Award-winning actor, director and producer James Hart has been named the first Director of Arts Entrepreneurship/Assistant Professor of Practice in the Division of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, effective August 1, it was announced today by Meadows Dean José Antonio Bowen. The new faculty position will lead the Meadows School’s innovative arts entrepreneurship program, the only one of its kind in the U.S. James Hart is the owner, founder and former dean of TITAN Teaterskole (The International Theatre Academy Norway) – a full-time professional theater training program and the first school in Europe to offer intensive training in arts entrepreneurship at the professional conservatory level.
“The Meadows School of the Arts is thrilled to welcome James Hart to lead the arts entrepreneurship minor,” said Dean Bowen. “The creation of this undergraduate minor is one of Meadows’ most significant curricular initiatives, giving our students the opportunity to learn how to turn their artistic dreams into sustainable business plans. Audition skills are not enough! With the appointment of James Hart – an artist and educator with extensive experience in the fusion of arts and entrepreneurship education – the Meadows School is already positioned as the leader in this new and critical field.”
Hart’s distinct technique for arts entrepreneurial training has served as the philosophical foundation of TITAN Teaterskole and Hart plans to bring his approach to arts education to the Meadows School. His teaching method stresses the importance of students’ development of entrepreneurial and business skills in addition to traditional arts techniques.
“Arts entrepreneurship will become a staple in arts education – when students have both arts technique and entrepreneurial skills, they are able to compete for existing work and create profitable opportunities where there was nothing before – and the Meadows School is at the forefront of this field,” said Hart. “I look forward to giving Meadows students the tools to build art and entrepreneurial skills and to empowering them to make a living from their creativity.”
In addition to leading the arts entrepreneurship program, Hart will create an online resource to provide students and arts entrepreneurs with the tools to support their growing careers. He also plans to pursue enhanced collaboration among the programs and schools within Meadows and SMU, in addition to working with partners in the broader regional community.
Before founding TITAN, Hart taught at the Yale School of Drama, New York University, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Tufts University, Fu Ren University in Taipei, Taiwan, Harlem School of the Arts, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Kirkenaer Ballettskole (Oslo), among others.
He has directed classics of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Marivaux, Gogol, Miller and others, including a large number of world-premiere productions. He has also directed several films, including the animated tale The Story of a Mother, and is currently producing The Voice Within, a documentary about master acting teacher and former head of acting at the Yale School of Drama, Earle Gister. As an actor, Hart has performed in a number of venues including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Alliance in D.C., and in St. Petersburg, Russia and Taichung, Taiwan.
Hart earned his M.F.A. in acting from the Yale School of Drama in 1999 and graduated from SMU with a B.F.A. in theatre in 1996.
About the Meadows School of the Arts
The Meadows School of the Arts, formally established in 1969 at SMU, is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. The Meadows School comprises 10 academic divisions: the Temerlin Advertising Institute, Art, Art History, Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, Communication Studies, Dance, Film and Media Arts, Journalism, Music and Theatre.
The goal of the Meadows School is to prepare students to meet the demands of professional careers. It is also committed to providing an ongoing opportunity for all SMU students to grow in the understanding and appreciation of the arts. The Meadows School is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art entrepreneurship and social change.