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Missouri High School Artists Connect With Louisiana Theatre Entrepreneur via Kauffman's Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP) Video Coaching Model


March 29, 2011 - Kansas City, MO

Students from the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in Kansas City are learning from a theatre entrepreneur in Baton Rouge, La., thanks to the Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP), a program of the Kauffman Foundation, the world's leading foundation in entrepreneurship.

As part of an elective class in entrepreneurship at Paseo, the budding artists are writing business plans related to their art-related career aspirations. The UEP eagerly offered to connect the students with Greg Williams Jr., a UEP client who is founder and managing artistic director of New Venture Theatre in Baton Rouge. The students will meet with Williams April 5 via video conferencing from the UEP office at 18th and Vine in downtown Kansas City.

"The arts spur creativity and innovation, which are cornerstones of entrepreneurship," said Lena Rodriguez, UEP's chief marketing and development officer.

"We're delighted to support these student artists at the very beginning of their careers by inviting them to our office and connecting them with Mr. Williams and Jill Green, one of our coaches, through the use of our video technology. This is the same video technology we use to deliver one-to-one business coaching to our national and international clients."

As a UEP client, Williams participates in UEP's coaching program, which is designed to produce a rapid return on investment. The program is available through video, a traditional bricks-and-mortar program, or a hybrid of the two.

"It's a real honor for me to be able to work with students interested in the arts," Williams said, "because these young people will someday become leaders and advocates in the arts. This is my opportunity to pay it forward in appreciation for the mentoring I received in college and more recently as a result of UEP's coaching program."

Paseo students jumped at the opportunity to talk with a successful entrepreneur in the arts, said their teacher, Shaunna Lyon.

"They're very excited," she said. "They all have a business concept and are writing a business plan, so they're somewhat familiar with the process Mr. Williams has gone through."

"This video conference with a true entrepreneur will make all that classroom time relevant, and I think that's how students learn best -- combining academic rigor with relevance."

For additional information on Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP) programs, contact Lena Rodriguez at (816) 581-2900 or LRodriguez@uepkauffman.org or visit www.uepkauffman.org

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CONTACT:
Lena T. Rodriguez
(816) 581-2900
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