Date of Conferral







David Bouvin


Artists have the potential to achieve higher levels of success in business management, leadership roles, and entrepreneurial endeavors if equipped with the proper knowledge. Although artists may have a creative perspective and could possess many of the attributes sought after by organizations and communities in need of innovative leaders, their approaches to entrepreneurial management differ from traditional business managers or community leaders. The problem was poor understanding of how artists in Midwestern regions of the United States respond to the demands of entrepreneurial management. The purpose of this qualitative multiple-case study was to understand how 20 individuals who self-identified as artists and living or working in a specific county located in the Midwestern United States responded to entrepreneurial management demands. The key research question involved how these self-identified artists perceived and dealt with the demands of entrepreneurship through the lens of aesthetic leadership. Data from interviews, field notes, and observations were coded and categorized using NVivo to assist in identifying patterns and themes. Findings indicated that the self-identified artists indicated a need for entrepreneurial support, educational systems, and business development support from state and local community service programs that recognize and support their creative entrepreneurial endeavors. Understanding the intrinsic motivations that influence artists can help educators and contribute to business development that incorporates their unique circumstances. Art is transformational on many levels and benefits individuals, communities, organizations, and societies by promoting a more humanistic vision of the world.