Academic journal article Journal of Entrepreneurship Education

Arts as Entrepreneurship and Economic Capital in Tana Toraja, Indonesia

Academic journal article Journal of Entrepreneurship Education

Arts as Entrepreneurship and Economic Capital in Tana Toraja, Indonesia

Article excerpt


Arts entrepreneurship has becoming an important topic to discuss both by researchers and art producers, and artists. The development of arts entrepreneurship is perpetuated by three factors:

1. There is an increase on tourist mobility across the nations which bring the cultural acculturation.

2. There is a demand on the alternative creative industry that can boost economic development.

3. The need to maintain identities is important for local people to filter the impact of globalized world and technology development (Ward, 2008). To respond to these reasons, the development of arts as entrepreneurship manufacture and economic devices are essential.

The arts entrepreneurship aims not only for commercial purposes but also for identity maintenance. For commercial purposes, the arts entrepreneurship echoes the tourism development that may change cultural dimensions of the society. One of the examples of cultural dimension is the intercultural acculturation where there is a more dominance of outside culture than local tradition (Ward, 2008). To reduce this intercultural influence, the arts entrepreneurship is established as a gate to preserve local tradition that can be purchased commercially by both domestic and international visitors.

The arts in the form of entrepreneurship and economic capital represent values and meanings. It can represent social values, modes of interactional relationship, and social identity (Harper & Leicht, 2015; Haugh & Talwar, 2016; Migdal, 2015). The arts in this case symbolize the norms of the society, rituals, patterns of social orders, and social life (Harper & Leicht, 2015).

There is still little attention focusing on the art as entrepreneurship and economic capital. As a consequence, not much information found in the literature relates to the circle of the art entrepreneurship that can be used for educational purposes. Therefore, this article is significance because it provides a case of arts entrepreneurship that can be educationally important for students, lecturers and researchers particularly those who are concerned with the development of art as the aesthetic values and arts as one of the commercial purposes benefiting communities.


Key authors on arts entrepreneurship and economic capital have discussed a number of topics including definitions of art entrepreneurship from different scholars (Chang & Wyszomirski, 2015), perspectives on arts entrepreneurship (Gartner, 2015), toward a theory of arts entrepreneurship (White, 2015), and arts entrepreneurship and economic value (Phillips, 2011). This literature review covers two important themes: arts entrepreneurship and arts as economic capital. It begins with arts entrepreneurship.


Seminal research on arts entrepreneurship has done by several scholars. For example, Chang & Wyszomirski (2015) explored various definitions of arts entrepreneurship in the scholarly literature. Arts entrepreneurship is "a management process through which cultural workers seeks to support their creativity and autonomy, advance their capacity for adaptability, and create artistic as well as economic and social value" (Chang & Wyszomirski, 2015). They argue that this process of management covers continuous stage "innovative choices and risks intended to recombine resources and pursue new opportunities to produce artistic, economic, and social value". From this definition, it can be grasped that arts entrepreneurship not only relates to the aesthetic production of arts but also the economic value which refers to business development of the arts production itself.

Then, Gartner (2015) investigated the focus of art and entrepreneurship that have published in many scholarly journals. Gartner (2015) describe entrepreneurship as "entrepreneur, owner-manager, innovation, organization creation, uniqueness, value, and growth and art is both a product of organizing as well as a sensibility in how organizing, itself, occurs". …

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