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School of Music


Spark: Carolina’s Music Leadership Laboratory

INNOVATION: Entrepreneurship

Many arts-related avenues for increasing income, interest and impact are untapped or underexploited. USC is a national leader in developing music entrepreneurs, training students to become pro-active opportunity creators.

Our entrepreneurial initiatives emphasize:

  • Developing revenue generating arts-based businesses.
  • Developing meaningful arts-based legacy projects.
  • Developing leaders to work within established arts organizations.
  • Increasing impact of the arts at USC, locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Establishing USC as a leading music school in arts entrepreneurship.
  • Designing a model for entrepreneurial education that transfers to other disciplines.
  • Teaching business, marketing and leadership skills.
  • Partnering with the business community.
  • Stimulating economic development in Columbia and South Carolina.

We offer

Classes
A variety of classes addressing entrepreneurial topics for musicians are available through the School of Music and School of Business.

Competitions
The Proving Ground offers $40,000 in cash prizes to USC entrepreneurial projects. We are working to add a new category specifically for arts-based initiatives. There are also cash prizes awarded in the Entrepreneurship in Music class.

Faculty specialist
USC was the first music school to hire a full-time faculty member in the area of music entrepreneurship. We are now one of just two programs to maintain that distinction.

Inter-disciplinary learning
We are developing entrepreneurial classes and extra-curricular programs that place musicians with business students and artists of different disciplines.

Library collection
The Spark Library Collection features numerous titles related to entrepreneurship and business.

Mentoring and advising
Individual and group advising for entrepreneurial projects is available through CETi and Spark.

Music entrepreneurship minor
USC was the first music school to offer a minor in music entrepreneurship.

Partnerships
We maintain partnerships to increase impact on music students and the local economy.

Programs
CETi and Innovista have opened their doors to the music community for many of its programs. 

Workshops
Our speaker series regularly features presentations related to entrepreneurship.