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Ian Fillis

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Ruth Rentschler, Kim Lehman and Ian Fillis

This chapter examines a private entrepreneur and his art museum as a single deep, rich case study. Occasionally, new art museums emerge in small regional cities that contribute to economic and social development. Using the entrepreneurship theory of effectuation, with biographical research methods, interviews, observations and content analysis, the authors provide a lens on how one man’s vision has changed opportunities in a rust-bucket city and state, boosting jobs and tourism and changing the urban environment. They analyse how the complex and paradoxical attractions of a distinctive museum succeeded, which have been little investigated from the perspective of its broader role in stimulating a small regional city’s rise as an emerging creative city. Theoretically, the chapter makes a contribution by applying entrepreneurship theory through an entrepreneurial marketing and effectuation lens, demonstrating how unpredictable products in a new venture process under conditions of uncertainty provided a unique difference and unexpected success in the arts and cultural sector.