Markusen To Deliver MCA Commencement Address

Contact: Carrie Corbett
Director of College Communications
(901) 272-5111

May 1, 2014

Ann Markusen 

Markusen To Deliver MCA Commencement Address

Dr. Ann Markusen will deliver the Commencement Address for Memphis College of Art’s Commencement Ceremony, which will take place on Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m. at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park. Markusen is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on utilizing artists, arts organizations, cultural industries and cultural activity as economic and quality-of-life stimulants in cities and communities.

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.

 Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. The region’s only independent art and design college, MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @memphisart.


Memphis College of Art does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or other status protected by law. Additional Information