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. She is a researcher, frequent public speaker, and advisor to public agencies, policymakers, businesses, economic developers, and nonprofit organizations across the US, in Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia and Brazil. Her expertise is in economic development at the state and local level, where she brings analytical skills to bear on the ways that industries and occupations shape possibilities for creating good work. Markusen is currently serving as research and writing consultant for the Minnesota House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs.
In recent years, Markusen’s research and consulting has focused on artists, arts organizations, and creative placemaking. Her publications include “The Arts, Consumption, and Innovation in Regional Development” (2013), City Creative Industry Strategies: the State of the Art (2012), California’s Arts and Cultural Ecology (2011), Nurturing California’s Next Generation Arts and Cultural Leaders (2011), Creative Placemaking (2010), Los Angeles: America’s Artist Super City (2010); Native Artists: Careers, Resources, Space, Gifts (2009), San Jose Artists’ Resource and Space Study (2008), Leveraging Investments in Creativity Artist Data User Guide (2008), Crossover: How Artists Build Careers across Commercial, Non-profit and Community Work (2006), Artists’ Centers (2006), and The Artistic Dividend (2003). In addition, she is the author of leading edge op eds and policy papers published in Grantmakers for the Arts Reader, the Createquity blog, and in international publications, including Japan, UK, Australia, Slovakia, Portugal, and Brazil.
Markusen’s research and policy work has also been directly toward pressing economic development issues at national and local scales, including business tax incentives (Reining in the Competition for Capital, 2007), minimum wage legislation, military industrial conversion (Arming the Future: a Defense Industry for the 20th Century, 1999; Dismantling the Cold War Economy, 1992; The Rise of the Gunbelt, 1991) high tech job growth (High Tech America 1985), energy boomtowns, and state/local public finance. Over the years, her op eds have been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor and many regional dallies, and she has been a frequent radio and television commentator.
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.