I wanted to provide a quick way to reference “The Artistic Dividend: The Arts’ Hidden Contributions to Regional Development”  By Ann Markusen and David King out of the University of Minnesota.  In section eight (Artists’ View of Themselves as Economic Actors), the researchers took an “occupational approach, centered on understanding the economic aspirations and experiences of individual artists through interviews, [which] uncovered a significant number of cases where artists are successfully generating a satisfactory income by working entrepreneurially, often aided by an extensive network of advice and contacts with others in the region. Many do so without sacrificing quality and creative integrity. ”


However, many artists, even successful grant-winning artists, still do not think of what they do as economic activity!  The report finds that they might do well to engage in entrepreneurial skill-building and overcome tendencies to think negatively about marketing their work.

Agile (which can be summed up as a team-based technology for approaching high-value business projects at high velocity in climates of dynamic uncertainty) is such an effective way to prioritize administrative tasks and achieve business objectives – I recommend it to any artist seeking to leverage time spent on “the business end of things.”   Training and coaching discourses around Agile are still very much grounded in the world of software development, now spreading to other, related domains – see http://www.scrumalliance.org.  I am working on translating the essence of Agile into an arts-friendly language…collaborators WELCOME!  I hope that this will unlock new partnerships between the arts and start-up worlds and re-interest / reinvest nonprofit arts supporters in  the core administrative operations of organizations, which can be creative and innovative in their own right.

Planning to visit Minneapolis/St. Paul in August.  Please contact me (artsinterstices@gmail.com) about other arts organizations and/or start-up companies I should visit on my northern trip cross-country.    Special thanks to arts reporter Judith H. Dobrzynski.