Top 5 Creative Infrastructure Posts of 2017

ULI panel Pacoima

A panel convened by Urban Land Institute-LA to assist Pacoima Beautiful and LA Department of Cultural Affairs in arts incubator plan

#1. For the second year in a row, a short piece defining arts incubators was the most popular post on Creative Infrastructure. I first posted “What is an ‘Arts Incubator’?” in 2013 early in my research on the topic, but the post has gained in popularity year after year; thousands read it in 2017. My publicly viewable posts on the topic of arts incubators, unlike my formal scholarship on the subject found behind publisher paywalls, led to both formal and informal consulting engagements with communities or cities interested in setting up arts incubation programs. A journal article summarizing my research findings will be published next month in the International Journal of Arts Management; the link to “Value Creation and Evaluation in US Arts Venture Incubators: A Cross-case Analysis” will be posted here when it is available.#2. The second most popular post in 2017 is most popular overall: “Just Say NO!” is my advice to young people with specialized skills and equipment asked to take on unpaid work under the guise of an “internship.” It has been viewed almost 200,000 times.

#3. Another definitional post, “What is the Arts and Culture Sector?” was also quite popular in 2017. This post is drawn from a longer scholarly article, “Means and Ends: A Theory Framework for Understanding Entrepreneurship in the US Arts and Culture Sector,” which was published in the Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society.  

mv5bmzuzndm2nzm2mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwntm3ntg4ote-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_#4. La La Land was a popular movie in 2017, and so was my critique of it, “La La Land of Broken Dreams.” I felt the movie did a tremendous disservice to young artists and performers by re-mythologizing what it means to “make it” as a professional artist.

#5. Rounding out the top five is another early arts incubator piece, a teaser for what would become a formal article in Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society: “Arts Incubators: A Typology.” The blog post shares results of some early field scanning, “Arts Incubators: 47 and Counting.” The arts incubator landscape has shifted around since this work started in 2013, but I hope to have made some contribution to the field’s understanding of what arts incubators are, what they can do, and perhaps most importantly, what they can’t do.

I give my own honorable mention to a post about workplace sexual assault. “Un-bully-able” was also written in 2013, but I decided at the time to password protect it and only share it with friends. Thanks to the heroines of the #MeToo movement, I felt empowered enough – and safe enough – to share it publicly a couple of months ago.

Ouroboros with textDuring 2017, I started teasing out small pieces of a book that I’m working on, putting paragraphs out into the blogosphere for your feedback along the way. I hope you’ll continue to read and respond as I continue to develop that project.

2017: that’s a wrap!


new year cork

Illustration used for my very first CI post published New Year’s Eve 2011

About lindaessig

Linda Essig is Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at Cal State LA and principal/owner of Creative Infrastructure LLC. The opinions expressed on creativeinfrastructure are her own and not those of Cal State LA. You can follow her on twitter @LindaInPhoenix.
This entry was posted in Arts entrepreneurship, arts infrastructure, Arts management, Arts policy, Culture and democracy, Institutional Infrastructure, Personal infrastructure, Physical Infrastructure and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Top 5 Creative Infrastructure Posts of 2017

  1. Pingback: I’m Still Here | Creative Infrastructure

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s