Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Launches Creative Endeavors Workshop

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This winter, Colgate’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation launched the Creative Endeavors Workshop, an eight-week arts and business seminar open to Colgate students and community members.

The workshop was proposed by Henry Howard, director of the Arts at the Palace, and implemented by Carolyn Strobel-Larsen, the director of entrepreneurship and innovation at Colgate, and Melissa Davis, Hub director at Hamilton’s Partnership for Community Development (PCD).

“For many creatives, there’s a huge chasm between their craft and being able to envision how it could turn into a career,” says Strobel-Larsen. “Henry, Melissa, and I put the workshop together with this in mind.”

Their first session welcomed Professor of Art Lynn Schwarzer, who facilitated group introductions with the goal for participants to get to know each other as creatives. Following Schwarzer’s introduction, Jillian LaRussa — an arts, creativity, and media adviser at Career Services — led interactive goal formation exercises. 

“Our main focus for the second session will be around business planning,” says Strobel-Larsen. “We’re going to do a hands-on session about mapping out the business, locating funding, and talking to potential customers.”

Subsequent sessions will address a variety of learning outcomes, including:

  • The development of a potentially viable business idea based on their creative talent
  • Basic business frameworks and support that are required to successfully establish and administer a business entity
  • Funding approaches and resources available for next steps

Student participant Olivia Saman ’25 attended the workshop to explore how she might develop her passion for photography into a career in the arts. 

“I’ve always discouraged myself from considering my art in terms of a career,” says Saman. “But once I became aware of all the Creative Endeavors Workshop had to offer, I thought it might be the time for me to break that negative cycle of thought.”

By attending the workshop, Saman has realized her potential.

“I am so grateful for the experience that I’ve had in this program,” she says. “Not only have I made professional progress as an artist, but I’ve also met such passionate people. We have been able to truly push one another to grow as artists and business owners.”