LISA CANNING is the founder of The Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship™ and Entrepreneur The Arts®. With a love for the arts, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, Lisa has developed, and helped others develop, ventures at the intersection of artistry and business for almost 30 years. Helping create organizations that maximize their value potential, while realizing their highest purpose through using their creativity and artistry, is Lisa's passion.
Lisa Canning is Chicago born and raised by a family of entrepreneurs. Her father, Theodore C. Argiris, a Harvard graduate and criminal trial attorney, was, as Lisa says, “sick of winning his clients a get-out-of-jail-free card for great money- he simply didn’t feel good about it, eventually.” So Lisa watched her father buy and rebuild a bankrupt foundry business in Wisconsin into an entrepreneurial success. Yet another uncle, Van C Argiris, excelled in developing a Chicago-based commercial real estate business, while yet another ran the now closed Ham-n-Egger Restaurant on LaSalle Street. Yet another was, and still is, in the food and nut business, Anton-Argires Nuts. Lisa grew up surrounded by the thought that your ideas can get you far in life if you just risk giving them a try.
Lisa Canning launched her first entrepreneurial venture at age 17 from her dorm room at Northwestern University. In 1986, less than 16,000 students across the United States were studying entrepreneurship in business school. Back then in the world of the arts, no one even knew what the word meant– except for Lisa.
As a serial artistic entrepreneur for almost thirty years, Lisa Canning has created not one, but six multi-million dollar ventures that each experienced double digit growth for twenty of the last twenty three years, using her imagination and creativity. In 2005 Lisa sold five ventures: a musical mail-order and rental business, 3 retail stores and a real estate property management company, totaling over $12 million dollars of combined revenue. Her sixth million-dollar venture and current business, Lisa’s Clarinet Shop requires less than twenty hours a week to produce a six-figure income.
Canning was honored in 2004 by The National Association of Women Business Owners as Business Owner of The Year and featured on Music Trades Top 200 List of Music Retailers in the United States for ten consecutive years.
As an accomplished clarinetist, Canning has performed with members of the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Florida Symphony Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony. Her most current CD, The Music of Donald Draganski was released on Albany Records and features the works of composer Donald Draganski.
Canning spent ten years as a faculty staff member at DePaul University in Chicago, while also serving on the university’s School of Music Advisory Board of Directors. While at DePaul, she developed a Career Development Course for Artistic Disciplines, built a creative career regional job fair, jump-started several student-run creative entrepreneurial organizations and taught and mentored over one thousand students from different artistic disciplines. All of these efforts served to help students with their career and entrepreneurial advancement.
As a public speaker since age twenty, recent presentations include: The Illinois Institute of Entrepreneurship Education, National Association for Women Business Owners, RISE- A Relationship & Information Series for Entrepreneurs, Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and the Self Employment in the Arts Conference.