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Title: Entrepreneurship and the creative industries : a qualitative study of attitudes towards entrepreneurship and enterprise education within Northern Ireland's visual arts and theatre sectors
Author: Margey, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 4795
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is based on a focused ethnographic study of Northern Ireland's visual arts and theatre communities and endeavours to demonstrate attitudes towards entrepreneurship within these communities. It also investigates the potential for moving artists and arts organisations away from a culture of dependence 'on grants and subsidy to one of financial independence through entrepreneurial self-reliance. With around one third of all self-employed first degree graduates in the UK coming from creative arts disciplines, the thesis uncovers the current state of and attitudes towards an enterprise curriculum for visual arts and theatre students in Higher Education in Northern Ireland. A series of face-to-face semi-structured interviews and focus groups was used to build understanding about the phenomenon of art entrepreneurship in its real life context and to identify the perceptions of government policy interventions designed to promote enterprise in Higher Education and build the local creative industries ecosystem. A sample pool of individual artists, arts administrators, students, beneficiaries of the Creative Industries Innovation Fund and educators was drawn from the disciplines of visual arts and theatre. The sample also encompassed representatives from arts and economic development agencies and appropriate government departments in Northern Ireland. The findings position the subsidised and commercial arts at the heart of the entrepreneurial creative industries ecosystem. Although some arts practitioners and leaders of non-profit arts organisations struggled to identify themselves as traditional economic entrepreneurs, many recognised the need to link artistic creations to markets and consumers in order to ensure the commercial viability of individual artistic practices and organisations. Interviews revealed income diversification, achieved through market, product and revenue diversification as key to commercially viable arts organisations and artistic practices. The thesis also identifies how Higher Education and policy makers might respond to current and future enterprise education needs among Northern Ireland's visual arts and drama students in order to enhance their individual and sector's economic potential.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available