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Cultural Entrepreneurship + Journalism

Professor Aparna Katre teaching her Cultural Entrepreneurship students
November 22, 2017

UMD event illuminates Bulldogs’ work in the creative economy.

The Cultural Entrepreneurship and Journalism Fair is being held on Wednesday, November 29 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom, 1120 Kirby Drive.

Mentors play a critical role in the event this year, and for the first time, journalism students are participating. “The commitment our community leaders make to mentor UMD students is of great importance. With this in mind the Cultural Entrepreneurship and Journalism programs are partnering to host a joint student showcase,” says Aparna Katre, assistant professor of Cultural Entrepreneurship.

Mentors are spending 15 minutes with students, allowing Bulldogs to share their work and answer questions. “Students have time and again reflected that deep conversations with mentors at the fair have created lasting impact and motivated them to pursue their passion,” says Katre. 

This is the fourth year that Katre’s students have hosted the Cultural Entrepreneurship Fair, an event she sees equipping students with the confidence to be owners and employees of cultural businesses that focus on the creation, preservation, and revitalization of local and global cultures for the well being of the communities they live in.

Fair Coverage

Journalism Program Director John Hatcher says his program’s participation in the Cultural Entrepreneurship and Journalism Fair is encouraging students to think about new ways to apply journalistic tools in a rapidly changing media landscape. Their work will be showcased with video, photography, mapping, and social media. 

Hatcher’s students were challenged to find a problem in the community that can be solved using journalism. “Student projects look at complex social issues and more focused topics affecting the local community,” he says. “Some of the pilot projects that are being presented include overcoming opioid addiction, maintaining a healthy body image, the oral histories of local, independent barbershops, and how to use upcycling to find new uses for old items.”

The UMD Journalism Program is part of the Department of Communication. The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved the creation of a new major in journalism for the fall 2016, and it is one of the fastest growing majors in the College of Liberal Arts.

Entrepreneurship Projects

This year’s Cultural Entrepreneurship projects touch on a wide range of cultural topics from arts, music, sports, health and wellness, sustainability, mobility, cultural diversity, and community cohesion,  including:

  • Stix for Kix                         Making hockey accessible for all by offering affordable sticks

  • Hops Rising                        A high efficiency beer tap

  • RentReport                         A website and app that empowers renters

  • Art Wagon                          A mobile art studio to serve the Twin Ports

  • Prime Genius                      Partnering with indigenous crafters to create fashion

  • I Voted                                  An app to improve millennials’ participation in national elections

  • Mental Health Simulation    An interactive experience to develop awareness

Four Years Strong

The Cultural Entrepreneurship Program was ignited at UMD in 2013 and was first among a small number of full degree programs nationally which focuses on the creative economy– combining the traditional lessons of business schools with the creative thinking that’s most often cultivated in the arts.

Katre has hosted the Cultural Entrepreneurship fair since the program’s inception. She says this event is part of an ongoing process of preparing the next generation to "do-good" and "do-well" at the same time.