The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Arts Business Competition was created in 2009 to encourage UW–Madison students to develop and present a thorough proposal for an arts event, exhibition, series, commercial venture or other artistic project.
Students submit their proposals and a group of judges review the proposals for creativity, innovation, success potential and added value to the arts. Judges for the 2021 competition are Amber Porter, Senior VC Associate at American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact; Sam Rikkers, Chief Operating Officer at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; and Dr. Iva Ugrcic, flute performer, educator, founder and CEO/Artistic Director of LunART Festival and Artistic Director of Rural Musicians Forum and Board Liaison and Strategic Initiatives at Overture Center for the Arts.
Proposals must be submitted by at least one currently enrolled full-time UW–Madison student, and all majors are welcome to apply. The three sets of finalists (listed below) present their proposals on Friday, April 23 from noon – 2:00 p.m. CDT. The presentations are free and open to the public and take place on Zoom. Advance registration is required. The event will be accessible and live captions will be provided. To access live captions during the event, click here.
The finalists compete for the first-place prize of $2,000. Second place is $1,000 and third place is $500. New for this year, attendees will vote on the Audience Choice Award of $500 given to one of the finalists. The Arts Business Competition is presented by the UW–Madison Division of the Arts in partnership with the Wisconsin School of Business Bolz Center for Arts Administration. Funding for the Arts Business Competition has been generously provided by the UW–Madison Anonymous Fund. Finalists have until May 2022 to implement their ideas.
Finalists and majors:
Atelier Unlimited is a creative agency dedicated to equipping artists with the information and skills required to evolve their artistry, expand their influence and create unique productions in live and virtual spaces.
James Harrington, Doctor of Musical Arts, Music: Performance
(Hi)Storytellers Breaking Borders
(Hi)Storytellers Breaking Borders is a space for the reflective art of five African refugees who discuss the concerns and beauty of the worlds they make in diaspora. Their stories include photography, voice recordings and creative writing and will be curated in a virtual gallery.
Grace Pimentel Simbulan, M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies
Gioconda Coello, Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction
Kassim Hussein Rajab, Congolese leader of Madison Refugee Union
Trade Winds Ensemble
Trade Winds Ensemble is a group of teaching artists who offer music composition workshops for children in partnership with social impact organizations worldwide. They create innovative curricula, which integrates music and social work principles.
Midori Samson, Doctor of Musical Arts, Music: Performance
Examples of previous finalists can be found by clicking here.