Developing and Evaluating the Arts Entrepreneurship Profile: A Systematic Approach


With the intent of supporting student artists’ entrepreneurial development, the purpose of this study was to design, administer, and validate a new instrument called the Arts Entrepreneurship Profile (AEP). Based on Thom’s (2016) framework of crucial entrepreneurial skills for artists, the AEP was developed to assist undergraduate arts students and their instructors in assessing propensities for thinking and acting entrepreneurially within an arts context. A multiphase approach comprising item development, content validation, pretesting, and questionnaire administration culminated in an exploratory factor analysis of the final instrument. Participants (n = 310) were undergraduate students studying an array of artistic disciplines at 10 universities in the United States. Results yielded a four-factor solution with 15 items representing (a) Opportunity Recognition in the Arts, (b) Arts Leadership, (c) Comfort with Uncertainty, and (d) Networking. The factor structure explained 39% of the variance in student responses. The AEP demonstrated varying reliability levels among its constituent subscales, reflecting its nascent construction and the need for further development and refinement. This study represents an important first step in establishing an empirically-credible assessment tool for understanding arts students and improving their professional preparation.

Publication Title

Journal of Arts Management Law and Society