For about a month, I’ve been “between projects.” I don’t mean that in the Hollywood sense, but in the research agenda sense. I basically completed my cross-case analysis of arts incubators* and while I wait to hear back on a publication decision, for the first time in as long as I can remember, do not have a single book checked out from the library; the space in my office reserved for library books is empty. But the research we’re conducting for the Tremaine Foundation on the professional development needs of artists surfaced something interesting that we suspected intuitively and is worth looking into more deeply: networking is important for artists’ professional sustainability.
We’re building a foundation for a study of why networking is important and how it works for artists by conducting a systematic review of the literature on networking and entrepreneurial success. There is very little [peer-reviewed, published] research on networking and the arts specifically – only two of the 48 articles we’re currently including in our review specifically focus on the arts and culture sector. There’s quite a bit in the gray literature (e.g., the 2003 “Investing in Creativity” report includes a section on networks) but we need your help finding it. If you know of any studies that in whole or in part address the question, “How does networking support the livelihood of artists?” please comment here or send me an email.
*If you’re interested in the incubator study whitepaper drop me an email.
(Original image by flickr user Mollyali, CC 2.0)