Commencement Speaker Ann Markusen To Participate in Creative Entrepreneurship Discussion

Contact: Carrie Corbett

April 28, 2014

Ann Markusen

MCA Commencement Speaker Ann Markusen To Participate in Creative Entrepreneurship Discussion

Discussing Economic Opportunity
Friday, May 9
2–4 p.m.
Start Co., 88 Union Avenue, 2nd Floor
Register at:

Memphis is filled with artists and cultural innovators—let’s turn these passions into economic opportunity. Mayor Wharton’s Office of Talent and Human Capital and Start Co. invite you to join us for a reception and dynamic conversation about the role of cities in supporting creative entrepreneurship.

The discussion will feature Dr. Ann Markusen (, 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. Her work focuses on artists, arts organizations, cultural industries, and cultural activity as economic and quality-of-life stimulants in regions and cities. Dr. Markusen will engage with some of the leaders of our local entrepreneurial landscape, including Eric Matthews, founder & CEO, Start Co., Carlton Crothers, CEO, Emerge Memphis and Steve Bares, President & Executive Director, Memphis Bioworks Foundation.

About Ann Markusen:

Professor 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. The Arts Economy Initiative and PRIE engage in research and policy advising on artists, cultural industries, and arts and cultural organizations, exploring the intersection between culture and urban/regional development policy. Major publications include:

California’s Arts and Cultural Ecology (2011) which analyzes the size, location, focus, governance, economic impact and arts participation rates of more than 10,000 California arts and cultural nonprofits and the artists who work for them.

Creative Placemaking (2010) a white paper for the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and the National Endowment for the Arts documenting successful arts and culture-based projects, often artist initiated, in Cleveland, Buffalo, Portland and San Jose that brought together partners from public, private, nonprofit and community sectors to strategically shape the physical and social character of their areas around arts and cultural activities.

Native Artists: Careers, Resources, Space, Gifts (2009) documents the economic and cultural contributions of Native artists probing how artists’ vision, training, employment and self-employment, access to space and resources, location, and commitment to community affect their ability to make a living from their work, and recommends how artists, arts resource/space managers, tribal leaders, casinos, funders, city leaders and Native arts organizations can work together to raise the visibility and impact of Native work.

Crossover: How Artists Build Careers Across Commercial, Nonprofit and Community Work (2006) explores how artists in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas combine work in commercial, not-for-profit, and community spheres based on survey results and four dozen profiles of visual and performing artists, musicians, and writers.

Markusen received her bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and both her master’s and doctoral degrees in Economics from Michigan State University. She has held faculty positions at Colorado, California Berkeley, Northwestern, and Rutgers Universities. Markusen occupied the Harvey Perloff Chair at UCLA, 2005-08, the U.K. Fulbright Distinguished Chair, Mackintosh School of Architecture Urban Lab, Glasgow, Scotland, 2010-11 and was an A. D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, 2007-14, Winner of the 2006 William Alonso Prize in Regional Science, she served as North American Regional Science Association President, as a Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow, and as AAAS Science, Engineering and Public Policy Committee Chair. She is a frequent public speaker and advisor to universities, public agencies, policymakers and nonprofit arts organizations across the U.S. and in Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia and Brazil. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project.

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