A few weeks ago, I shared some excitement about my research being used in Liz Lerman’s class, “Animating Research.” Yesterday, I presented a 15 minute overview of “Lowering Barriers: Value Creation and Evaluation in Arts Incubators” to the class. Students had previously read an abstract of the research*. Much to my surprise and delight, one of the students, Dance MFA candidate David Olarte, keyed in on the words “intersection” and “black box” and had actually created a poster/painting based on that abstract. What a great moment for me and my research!
*This research explores and deepens our understanding of an element of the infrastructure for cultural entrepreneurship in the United States: the arts incubator, an organizational form or programmatic initiative that exists at the intersection of artistic production, entrepreneurship, and public policy. Through a qualitative cross-case analysis of four arts incubators of different types, the research opens the black box of incubator operations to find that arts incubators create value for client artists and arts organizations both through direct service provision and indirect echo effects but that the provision of value to communities or systems is attenuated and largely undocumented. Despite issues surfaced through the study, arts incubators remain a potentially impactful tool for supporting cultural entrepreneurship.