Joseph Sedfrey Santiago
Cultural Entrepreneurship in the Philippines: Sharing lessons for the flourishing of enterprises on the arts and culture
Cultural entrepreneurship is a relatively novel term in the Philippines, and as more people engage in it, the irony is that a common definition has become even more elusive. For this presentation that I based on a book entitled “The Filipino as a Cultural Entrepreneur: The Male Loom Weavers of Bangar and Other Stories” that I co-edited, and wrote and co-wrote stories for, I present the stories of twenty-five Filipino cultural entrepreneurs who were interviewed either by me and/or by my students in an undergraduate elective class – “Law for Art’s Sake” that I designed especially for the John Gokongwei School of Management of the Ateneo de Manila University. The basic questions that I drew up focused on why and how the entrepreneurs started the enterprises, the start-up issues they faced, and the issues that persist (the most significant being sustainability of operations), and how the entrepreneurs have addressed the issues they have mentioned. In this presentation, I reiterate our proposed definition of the term “cultural entrepreneur” that is inclusive by using the objective fact of actually being engaged in a culture-related enterprise. Thus, a cultural entrepreneur is either the creator or the artist himself or herself who enters into an economic interaction with the pertinent market, or the creator or artist’s agent, or any third person, who serves as intermediary between the creator of cultural goods or provider of culture-related services, and their market. I hope that the lessons shared by the twenty-five Filipino cultural entrepreneurs help their kindred in other countries so that enterprises on the arts and culture may flourish.