Who we are

The Corzo Center helps artists take control of their economic lives by providing programs that teach entrepreneurial skills.

The Center was formed to keep art where it belongs, central to society and an economy that requires ideas and imagination, and is guided by the belief that entrepreneurship is both a form of business innovation and a form of public and social action.


Neil Kleinman is the director of the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy and professor of Multimedia and Communication at the University of the Arts, where, until recently, he served as dean of the College of Media & Communication and director of the Philadelphia Applied Research Labs. Previously he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts, director of the Institute for Publications Design, director of the doctoral program in Communications Design, and co-director of the School of Communication Design – all at the University of Baltimore.

Lauren Ancona is the assistant director of the Center. She manages and coordinates the Knight partnership, helps with business development, and develops a robust online presence for the Center in order to offer programming both at-a-distance and on-demand. She formerly served as manager of marketing technology for Opera Philadelphia, the team that challenged the standard of arts outreach with Random Acts of Culture and Opera on the Mall. Educated as a classical musician (percussion and conducting), she has spent the past seven years in nonprofit marketing, including the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, St. Francis Hospital, and Longwood Gardens.

C. Todd Hestand is the manager of the Center's Incubators where he facilitates the development of the Incubator programs and supports the work of its grantees. He also serves as administrative coordinator for the Center’s Open Office Hours program and its workshop and lecture series. He is the founder of Side Arts, and has been an executive management consultant working with Fortune 1000 clients and a senior project director at a major market research organization.  To schedule an appointment, contact chestand@uarts.edu.

Contact the Corzo Center at corzocenter@uarts.edu.

The Center is a 2012 Knight Foundation grant recipient.  Details here.

What We Do

The Corzo Center offers a range of programs for creative arts entrepreneurs:

  • The Incubator Grant program funds and supports creative arts businesses.
  • Lectures, workshops, and courses provide an overview of entrepreneurial topics and practical strategies for artists, performers, media makers, and entrepreneurs.
  • Office hours connect creative arts entrepreneurs to free lawyers, entrepreneurs, accountants, marketers, and business leaders.
  • Our partnerships promote programming for creative arts business opportunities and encourage the creation of communities and collaborations.

Generous support for the Corzo Center Creative Incubator has been provided by Wells Fargo.


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