AECI Curriculum

Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation program

Explore and articulate your creative self and creative strengths. Convert that work into collaboration and team performance. Develop your emergent leadership frameworks and strategies. Start driving value for stakeholders and customers. Create good and give value into your networks. Connect others. Think and act across disciplines. Understand the interconnectivity of all aspects of enterprise. Be a leader from anywhere you stand. Integrate your work and drive it forward. Confront injustice. Leave the place better than you found it.

The Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation minor is comprised of seven original courses, each four credits, for a total of 28 credits. At the conclusion of the minor students will integrate Person, Practice and Public into a student-generated culminating project that serves as a bridge to their post-undergraduate work. The concluding capstone has two separate tracks: a product/service track and an arts/performance track. Upon completing a major within the College of Fine and Performing Arts with a minor in Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation, students will possess the knowledge of their specific creative disciplines and the knowledge and abilities needed to develop and monetize their own unique creative attributes.

Course Outline

28 credits total, 7 courses


Venn diagram: three intersecting circles labeled Person, Practice, and Public


AECI 301: Person and Public

The initial course in the Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation (AECI) minor sequence. This course develops the foundational tools and best practices to be used in creative self, team and project leadership, with an accomplished creative practice at the core of the enterprise. Includes overview of personality theory, research on the creative personality, and stakeholder analysis and mapping to develop effective, creative self and team leadership skills. In order to emerge from their educational experience as capable professionals, students will need to possess the knowledge of their specific creative disciplines, as well as the knowledge and abilities needed to develop and monetize their own unique creative attributes. This course prepares students for an entry into a vocation and career that they design as creative professionals; based on their knowledge of self (Person), and knowledge of the public spaces in which they will operate (Public).

AECI 302: Emergent Leadership

The second course in the Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation (AECI) minor sequence. This course explores emergent leadership models and builds on the previous course to develop leadership within networked and distributed organizations and groups. Frameworks of collaboration and creative conflict are explored to give function to the activity within a creative enterprise. Artists and creative individuals are uniquely comprised in transitioning through multiple modes of thought and creative practice. This ease of transition positions creative’s to take a leadership role within dynamic and less hierarchical organizations. As students within the Arts develop their discipline specific talents within their major, they are exercising leadership, collaboration and conflict skills, this course provides frameworks to focus those skills and ensure positive learning and professional outcomes.


AECI 303: Conducting the Enterprise

The third course in the Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation (AECI) minor sequence. Frameworks for arts organization formation and financing are explored. This course will enable creative leaders to measure the financial standing of an enterprise, test ideas and assumptions from a fiduciary perspective and fund and market projects and practices using contemporary frameworks and best practices. This course prepares students in the selection and formation of their own professional practices. An understanding of funding and financing their professional activities positions them uniquely as they emerge as professionals in the creative space.

AECI 304: AECI Internship

Required 100 hours of field experience. Supervised work experience wherein the student makes an embedded contribution to a recognized formal creative enterprise under the direction and supervision of qualified practitioners. Student or program facilitated, experiential, applied learning opportunity. Existing internship experiences as defined within a CFPA major are applicable (e.g., design internships). Professional exposure and networking are key components of this applied learning engagement. The experience gained in the guided internship forges a conduit to creative industry and enhances our students understandings of the first year AECI frameworks. Both of which enhance our graduates potential for careers within the creative cultural space.


AECI 405: Arts Management

The fourth course in the Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation (AECI) minor sequence.  Iteration, emergent strategy, design thinking and discovery-driven growth are established as guiding frameworks for arts organizations, projects and artists. Students will understand how these frameworks operate, how to select a framework for a given situation, and how to implement the appropriate framework in ambiguous, real world circumstances. This course will enhance our students' ability to lead projects, people and organizations within the arts. Providing students with the problem solving and strategy development tools that heighten their effectiveness as producers within the creative space.

AECI 406: Disruption

The fifth course in the Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation (AECI) minor sequence. Disruption in the context of the creative enterprise is the result of a highly creative initiative that achieves a rift in the existing market patterns and results in a deep penetration and resonance with the audience. This course examines the frameworks that support creative disruption, and generate positive outcomes from disruption-initiated activity. This course provides students with the definitions and frameworks needed to identify modes of disruption and manage and contain disruption. Disruption being understood as an active byproduct of the execution and existence of a successful arts enterprise, thus preparing students for successful careers as emerging artists.


AECI 407: Capstone lab

The culminating course in the Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation (AECI) minor sequence. Students will develop a project or practice and take it through the process of evaluating it in terms of risk and uncertainty, building a basic business model, developing an emergent strategy, and following a design thinking process to solve problems. Students in this course demonstrate competency of the models and frameworks provided in each of the preceding AECI courses. The applied learning exercise then converts these frameworks into action and experience, the result of which is a demonstrated preparedness to emerge as creative professionals, well positioned to produce within a variety of social, cultural and professional environments.