The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council announced Friday its 2021 Creative in Residence for its Arts Incubator pilot program is Lee Ingram.
Ingram will helm the pilot program during its first year. Ingram is the owner of two small businesses, Collegiate Tutoring and Lee Ingram Books. Other projects include a nonprofit, DreamsAboutFood.com, a project that supports his late twin brother Ben’s memorial scholarship at Ole Miss and advocates for mental health awareness, and Groove Ginger, which features Ingram’s love of drums, guitar, and bass.
Ingram brings exceptional talent to the project through his own entrepreneurial experience, as well as his experience winning pitch competitions while a student at the University of Mississippi. Ingram has attended Big Bad Business Series workshops both as an attendee as in Oxford Night of Genius, where entrepreneurs share small business ideas and enjoy constructive feedback from a room full of small business experts.
He has also led a group of peer learning sessions called Startup Oxford, where entrepreneurs gathered to talk about challenges and where they were in their small business journey.
The Big Bad Business Series is a joint between the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation to provide ongoing professional development support to small business startups.
Ingram, as the Creative in Residence, will be working with a cohort of four entrepreneurs with small businesses in the creative economy over the next year. Entrepreneurs in the creative economy are a diverse group: musicians, fine artists, folk artists, craftspersons, culinary artists, or graphic designers, to name just a few.
Each person will be working toward achieving a small business goal, like website development or bulk ordering, and building a body of work in their medium.
As a leader among peers, Ingram will use his talents as a deep listener, public speaker, a passionate advocate for entrepreneurship, and his small business connections in North Mississippi and Jackson to connect the cohort with leadership and professional development opportunities.
The Big Bad Business Lab grew from the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council’s work with artists starting small businesses. Creatives wishing to apply to be a part of the cohort should fill out a short form at oxfordarts.com/lab.
The next two years are funded in part with an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and highlight the central place the arts have in the culture and economic development in north Mississippi.