The Entrepreneur with Lisa Canning


Lisa Canning presented a heartfelt lecture on entrepreneurship that left everyone inspired. She shared personal experiences that led her throughout her varied career from aspiring clarinet performer, to retail shop owner, to educator.

The interactive presentation began with Canning asking the audience if they consider themselves to be 21st-century artists. The answers that were provided by the audience sparked a discussion that led to many definitions of a “21st century artist,” which was defined as someone who does many things that could include innovator, performer, teacher, composer, arranger, or sales person.

Canning shared several stories of her home life as a child that shaped her as a person, musician, and helped her decide her direction in life. These stories demonstrated great emotion, which followed with a challenge to each audience member to ask themselves “Why do we do what we do?” and explore ourselves to put our respective motivation into words.

Examples of entrepreneurship in different fields were given to show the imaginative ways to create a career. Another factor that was stressed was healthy self-esteem, which is necessary to become an entrepreneur. Canning goes on to discuss how we, as musicians and artists, can take what we are passionate about and create a new direction in our careers.

This presentation was very effective and challenged everyone to think how we can change the future of the arts by being creative and innovative.

–Notes by Dr. Jackie McIlwain
Dr. Jackie McIlwain is the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Southern Mississippi. She currently plays with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Meridian Symphony Orchestra.


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