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Behind the Scenes: An Inside Look at NUvention: Arts

NUVention: Arts is, without question, the most amazing course I have experienced while at Northwestern. I took this class during the final quarter of my undergraduate career. After 10 weeks in the course, my entire life trajectory has changed dramatically. I was given a chance to translate my passion for the arts into an actual career path. I was also given any resource I could possibly need to bring my inspiration into reality.

Now, one year after taking NUvention: Arts, I am working with some of the most influential entertainers in Chicago on a daily basis, and I am involved with projects I’d spent years envisioning.

NUvention: Arts is special for many reasons — first and foremost because it is taught by Professor Gregg Latterman. Latterman is a phenomenal instructor, a dedicated mentor, and a legend in the entertainment industry. He is deeply committed to changing the lives of every student he encounters and he treats this class the same level of importance that he has treated the careers of John Mayer, The Fray, Five for Fighting and the other superstar artists he’s worked with. Latterman is a professor who backs up classroom theory with true stories. I believe that the insights Gregg Latterman so generously shares during a single NUvention: Arts class offer students more than they often get reading second-hand literature for an entire week.

The Nuvention: Arts cohort is comprised of talented students with experience in the artistic field.

The NUvention: Arts cohort is as incredible as the professor. NUvention: Arts is populated by students that have experience in every area of the entertainment industry. From touring musicians to filmmakers to studio engineers to entertainment lawyers, the network you meet in NUvention: Arts is immense and is defined by excellence and diversity. Our 2017 class, for instance, featured students who had worked for College Humor, a popular comedy website, and NPR, National Public Radio. Other students included computer scientists and students who had been part of global tours with professional dance companies. You are guaranteed to meet people who have done extraordinary things from across the world when you take this class.

Within this vibrant ecosystem of talented peers, students learn from astoundingly accomplished guest lecturers. Due to Gregg Latterman’s incredible connections, in the past two years alone, NUvention: Arts students have been able to engage in extended Q&A’s with very successful industry people including, Chris Woltman (manager of Twenty One Pilots), Brian Koppelman (Writer/Producer of Billions), Neal Sales-Griffin (founder of CodeNow, the world’s first “coding boot camp”), and, perhaps most notably, Kevin Spacey (Academy Award-winning actor and acclaimed producer).

NUvention: Arts brings industry experts to the classroom.

These guests have shared some of their most personal stories about their journeys in the world of entertainment and have offered students professional guidance as well. These amazing conversations have offered unparalleled access to the highest levels of the entertainment world.  

Here’s a snapshot of each guest’s core message:

The most important element of NUvention: Arts is its project-based pedagogy — every student joins a team that prototypes and builds an entertainment start-up during the course of the class. These startups are built on ideas that are provided in two ways: Students with ideas for companies pitch those prototyping ideas to fellow classmates in the hopes members will join. Students without ideas are encouraged to join a team with a prototyping idea that is in line with their skills and interests.

Once formed, these teams create a dynamic learning environment where students are constantly testing out and implementing the principles and strategies discussed in the course materials — everything learned in class is directly connected to this process. Students easily develop a much deeper understanding of the course concepts than they would in a typical, more academic-learning based class. This experiential learning also provides students with in a unique skillset by testing their collaborative muscles in a meaningful way. Lastly, every team is given access to free, extensive mentorship that is provided by established professionals and investors in the field. Chosen mentors and advisors want to see students’ companies succeed. The ultimate goal of the course is to leave with a viable business plan that can be implemented and successful.  

The Tipflix team demonstrated their entertainment innovation during final presentations.

If you are interested in a career in the world of any kind of entertainment - this is the best possible course for you to take at this university. From podcasts to book publishing, film-making to data gathering, and to fan engagement, and everything in between, NUvention Arts will serve your needs and expand your perspective while offering an extremely exciting experience unlike any you will find elsewhere.

Editor's Note: Click here to view more photos from the NUvention: Arts Spring 2017 final presentations

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