New Conway Innovation Pilot Program Underway
This fall the Conway Center launched an Innovation Fellows post-baccalaureate pilot program in partnership with Smith’s Museum of Art, Botanic Gardens and Institutional Research. This unique program builds upon the foundation for critical thinking, communication, and creativity fostered through their liberal arts education. Over two years, Fellows learn innovative methods through Conway courses and are provided opportunities for application of new skills through employment with each partner unit. This combination is designed to prepare Fellows for future managerial and leadership roles.
The benefits of the partnerships are numerous. The Museum and Botanic Gardens Fellows will be better prepared to develop compelling value propositions and support their partner units with issues such as attracting new audiences, engaging customers in new ways and assisting us with establishing new connections with faculty, staff and students. The Institutional Research Fellow will help Conway and its partners with understanding how to better assess the impact of our programming.
This Fall, the Fellows attended the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers annual conference to learn about approaches to innovation and entrepreneurship in the arts and best practices for assessment beyond the traditional vanity metrics. The GCEC is the premier academic organization addressing the emerging topics of importance to the nation’s university-based centers for entrepreneurship. It has become the vehicle by which the top, established entrepreneurship centers, as well as emerging centers, can work together to share best practices, develop programs and initiatives, and collaborate and assist each other in advancing, strengthening, and celebrating the role of universities in teaching the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
At the conclusion of the two-year post-bacc program, Fellows will be well-equipped to obtain a desirable in-field job or be accepted into a graduate program that they might not have previously considered. “We hope long-term to have made a contribution to how non-profit organizations operate, integrating more and innovation in their structure,” says Monica Dean, Conway’s administrative director.