In the midst of last year’s curriculum review process, it became clear that entrepreneurship was becoming—and should become—an increasingly important focus at Juilliard. So over the past year, 11 staff and faculty members met weekly in what became known as the E Think Tank. As time went on and our discussions about entrepreneurship widened in scope, it was the topic of how to encourage the entrepreneurial mindset within the community and within each individual artist at Juilliard that proved most intriguing. What we came to realize was that helping students to see the myriad opportunities around them—first of all within themselves, then within the building, and then outside—is a key to successful entrepreneurship.
Of course, Juilliard has already been fostering entrepreneurship. This past academic year alone there were about two dozen courses and seminars that were directly or indirectly related to the topic. And as of this fall, selected hands-on projects requiring student leadership will be funded by the new Jonathan Madrigano Entrepreneurship Grants, which are run through the Career Services Office. Forty students applied and five projects were awarded grants: a consortium including graduate voice students John Brancy and Tobias Greenhalgh and Armand Ranjbaran (B.M. ’11, composition) as well as Jessica Garand (M.M. ’12, viola) will expand their respective educational outreach projects; Toni Marie Marchioni (D.M.A. ’12, oboe) will launch a social-marketing consultancy for artists; Kristin Olson (M.M. ’12, historical performance) will expand her Baroque oboe-reed business; and third-year drama student Max Woertendyke will put his grant money toward his film 18 Actors: Short Films. Stay tuned this year for progress reports in this year’s editions of The Journal.