Vince Kadlubek (Meow Wolf): The Business of Building a Psychedelic Disneyland

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Life is a Festival 026:

Vince Kadlubek (Meow Wolf)

Would you like to make money making art? How about 158 million dollars? Not easy, but apparently not impossible. The intersection of art and business can be tricky for creatives wary of “selling out.” That’s why today’s guest is such an interesting life-designer. Not only has Vince Kadlubek designed his life like a festival, but he’s helped do so for hundreds of artists, as CEO of the mighty Meow Wolf.

You might know Meow Wolf from the House of Eternal Return which is conveniently located in my hometown of Santa Fe New Mexico. But you’ll soon be seeing them in Denver and Vegas and likely beyond. Meow Wolf was a small, punk collective but with the help of Game of Thrones author George RR Martin and a hell of a lot of grit and ingenuity, they have become leaders in the experience economy.

Today on the podcast, you’ll hear Vince’s story, including his struggles with leadership style, loneliness and the death of a dear friend as well as his personal philosophy on the intersection of money and art. He rejects the Disney-land model of replicating success but maintains that art can be sustainable. Don’t get lost in the grind of past projects, become a future being by challenging your perspective.

Special thanks to my rad producer Ari Andersen (Host of the Millennials Don’t Suck Podcast)

My multi-disciplinary design partner Andy McErlean

And the most delightful dj atish for the truly festive theme song: “Peculiar Colors” [Manjumasi]