Many artists and artistic organizations face significant financial obstacles, which impedes the growth of their artistic ventures. These obstacles often stem from an over-reliance on unpredictable revenue streams, such as philanthropy and government funding. Join a panel of “artrepreneurs” to uncover how innovative, sustainable financing models are bolstering the new creative economy and the role of impact investing.
JJ Kasper is the Founder of Blue Collective, a PE / VC investment firm located in Brooklyn, NY. Blue invests primarily in early-stage and early-revenue technology companies in the US and beyond. JJ also runs XO Advisory, a boutique advisory firm supporting big corporates to small startups on topics ranging from strategy to operations to innovation, and Black Napkin, an investment firm focused on hospitality in NYC. His prior professional background is eclectic, including time spent as an entrepreneur, a restructuring executive-for-hire, a Partner at a big mgmt consulting firm, a lawyer and an academic (mathematics and critical theory being his discipline of choice). He's an avid reader, an amateur rock 'n roller and a lover and supporter of the arts in NYC.
Ward Wolff is Senior Associate at Upstart Co-Lab, a national initiative connecting impact investing with the creative economy. By introducing a Creativity Lens, Upstart helps impact investors who understand the power of art, design, culture, heritage and creativity see the opportunities that align with their values. Previously, Ward co-founded recess.io, an online platform activating recreation spaces for local communities. For several years he also managed the sponsorship portfolio for the performing arts festival NYC SummerStage and its umbrella organization, City Parks Foundation. Ward holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a BA from Middlebury College.
Angie Kim is President and CEO of the Center for Cultural Innovation. CCI is a nonprofit incubator for supporting individuals in the arts—artists, cultural producers, creative entrepreneurs, and arts workers—that is, the creative workforce. Angie has 20 years of experience in the arts and in philanthropy having worked for Flintridge and Getty Foundations and is a board member of California Humanities and a council member of American Alliance Association of Museums Center for the Future of Museums. She successfully pursued her doctorate on the topic of U.S. private philanthropy.
Alex Sarian is the Acting Executive Director of Lincoln Center Education, the education division of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where he is responsible for the organization’s learning and community engagement initiatives, youth and family programming, and cultural innovation grants. Succeeding Russell Granet as the fourth executive in Lincoln Center history to oversee its famed education department, Sarian’s focus on audience engagement and increasing access to the arts is an increasingly urgent priority as Lincoln Center seeks to redefine the impact and relevance of culture in the 21st century.