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Pepperdine Awarded Grant to Develop Curriculum for Artistic Entrepreneurship and Technology
The prestigious Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has named Pepperdine University the recipient of a $125,000 grant to support curriculum development for Artistic Entrepreneurship and Technology. The grant supports the leading edge work of Dr. Elliot McGucken, a visiting assistant professor of business at Pepperdine's Seaver College. Funds will also go toward a Spring 2007 conference at the University's Malibu campus called "Artistic Entrepreneurship, Epic Storytelling, and Digital Rights Management" which Dr. McGucken will lead.
Describing his work, Dr. McGucken said, “I want to emphasize how classic storytelling pervades every field in artistic entrepreneurship -- law derives from epic myths; brands strive towards representing eternal elements ultimately embodied in action, and epic storytelling can revive the Hollywood box office and foster video games that achieve higher art.”
Keith Hinkle, vice president for advancement and public affairs at Pepperdine underscored the importance of the foundation’s grant. “The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s support of Dr. McGucken’s work is already having an impact on Pepperdine students. Elliot is among, if not the leading scholar in America on the subject of artistic entrepreneurship and technology and we are fortunate he is leading the dialogue here at Pepperdine.”
Dr. McGucken’s class this fall bases its syllabus on Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey. Says McGucken, “Every step of the way students are reminded that it's all about some greater journey -- some higher goal -- that entrepreneurship is all about, serving the higher ideals over the bottom line, and that all lasting value ultimately derives from value.”
Dr. McGucken, who launched the ArtsEntrepreneurship.com program at UNC Chapel Hill, received his bachelor’s of arts degree in physics from Princeton and his Ph.D. in physics from UNC Chapel Hill. His dissertation on an artificial retina for the blind received several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants and a Merrill Lynch Innovations Award. The retina-chip research appeared in publications including Popular Science and Business Week, and the project continues today. He launched the Web site, jollyroger.com in 1995, and now runs over 30 sites. The New York Times deemed jollyroger.com “simply unprecedented,” adding that the site “teems with discussion, the kind that goes well beyond freshman lit 101.”
His two latest projects, authena.org and 22surf.org, seek to empower indie artists, authors, musicians, and creators with Open Source Content Management (OSCM) systems. Dr. E, as he’s known to his students, harbors a vast respect for the indie author and artist, for the entrepreneur and visionary, and for who he calls “the giants of yesteryear whose shoulders we all stand upon.”
Born in Ohio, Dr. McGucken developed a love of the outdoors and also spent time sitting in front of a computer and forming early impressions of the significance of the impact of computers on the world. In 1995, he founded Classicals and jollyroger.com LLC as a technological tribute to the Great Books. He recently spoke at the Harvard Law School concerning his authena.org project for Open Source software and managing digital rights for artists.
McGucken has published a book of poetry, a novel, a collection of essays, and several scientific articles. Recently, the Wall Street Journal (on-line) published one of his many poems titled “In the Name of Freedom.” He regularly blogs on the subject of artistic entrepreneurship for the Kauffman Foundation.