Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities Invites you to our November Salon Series

Cultural Work: Sustainability, Innovation, and Economics in the Arts

Location: Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC

Room 370 – HSBC Executive Meeting Room

Seating is limited – please RSVP to cmnscpcc@sfu.ca or 778-782-7978


Friday, November 6th, 2:00-4:00 pm

Dawn Bennett

Surviving in the arts: Artists, success, and sustainable careers

Artists around the world engage in protean careers, which involve ‘do-it-yourself’ career management together with a diverse and ever-changing range of skills and attributes. In this Salon the author unravels the realities of the protean career, questions hierarchical definitions of success, and reveals how a feather boa and a Viking helmet encapsulate sustainable careers in the arts.

Dr. Dawn Bennett is a Senior Research Fellow at Australia’s Curtin University, where she is conducting research into the working lives and economic circumstances of the creative workforce. She holds postgraduate degrees in education and music performance and has worked as a classical musician (viola), educator, researcher and manager. Her research focuses on sustainable practice within the creative industries, with special emphasis on the effectiveness of education, training and policy. Dr. Bennett is a visiting scholar in residence at the CPCC from October-December 2009. She is author of several books, including Understanding the classical music profession: The past, the present, and strategies for the future (Ashgate).

Understanding the classical music profession is available at http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754659594. Information on Dawn’s research and publications is included at http://humanities.curtin.edu.au/about/staff/index.cfm/d.bennett


Monday, November 9th, 3:00-5:00pm

Stuart Cunningham

Innovation and the Digital Creative Economy

- why it may be strategic to link cultural and creative industries to national innovation systems policy

Stuart Cunningham is a graduate of McGill University and is Distinguished Professor, Queensland University of Technology, and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. This centre draws on contributions across the humanities, creative arts and social sciences to help build a more dynamic and inclusive innovation system in Australia. He is one of Australia’s best known media scholars with a special interest in policy. He is author or editor of several books and major reports, most recently: The Media and Communications in Australia 3rd ed (with Graeme Turner, Allen & Unwin, forthcoming 2009), What Price a Creative Economy? (Platform Papers, 2006), Beyond the creative industries: mapping the creative economy in the United Kingdom (with Peter Higgs and Hasan Bakhshi, NESTA, 2008) and In the Vernacular: A Generation of Australian Culture and Controversy (University of Queensland Press, 2008).

He has written on this topic extensively.

Cunningham's latest book, In the Vernacular: A Generation of Australian Culture and Controversy, is available at



Tuesday, November 10th, 2:00-4:00pm

Ann Markusen

The Artistic Dividend: Urban Artistic Specialization and Economic Development In Recessionary Times

Over the past two decades, urban and regional policy-makers have increasingly looked to the arts and culture as an economic panacea, especially for the older urban core. The arts' regional economic contribution is generally measured by totaling the revenue of larger arts organisations, associated expenditures by patrons and multiplier effects. This approach underestimates the contributions of creative artists to a regional economy, because of high rates of self-employment and direct export activity, because artists' work enhances the design, production and marketing of products and services in other sectors and because artists induce innovation on the part of suppliers. This talk takes a labour-centred view of the arts economy, hypothesising that many artists choose a locale in which to work, often without regard to particular employers but in response to a nurturing artistic and patron community, amenities and affordable cost of living. It is concluded that artists comprise a relatively footloose group that can serve as a target of regional and local economic development policy. Dr. Markusen outlines the components of such a policy.  This salon discussion will be of particular interest to policy makers, arts managers and advocates who are struggling to make the case for arts and cultural investment after the "crunch" of the recent BC budget cuts. The attached article will provide further background for this salon.

Ann Markusen, professor, is the director of the Institute's Project on Regional and Industrial Economics. Currently, her research focuses on occupational approaches to regional development and on artists and cultural activity as regional economic stimulants.  Before joining the Humphrey Institute, Markusen was State of New Jersey Professor of Urban Planning and Policy Development at Rutgers University. She has held faculty positions at Northwestern, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Colorado. Markusen has been an economic policy fellow with the Brookings Institution and a research economist with the office of the Michigan Speaker of the House. She was a Fulbright Lecturer in regional development economics in Brazil and has written on European, Korean, and Japanese regional economies as well as on North American cities and regions. From 1995 to 2002, she served as a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and in 2002, as a Visiting Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. Currently Markusen is serving as the Harvey Perloff Chair in the Urban Studies Department at UCLA and A. D. White Professor-at-large at Cornell University.

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