Dec 5th 2019

Join two leaders from arts organizations, Josette Melchor and Kara Riopelle, as they offer their perspectives on future innovation – technological and otherwise – in the arts and cultural space. Moderated by Mary Ittleson, Adjust Assistant Professor of Strategy, Booth School of Business.

Josette Melchor is the Founder of Gray Area, and the Head of Cultural Programming for the future cities initiative at WeWork. In 2008, she led the effort to incorporate Gray Area into a 501(c)3 nonprofit, enacting her pioneering vision of a living creative hub for the integrated practice of art and technology, a uniquely San Franciscan institution globally recognized for its forward-looking programming around creative coding education and cultural incubation. In 2016, Melchor instigated the first exhibition that paired artificial neural networks with artists, which helped establish the Artists and Machine Intelligence program at Google, ushering in a new movement in Artificial Intelligence assisted artwork. She most recently spearheaded the development of Gray Area’s Knight Foundation-supported Experiential Space Research Lab, developing sustainable models for artists to work within the quickly evolving format of immersive experiences.

Kara Riopelle is the Manager, Lyric Labs Strategic Projects Office at Lyric Opera of Chicago. In this newly created role, she is responsible for spearheading innovation initiatives that build new audiences and revenue sources for opera. She recently completed her PhD at Stanford University where she studied business models for the production of contemporary opera, with a focus on transnational partnerships with China. In addition to her work in arts entrepreneurship, she directs opera and has helped launch world premieres that have toured nationally and internationally.

The Arts & Innovation Series allows artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators to learn about the increasingly important intersection between the arts and business. This series explores new business models for the arts, how artists can reach broader and more diverse audiences, and what trends will drive the growth of the arts in the 21st century. Featured speakers include artist-innovators, entrepreneurs in the arts, and business experts passionate about the arts.

This iteration of the Arts & Innovation Series is presented by the Logan Center, with support from Booth School of Business, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry, the Hack Arts Lab and the Weston Game Lab.

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