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School of Music


  • SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge
  • SAVVY Chamber Comp

The SAVVY Experience

Before You Arrive

Prior to SAVVY, participants have just one thing to prepare: a one-minute "elevator pitch" describing an entrepreneurial arts business.

Anything arts-related is fair game as long as it can generate income while offering value to society. The ideal proposal is innovative, intriguing, and something you actually believe in.

If you've never pitched before, worry not. About a month before SAVVY begins, you'll receive our membership packet with strategies for preparing your best pitch.

Ignition Day: June 4

Big thinking and collaborative problem solving are kindled with fun and interactive games.

Attendees have 60 seconds each to share their arts business ideas during The Perfect Pitch.

The Happy Hour Soiree lets you socialize, learn more about proposals, and enjoy delicious cuisine. By meal's end, you'll vote on favorite concepts.

The nine top vote winners are deemed Founders, and these ideas represent the starting point for teams.

Though not all pitches can be developed during SAVVY, working in our interactive team environment ensures that savvy lessons can be taken beyond the workshop.

Design Days: June 5-7

Founders develop their team of "employees" hired to focus on specific responsibilities. (SAVVY boasts a 100% employment rate!)

During "TeamTime," groups build businesses from the ground up, tackling crucial challenges like business model design, marketing and finance. Collectively working to solve problems is where your deep learning occurs; lessons learned are relevant to everyone working in arts organizations.

Additional learning opportunities:

  • Overtures - Keynote presentations by our world class Thought Leaders.
  • Business Schools - Interactive classes where assignments are explained, strategized and critiqued.
  • Consultations - Individual teams coached by SAVVY faculty.
  • Expert Expo - Meet with industry experts to examine a variety of invaluable career, business and life topics.
  • SAVVY Chamber Showcase - Multidisciplinary concert featuring innovative finalists from the SAVVY Chamber Competition.

Prep Day: June 8

Teams turn attention to the final competition, preparing a pitch and exhibit to represent their business.

In addition to training sessions and coaching, each team is paired with a design consultant to assist with visually branding the venture.

Reveal Day: June 9

During the final competition, teams present their concepts to judges and audience. Think "Shark Tank" meets the arts.

Audience members vote on favorites over lunch while teams network with VIP leaders working in the arts, entrepreneurship and economic development. Judges then offer feedback and prizes during an Awards Ceremony.

Afternoon activities focus on reflection and next steps. Laughter and tears typically accompanies our bittersweet closing rituals.

While SAVVY officiallly concludes at 5:00 p.m., please join us for the after party.

Bonus Day: June 10

SAVVY-U, our optional bonus day, provides a concrete framework for applying SAVVY lessons directly to your career and life in the months and years to follow. Click here to learn more.