The Mike Curb Foundation and Belmont University hosted the second annual Curb Creative Connection (CCC), led by Jim Ed Norman, October 1-4. With a goal “to connect all of the Curb educational colleges, institutes, programs and other charitable opportunities around the country,” the weekend retreat included four students from Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business along with representatives from Curb-related entities at Baylor University, California State, Claremont McKenna College, Daytona State College, Rhodes College, Fisk, Vanderbilt and University of Hawai’i Honolulu Community College.
Associate Provost and Committee Planner Dr. Beverly Schneller said the CCC committe worked endlessly over the summer to ensure a robust experience. “Our goals for this year were to emphasize the environment or cultural impact of a song in multiple genres, make the students aware of the challenges they will face in their careers by asking them to read industry publications before they arrive and imagine how they will function in this changing landscape,” she said. “Each of the conference events had learning goals, and the extended project, like a capstone, creates new opportunities for students to learn how the entertainment industry works.”
The annual meeting allows students to learn from industry leaders about trends in creative industries (film, video, gaming and music), listen to speakers address the importance of the First Amendment to all aspects of creative expression and to compete in small groups to solve an industry problem: monetizing an entertainment product. They interacted with both industry professionals and Belmont Curb College faculty, who served as consultants to help them shape their pitch, the culminating activity for the weekend.
Four Belmont students were chosen to attend this year, along with two others, Kamauliola Agunat and Lindsay Conlin, who attended the inaugural event and returned to help moderate panels. After this year’s experience, sophomore music business major Jessica Dorow said she is excited to grow and expand her ways of thinking about the possibilities ahead of her. “I really do hope and believe that the Curb Creative Connection alumni will be able to keep in contact with one another and hopefully change the way the music industry is run. The greatest advice I have coming out of this meeting is to really educate myself on as many facets of the industry as possible,” she said. “I gained great experience in networking, not only with industry professionals, but with my peers and future colleagues as well.”
Sophomore music business and marketing major Victoria Draovitch said the community she felt through the workshops is what she enjoyed most. “Visiting the Entrepreneurship Center, which houses Project Music, hearing Mayor Megan Barry speak and hearing from Nashville policy makers who focus on helping Nashville’s ‘creative class’ was very inspiring and encouraging because I know if I stay in Nashville, I will have people to support me in my music industry journey. Meeting the other students really showed me that one cannot, and should not, do it themselves in this industry. Everyone who attended had their own unique skills and passions regarding the entertainment industry, but was far more interested in collaboration than competition.”
Junior music business major Michael Giangreco added that the weekend helped him consider new avenues for his career, as well as reminded him of how happy he feels to be at Belmont. “I will say that I have never taken the Belmont Curb College for granted; however, I was reminded this weekend just how fortunate we are with the amazing faculty we have. One of the activities was asking industry professionals their insight on necessary licenses and legal requirements to carry out a project we were working on. Almost all of the industry professionals were Belmont professors and Dean [Doug] Howard. The students from the other schools kept commenting at how passionate and exciting it was to learn from them. I think sometimes we forget how remarkable our program is and how elite the faculty is, working around the clock to keep us at the top.”