Problem-solving the Creative Economy

Recent Updates

Markusen articles for regional weeklies and upcoming research, talks 2017

Ann Markusen writing for regional weekly newspapers in northern Minnesota. To create conversations around everything from the women’s march to immigrant issues to taxes to public schools, restorative justice, consumer protections, our environment, and beyond, I’m writing for the Cloquent Pine Journal, Floodwood Forum and Grand Rapids Herald Tribune, often with photos. I’m hoping to inspire others to write for regional and local papers.  A portfolio of pre-pub drafts available here: Markusen Rural Weekly Articles 2017 to date .pdf?dl=0

Upcoming research, writing and conferences:  Belo Horizonte, Brazil, mid-August to mid-September to work with Clelio Campolina Diniz on assessments and write-ups of the new Inhotim contemporary art and botanical gardens.

CURDS 50th anniversary celebration, Newcastle UK, October 17-19, 2017

A2ru Conference, to lead op ed writing workshop, Boston, MA, November 1-4, 2017

Ann Markusen gave a talk on March 22 to the Georgetown University alumni association in Minneapolis.


Bay Area Metro and Brazilian Contemporary Art Creative Placemaking

Ann Markusen presents on “Regional Challenges and Opportunities: Collaborating across Cities for a Healthy, Sustainable, and Equitable Bay Area,” Association of Bay Area Governments Special General Assembly, January 30, San Francisco

April in Brazil: Ann Markusen works with long-time colleague Clelio Campolina Diniz, former Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology and President of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, on an impact study of Inhotim, the contemporary art museum outside of Belo Horizonte, and a retrospective on Campolina’s career as a top Latin American regional economist.

Newly published: Ann Markusen’s review of Daniel Cornfield’s new book, Beyond the Beat: Musicians Building Community in Nashville. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, in the Industrial Relations Review, Special issue on Workplace Inequality, Vol. 70, No. 1, January 2017.

Markusen on Art and Politics

Depressed about the election what’s to come?

Join the interactive talk and discussion with economist Ann Markusen on Art and Politics

The talk explores why art and artists are a challenge for government, how prior initiatives like the New Deal employment programs for artists worked, and what artists and arts organizations can do in the coming years, nationally and locally.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

4:30-6:00 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 37 S Wabash Avenue, Room 327.

Please have an ID to check in at the front desk

Fall Chicago Arts Organizations in Society Grad Course

This fall, Ann Markusen is teaching Arts Organizations in Society, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to 27 graduate students from around world (Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, Colombia, Chiapas, China, Canada and the US). We’re covering many topics: art and politics, race/class/gender, gentrification, evaluation, arts participation, arts policy with great readings (everyone writes a reflection before class each week, posted on a discussion site), and every student is conducting and writing an artist profile, an arts organization profile, and an argumentative piece (written and spoken) about a theme they feel passionate about. Happy to share the evolving syllabus – send an email request to

New Publications and Videos of Talks

An interview with Ann Markusen on her roles and thoughts on the origins and practice of contemporary creative placemaking, published April 2016 in Just Creativity: Perspectives on Inclusive Placemaking. Julia Barnard and Rachel Wexler, “A Conversation with Ann Markusen and Her Word on Creative Placemaking.” Carolina Planning Journal, Volume 41, 2016: 18-21. Click on cover above. (Whole issue available digitally in June 2016:

Ann Markusen’s Foreward for Baltimore’s Arts & Cultural Vital Signs, “What We Learn from Cultural Vital Signs,” March 2016. Click on cover above.

Opening paragraph: Why are Baltimore’s Arts & Cultural Vital Signs so important? Because they enable us – citizens, policymakers, visitors – to see how ubiquitous arts and cultural capacity is across the city. The contributions that artists, arts organizations, and community cultural practices make to the life of a city are our glue. They help us celebrate who we are and our traditions. They encourage us to understand other cultures and traditions. They bring us new ideas, expose social ills, and provide creative means to protest injustice. They delight, challenge, and provoke us. They liberate emotions we didn’t know we had. They are, perhaps, the single most important ingredient in that amorphous thing/place/identity that we call community.

Video of Ann Markusen’s commissioned Bonner Equity Forum lecture at Portland State: “Creative Placemaking”

Video of Ann Markusen’s interactive session, How do we Know Creative Placemaking is Working?  WaterFire Conference in Providence RI: The Art of Placemaking,

Ann Markusen leads a discussion in an attempt to answer the following important questions: What are the missions of creative placemaking? How can we monitor progress over short periods of time? What research methods are best suited to the challenge? Who are the audiences for evaluation? What’s your best story about how research and evaluation led to better outcomes, and for whom?

Video of Ann Markusen’s short summary of research on the employment effects of raising minimum wages available on line:

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