seed&Spark’s curated streaming platform is fed by its crowdfunding platform, which has the highest campaign success rate in the world. In 2011, she produced the feature film “Like the Water.” Since then she has served as executive producer on a host of film and virtual-reality projects that have played from Sundance to SXSW to Tribeca and beyond. Emily has raised millions of dollars in traditional funding, equity crowdfunding, and rewards based crowdfunding, and contributed to over 300 crowdfunding campaigns to date.
Cathy Byrd, Founder and Artistic director of the Fresh Art International, is an independent curator, writer, podcaster and educator based in Miami. Launched in 2011, her contemporary podcast features more than 200 episodes. Cathy’s global engagement extends to curatorial residencies and live podcast events in the US, South America, the Caribbean, and West Africa.
Andrea Zieher is Director of the new Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art. This major art exhibition premieres in 2021. In four cities across the state, the Triennial intends to activate simultaneously more than fifteen venues, including major museums and universities. Co-founder of ZieherSmith gallery, New York, in 2003, she has worked with art galleries and arts non-profits for over two decades. Andrea served as President of NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance), a non-profit organization that produces the NADA Art Fairs. She has staged lectures, workshops, film screenings, and pop-up exhibitions in Nashville since 2011.
36|86 Festival: Every year since 2012, Launch Tennessee hosts the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival, 36 and 86 are the city’s coordinates, Nashville’s global position. Two days of fast-paced programs designed for investors, entrepreneurs and community leaders revolve around startup and funding models, technology and accessibility, branding and marketing, and live pitch competitions.
Acme Seed & Feed: The setting for our live podcast event is the storied Acme Feed and Seed on South Broadway. Constructed in 1890, the building has housed entrepreneurial endeavors for well more than a century.