Introducing Venture Arts Incubator

I’m very pleased to announce the official launch of Venture Arts Incubator (VAI), an incubator exclusively for businesses that cater to the arts field.

Venture Arts Incubator

VAI’s Success Is Measured By Participant’s Success

Far too often good business ideas die early deaths due to a lack of resources and support during critical startup and stabilization phases and business plans end up looking like this:

  • Step 1: create business
  • Step 2: ??????????????
  • Step 3: PROFIT!

When putting VAI together, it was crucial to help arts focused businesses figure out that second point so one of the primary goals is to help new businesses get off the ground and become sustainable by providing crucial resources that offload some of the most costly elements needed to generate revenue and project a professional image. Everything from retail, service provider, and SaaS businesses will be considered.

VAI’s Investment. Participant’s Return.

Every applicant is scrutinized to determine potential then invest necessary resources and training to help those businesses. It’s a simple and highly effective approach.

e-commerce exchange

We Want What Our Participants Want.

Aligning our incentives is the most straightforward path toward sustainability and success. We work intensively with each participant to get them in the best possible shape all while moving them toward the point where they can transition out of the program as a successful arts oriented business.


Who VAI’s Looking For

Individuals With Big Ideas

Whether you’re a professional artist, arts admin professional, or entrepreneur who is interested in working in the arts field, VAI is interested in considering your ideas.

big ideas

All Experience Levels

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never started your own business or if you’re already established and looking to accelerate your progress, the strength of your idea and your unique variables are more important when determining the potential for success.


The Relentlessly Resourceful

Individuals drawn to the arts are by and large enormously driven but that doesn’t guarantee developing a resourceful instinct. All good businesses provide something people want and although that’s your ultimate goal, only those willing to develop a finely honed resourceful edge get there.


Businesses will be accepted throughout the year and participation is determined via application. Here are a few directions to explore.

About FAQs Apply


About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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