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Valuing the 21st Century Creative Economy

Panel Response

Recognizing that Houston can be a model for the entire nation, the panel of respondents take a hyper-local exploration of the economic, artistic, and entrepreneurial ramifications of the creative economy. 

  • Keliy Anderson-Staley, Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media
    • Keliy Anderson-Staley was raised off the grid in Maine, studied photography in New York City and currently lives and teaches photography at the University of Houston in Texas. She holds a BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and an MFA in photography from Hunter College in New York. Anderson-Staley's images are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Maine), and Museum of Fine Arts-Houston. She was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Puffin Grant, a fellowship from the Howard Foundation, the Carol Crow Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography and the Clarence John Laughlin Award from the New Orleans Photo Alliance. Her work was published in a solo issue of Light Work’s Contact Sheet and has been shown at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, Portland Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, Southeast Museum of Photography and the California Museum of Photography, as well as at a number of galleries around the country.
      Anderson-Staley has been making wet plate collodion tintypes and ambrotypes for eleven years. Her fine art and editorial work has appeared in a number of magazines, including Photo District NewsNew York MagazineArt and AuctionHemispheres MagazineCameraworkContact SheetConde Nast Traveler and Esquire Russia. Online, her work has been featured on Flak PhotoConscientiousFraction MagazinePetaPixelAhorn Magazineand Daylight Magazine. Her series of tintype portraits was published in 2014 under the title On A Wet Bough by Waltz Books. She is represented by Catherine Edelman Gallery

  • Alfred Cervantes, Deputy Director, Houston Film Commission
    • As the Deputy Director of the Houston Film Commission and a native Houstonian, Cervantes has worked in various capacities in film production for the past 23 years. As a freelancer on Reality Bites, The Chase, Jason's Lyric, Apollo 13, and Powder. His role with the film commission is to promote the greater Houston, Texas & Harris County area to film producers, production executives and independent filmmakers, to scout locations and facilitate any production's local filming experience. Some of the recent independent feature films our office has assisted are Hellion (iTunes), The Retrieval (iTunes), The Great Invisible (Participant Media) and Clinger (FB).
  • Deborah Colton, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston
    • Deborah Colton moved back to Houston in 2000 and started supporting the Asia Society - Texas Center and the Consular Forum - Asian Consul Generals by curating and sponsoring numerous downtown public space Asian Art exhibitions after supporting the arts and living in Tokyo and Bangkok for eight years. Deborah Colton Gallery opened in 2004 in the area of the city that is now the First Ward Arts District. Deborah Colton Gallery was created as innovative showcase for contemporary artists worldwide with a mission of using the gallery as a forum to connect Texas, national and international artists to create awareness and make positive change through the arts. The Gallery hosts and supports good-will causes for the arts, including the upcoming UNICEF Auction Benefit for Syrian Refugees Children in Lebanon and Jordan that will take place on April 30th.  Deborah Colton has served on numerous art non profit Boards and supports art related institutions in New York, Dallas and Houston. In Houston Deborah Colton focuses mostly on supporting organizations that give youth the opportunity to be exposed to the arts, like City Art Works and Community Artists Collective. Colton has also dedicated much time the past several to assisting the Houston Art Fair and to help Houston become a key destination city of the arts along with supporting FotoFest since 2002 due to the vast contributions they make to the city in this regard.
  • Vikram Maheshri, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Houston - Presentation Slides
    • Vikram Maheshri received his BS in economics and math from MIT, his Ph.D. in economics from University of California-Berkeley, and has completed a post-doc at the University of Rochester. His fields of interest include political economy and public economics. 
  • Jonathon Glus, (moderator) is the first president and chief executive officer of the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), the city’s local arts agency. On behalf of the city of Houston, HAA annually distributes grants to approximately 225 non-profit arts and culture organizations and individual artists; implements the city’s civic art program; conducts civic and cultural engagement initiatives; and leads cultural and creative economy research.  Prior to his post in Houston, Mr. Glus was executive director of the arts and culture for the City of Pasadena, CA; executive director of the Evanston Arts Council, in metropolitan Chicago; an associate curator and exhibitions coordinator at the International Sculpture Center in Washington, D.C.; and was on the editorial staff of SCULPTURE magazine. Mr. Glus’ master’s work was in art history at the University of Illinois, and undergraduate work in urban economics and public policy at Indiana University, Earlham College, and University of Kent, Canterbury England.