The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership proudly sponsored an afternoon of artists and entrepreneurship on September 9, 2006 in the new Alice Campbell Alumni Center. Renowned artists from the Champaign-Urbana community sat on an interactive panel to discuss their start-up stories and how entrepreneurship has shaped their careers.
Panelists were available both before and after the discussion to showcase their work and talk one-on-one with interested community members and budding student artists. The panel included entrepreneurs such as Mark Rubel, Chip McNeill, Surface 51, Larry Kanfer, Taylor Studios, OpenSource, Wind Water & Light, and The Ninth Letter.
Chip McNeill, Chair of the Jazz Studies program at Illinois, discussed his creative evolution from performer to producer and composer. Working with artists such as Maynard Ferguson and the Grammy winning Arturo Sandoval helped him branch out and think more entrepreneurially. He uses these lessons to inspire his students and transform the jazz curriculum to creative new heights.
As a panelist, photographer Larry Kanfer explained that his architectural studies helped shape his eye for shadowing and depth in photography. He is glad to have followed his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for photography, and explained to the eager audience that “following your dream means hard work, persistence, setting priorities, and being willing to make certain sacrifices to make it happen.”
Mark Rubel, entrepreneur and owner of Pogo Studio, motivated audience members by discussing the development of his recording studio from the ground up. He explained how each piece of studio equipment was bought with cash, not loans, allowing him to keep managerial and artistic control of the studio’s operations and outstanding client relations. Since 1980, Mark has produced hundreds of records, which include clients such as Alison Krauss and American Minor. He is proud to call Pogo Studio his entrepreneurial passion, and enjoys inspiring new entrepreneurs by teaching audio and music business courses.
Community members applauded the notable accomplishments of these talented artists, and were thrilled to apply their advice to future entrepreneurial endeavors.