NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma Weitzenhoffer College of Fine Arts will launch its newly revamped International Arts Incubator this spring. The incubator brings together leading arts industry experts, competitively selected artist entrepreneurs, or “artrepreneurs,” and award-winning faculty and graduate student consultants.

The event, scheduled May 14-16, will explore the dynamics involved in identifying and supporting artists on the cusp of a breakthrough in the marketplace. Early registration for conference attendees ends Feb. 15.

The conference is aimed at connecting international artists with formal business training. Artists who find the business and strategic aspects of their careers daunting can participate in this multi-day event that includes keynote speakers, workshops and reflection panels that coincide with the incubator.

Weitzenhoffer College of Fine Arts Associate Dean Adrian Fung devised NERVE – network, expertise, resources, visibility, and experience – to help address the vitality of the 21st century arts market. The NERVE framework helps develop working relationships, improve exposure, obtain consulting, coaching and feedback all while building business plans.

“We like to share how this unique experience can help them build up the NERVE to push their existing projects to the next stage,” said Fung. “IAI’s unique set of endeavors is part of an interlocking system of support. The incubator has been designed with deep field research at the intersection of best practices in the arts and the technological and venture development sectors.”

In the incubator, the artists pitch their projects to leading industry experts. Then, the six experts are matched with the artists through a system gauging their interest and ability to help. The experts address the gaps they identify within an artist’s project by setting objectives for them to achieve. Students within the College of Fine Arts’ Arts Management and Entrepreneurship program serve as the Graduate Consulting Team helping the artists reach these objectives.

“It is really important to the College that the extremely successful events of last year’s arts incubation lab be quantified into research contributing to new insights for the arts industry and our teaching within the Arts Management and Entrepreneurship graduate program,” said College of Fine Arts Dean Mary Margaret Holt.

IAI administers a $10,000 Artrepreneur Award to the top artist project, along with continued levels of support and guidance. The award is chosen by the panel of Senior Fellows. Two-time Tony Award-winning producer Max Weitzenhoffer is a founding Senior Fellow of IAI.

“The entire experience is one of great energy and learning for all,” Weitzenhoffer said. “I especially enjoy seeing our AME students putting their skills and knowledge to work as graduate consultants. By helping our artists achieve objectives set by their mentors, they are able to see the opportunities artists have access to with regard to advice and capital. I also love hearing from my colleagues on the Senior Fellow panel and their perspectives.”

The International Arts Incubator is accepting applications and early registrations on its website at For further information, contact Adrian Fung at or 405-325-7370.

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