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School of Music

  • SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge

The SAVVY Experience

SAVVY is an immersive, weeklong professional development workshop designed to help artists and organizations achieve greater success.

SAVVY is not about passively observing lectures but rather learning through doing. Thanks in part to our rigorous curriculum, team achievements are amazing, and attendees emerge empowered as the best version of themselves. If this much personal growth and tangible achievement can occur in just one week, imagine what might be accomplished in a year.

Before You Arrive

Prior to SAVVY, participants have just one thing to prepare: a one-minute elevator pitch describing an innovative, new arts initiative or business that helps address a societal need.

Anything arts-related is fair game as long as it has potential to generate income while offering positive value to society. The ideal proposal is innovative, intriguing and something that excites you. It can be a entrepreneurial venture or a new program for an existing organization.

If you've never pitched before, don't worry. About a month before SAVVY you will receive a packet with preparation strategies.

Opening Night: Saturday

SAVVY kicks off with an opening reception. A multidisciplinary Innovation Showcase follows, featuring finalists from this year’s international SAVVY Chamber Competition.

Ignition Day: Sunday

Interactive games teach lessons on big thinking and collaboration. Attendees pitch proposals and vote on favorites. Nine top vote winners, deemed "founders," pitch and hire their team of "employees” charged with specific responsibilities. To maximize learning, we encourage participants to work outside of their normal roles.

Concept Day: Monday

Each team is introduced to a non-arts community organization or business and challenged to determine how it can become a key strategic partner (beyond just providing funding). Concepts are developed and modified, integrating competitive research and creative collaboration.

Design Days: Tuesday–Wednesday

Each team has several project-related challenges to solve. TeamTime allows groups to build their projects from the ground up. Collectively working to solve problems is where much deep learning occurs.

Prep Day: Thursday

Teams prepare a pitch and exhibit to represent their business. In addition to training sessions, they are paired with a pitch coach and design consultant.

Reveal Day: Friday

During SAVVY Reveal, teams pitch projects and share exhibits. Think "Shark Tank" meets the arts. Judges offer feedback and prizes during an Awards Ceremony. Afternoon activities focus on reflection and next steps. Laughter and tears typically accompany our bittersweet closing rituals. While SAVVY officially concludes in early evening, join us for the Savilly Ever After Party.

Bonus Day: Saturday

SAVVY-U, our optional bonus day, provides a concrete framework for applying SAVVY lessons directly to your career or organization over the 12-months that follow. Learn more.