Talk Title: Creativity & Entrepreneurs — Building Bridges of Innovation

Abstract: Why do some creatives seem so entrepreneurial?  Exploring the relationship between creativity and entrepreneurship brings into focus the need for the right environment, engaged individuals and mentorship.  Ben Knight, an artist and entrepreneur walks us through his personal journey in bridging the two identities and shares his insights to building a culture of innovation.

Bio: Ben Knight, a Chicago native, has transitioned well to country, small town living. As a co-owner of Chef & the Farmer and the Vivian Howard Restaurant Group, he has established himself as a leader in small town investment and job creation. Teamed with his wife, Vivian Howard, the two have created businesses in Eastern North Carolina that employ over 120, and generate over 7M in annual revenue.

Knight thrives on entrepreneurial and creative activities and has used he artistic qualities to combine thoughtful design into warm, fun and inviting restaurants. Most recently, Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria here in the South Front district, reinvents an old shirt factory into a bustling contemporary pizzeria, complete with wood burning ovens, exposed original terracotta walls, and old school Pizza Hut style Tiffany chandeliers.

In addition, Knight serves as a board member to the NC Rural Center, and is an established contemporary NC artist. When not in his studio, or one of the restaurants, Knight can be found coaching his 7 year old twins basketball team.