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Creative Economies: Challenges for Artists, Arts Organizations, Cities & Neighborhoods

Surveying the intersections among artists, arts organizations and place, Markusen summarizes a decade’s research on how artists are becoming more interdisciplinary, more mobile between and within cities, and more apt to work simultaneously in commercial, nonprofit and community sectors. As in the past, artists are key initiators and partners in creative placemaking. Exploring “who is an arts organization?,” her talk reviews challenging conceptual and data issues, the morphing of audiences into participants, and key problems for next gen arts leaders.  She concludes by characterizing creative placemaking, its multiple ambitions, and the roles of artists, cultural organizations and other partners in its evolution. She welcomes debate and disagreement as well as questions.

Selected facts and quotes:

Houston played a key role during the great recession for migration of artists – Houston added more number of artists while many other cities lost them and it constitute as cultural sector employment growth in Houston.

The creative placemaking happens when partners from public, private, non profit and community sectors (or atleast from two of them) strategically shape the physical and social character of the neighborhood town reservation city or region around arts and cultural activities

Some of the outcomes include:

  • Animating public and private spaces,
  • rejuvenating structures,
  • improving local business viability and public safety,
  • bringing diverse people together to celebrate,
  • inspire and be inspire with arts and culture at its core

Ingredients for creative placemaking

  • Prompted by an initiator with vision and drive
  • Tailors strategy to distinctive features of place
  • Mobilizes public will
  • Attracts private sector buy-in
  • Garner support of local arts and cultural leaders
  • Builds partnerships across sectors, missions and levels of government

I believe every place is a creative place, or has potential to be.

Ann Markusen

Dr. Ann Markusen is Director of the Arts Economy Initiative and the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Principal of Markusen Economic Research.

In recent accolades, Markusen’s 2006 study, Crossover, was showcased by Grantmakers in the Arts Reader in the Fall of 2012 as one of five ”Landmark” research studies. Markusen was featured in WESTAF’s Barry’s Blog as among 2012′s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential Leaders in the Nonprofit Arts. Markusen and Ann Gadwa Nicodemus’ “Arts and Culture in Urban and Regional Planning: A Review and Research Agenda” was honored as the most downloaded of Journal of Planning Education and Research articles published in 2009 and 2010.

Markusen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University. She has served on the University faculties of Minnesota, Rutgers, Northwestern, California Berkeley, and Colorado. Winner of the 2006 Alonso Prize in Regional Science and the 1996 Walter Isard Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement, she has served as President of the North American Regional Science Association, as a Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow, and AAAS Science, Engineering and Public Policy Committee Chair and Member. Markusen served as UCLA’s Harvey Perloff Chair, 2005-8; the UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair, Glasgow School of Art, 2010-11; and A. D. White Professor-at-large at Cornell University, School of Art, Architecture and Planning, 2007-14. She is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. She has been a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow, Fulbright Lecturer in Brazil, and has directed large research projects funded by the Ford, MacArthur, McKnight, Irvine, and Hewlett Foundations, among others.